The surrealist movement, definitely visible and theoretically debated with the publication of the Manifeste du Surréalisme (1924), written by André Breton (Tinchebray, France, 1896 - Paris, 1966) is a cosmology organised by and about Breton himself. His revolutionary pretensions, which are visible in all his publications, expositions and determinations, are understood as the will of general subversion (through action) in all areas of daily life, starting from poetry and art and moving to ethics, religion and politics. Thus, Surrealism is not only an artistic and literary expression, but a stance against the traditional values of culture and the bourgeois society and against realism in art. He supports the idea of an inner model in all creative acts, of otherness, absolute automatism (applied to poetic and artistic practice) as well as the adoption of meta-artistic methods that come from psychoanalysis, such as hypnosis, which allow the release of human consciousness and a return to a primitive and primordial state of thought.
The works that make up the exhibition Visiones paralelas. Artistas modernos y arte marginal (Parallel Visions. Modern Artists and Marginal Art) encompass questions on the limits of art and the nature of artistic activity - while incorporating romantic traditions and examining the same definition of what art is, this debate looms over twentieth century culture. The studies of Sigmund Freud devoted to the artistic-therapeutic production of psychiatric patients at the beginning of the century and the publication of doctor Hans Prinzhorn's book Bildnerei der Geisteskranken (1922)(Artistry of the Mentally Ill), which includes a collection of art created by the mentally ill and serves as an introduction to their images, form the primary foundations of the search and defence of a new model and paradigm of artistic creativity throughout the first half of the century, expounded by an ongoing reinvention that is not tarnished by established or received culture and traditions. By way of a chronological journey through twentieth-century art, and through premises of dialogues on formal analogies and historical relations, this exhibition endeavours to render the close relationship and interchanges between modern art and the artistic output of marginalised, alienated, mentally ill, self-taught and compulsive visionary figures.
The exhibition Últimas adquisiciones. Material Especial (Latest Acquisitions. Special Material) displays the collection of documents the Centro de Documentación (Documentation Centre) and the Biblioteca (Library) of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía have incorporated into their collections in recent years. In the words of the Museum Library's director, Miguel Valle-Inclán, the work of the centre involves, “gathering together useful research materials in the field of contemporary art with the aim of meeting the demands of museum specialists and the general public.”
When cinema is understood as a synonym of movement, a homage to Luis Buñuel (Calanda, Teruel 1900 - Mexico City, 1983) inside a museum - where static work is the overriding medium - can be seen as a “contradictory” exhibition, as the curator, Yasha David, puts it. With this in mind, the spaces of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía have been set up to create a “subliminal state” resembling the stamp Buñuel gives to his films.
This exhibition provides an overview of Federico Garcia Lorca’s (Fuente Vaqueros, 1898 - Granada, 1936) personal and artistic biography. His cities, friends, success and the poet’s loneliness are the four main topics used to display his public and private life. An extensive correspondence and personal documents are featured in the exhibition, as well as photographs, books and manuscripts. The exhibition is completed with the works of contemporary artists who share artistic and aesthetic concerns over his career. Among these are the most outstanding representatives of Madrid’s artistic avant-garde, such as Benjamín Palencia, Rafael Barradas, Gregorio Prieto, José Moreno Villa, Adriano del Valle and José Bergamin.
Considered the first avant-garde Spanish language poet, Vicente Huidobro (Santiago de Chile, 1893 - Llolleo, Chile, 1948) was a pioneer in the use of calligrammes, a form of expression where the words come together to form complete images that widen or complete the meaning of what has been written. Triángulo armónico is his first calligramme and is published in his 1913 book, Canciones en la noche.
Ramón Gomez de la Serna (Madrid, 1988 - Buenos Aires, 1963) is one of the artists who introduce the avant-garde to Spain. At the same time he is a pioneer of a trend characterised by humour, which the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía pays tribute to in Los humoristas del 27. This exhibition is held a few months before this one, which presents the character of this prolific writer, inventor of the universal greguerías.
To mark Antoni Gaudí’s (Reus, 1852 - Barcelona, 1926) 150th anniversary the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona are recreating in this extensive exhibition the universe of the central figure in Catalan Modernism and architect of international prestige. This exhibition is a journey through the influences, history, creative works and impact of Gaudí's work on a wide outlook built through more than four hundred works ranging from the early nineteenth century until the mid-twentieth century.
Realismos entre XIX y XXI (Tributo a Juan Antonio Ramírez)
In their efforts to distance themselves from a linear narrative of modernity, The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía addresses the Museum's vision as not merely a container of objects, but as an entity capable of producing new discourses for their Collection and generating new knowledge. For this reason through Two Different Readings of the Collection, two exhibitions have opened at the same time about the meaning of collecting and relating the Museum's Collection from two different points of view. Artists Rosa Barba and Juan Luis Moraza, have made an exhaustive study on the Museum's Collection to then choose a selection of works which can offer the public two alternative visions and proposals on the Collection.
Atlas is a proposal to put the frame of thought introduced by German art historian Aby Warburg (1866-1929) into the context of historical knowledge and images. This is not a monographic exhibition on Warburg, but a journey through the history of images from 1914 until the present day, where warburgism constitutes the genius loci.
The exhibition Locus Solus. Impressions de Raymond Roussel is dedicated to the body of work by the French novelist and poet and its influence on modern and contemporary art. Roussel (1877-1933) was the author of a literary opus made up of rich worlds, filled with spectacle, masks and phantasmagoria and built around the mechanisms and double entendres found in language. In its consideration of Roussel, Locus Solus is also taking a furtive glance at the history of 20th century art.