A selection of the best works from the Beyeler Collection is presented for the first time in public. The exhibition in the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía brings together previous exhibits devoted to private collections, for instance the Panza di Biumo, Nasher, Sonnabend and Phillips collections.
The exhibition, Masterpieces from the Guggenheim collection. From Picasso to Pollock manages to combine two unusual events: bringing together over one hundred and twenty masterpieces from the history of art in the first half of the twentieth century and bringing out the personalities of the two major collectors, on whom the foundations of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York were made. Thus, this exhibition presents the history of art interwoven between works of art and the story of a collection made up mainly by the legacies of Solomon R. Guggenheim (Philadelphia, 1861-New York, 1949) and his niece Peggy Guggenheim (New York, 1898-Padua, Italy, 1979), to which other funds and acquisitions made over the history of the institution have been added.
Fernand Léger (Argentan, France, 1881-Gif-sur-Yvette, France, 1955) is present in the two events that mark the emergence of Cubism: Salón de los Independientes and Salón de Otoño in 1911. The poet and essayist Guillaume Apollinaire, in his Méditations esthétiques. Les peintres cubistes (1913), includes Léger in Orphic Cubism, which he defines as "The art of painting new compositions with elements that are not borrowed from visual reality, but which are entirely created by the artist and endowed with a powerful reality … It is pure art".
With the exception of the exhibition entitled Die Maler in der Theater, organised in 1986 in the Scrin Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, there has not been any other devoted to providing a broad and collective vision of the beginnings of the relationship between plastic arts and the sphere of performing arts. Unlike the Frankfurt exhibition, which spanned the whole of the 20th century, El teatro de los pintores en la Europa de las vanguardias (The Theatre of Painters in Avant-garde Europe) concentrates on a specific period: from its early years right up until practically the Thirties, a time when the Russian Revolution, inter-war Paris, Italian Futurism and the Weimar Republic in Germany determined a context that enabled these collaborations.
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.
The book, used to disseminate written knowledge, broadens its use as a format and develops variations as it becomes an object of art. Therefore, there are differences between the livre d’artiste andartist's book - the first contains etchings, lithographs, screen prints and xylographs engraved by hand, and is published in limited, numbered editions that are intended for collectors. One of the earliest examples is Pierre Bonnard's Parallèlement (1900), containing poems by Paul Verlaine. However, the artist's book is developed later; the artist that devises it is interested in the book as a format and its access to a wider public with large print runs at a low cost. Twenty-six Gasoline Stations (1962) by Ed Ruscha is is one of the first examples of this genre.
This exhibition traces the routes taken by the protagonists of GATEPAC, the Grupo de Artistas y Técnicos Españoles (Group of Spanish Artists and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture) which was founded in 1930 in Zaragoza. Its purpose is to highlight the international approval and prestige of both the group and its magazine, A. C. Documentos de Actividad Contemporánea (A. C. Documents of Contemporary Activity), from whose pages innovation in European modernism in art and architecture spread.
Carl Einstein (Neuwied, Germany, 1895 - Lestelle-Betharram, France, 1940) is probably the least classical art historians of the twentieth century. Einstein was one of the most relevant and multifaceted personalities of the twentieth century artistic avant-garde. His books, articles and essays were key pieces to the critical study of the avant-garde and the fostering of the study and promotion of art history in the past century. Einstein worked as a novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, art and literature critic as well as the author of a screenplay. However, it is in the field of art history that he is found to be among the most interesting innovators; Apollinaire said he had "one of the most perceptive minds." In his numerous texts he gave expression to the introduction of African art in the West, or the approval of Cubism as a full movement.