The exhibition Picasso, Miró, Dalí and the Origins of Contemporary Art in Spain, 1900-1936 seeks to articulate Spanish artistic production (in several and well-known cases produced outside Spain) based on the concept of "Art Nouveau". Eugenio Carmona, curator of this exhibition gives an instrumental value to this concept and explains it as a principle that underlies much of the art that is performed during the first decades of the twentieth century. In this type of art there is evidence of a desire for a renewal of artistic languages, the paradigm of which is identified by the Spanish artists in contemporary European trends. From this perspective, the exhibition proposes a debate with Spanish art in tune with the names and aesthetic and theoretical avant-garde ideas, gathered under the umbrella of Modernism, while at the same time embedded in them. In this way, Spanish artists that have as reference the various "-isms" (Cubism, Futurism, Ultraism (Ultraísmo), Surrealism and Realism) participate in the international dimension of avant-garde art. Still, as the curator points out, "Art Nouveau" was not the only option Spanish art had in the period between 1900 and 1936.
The exhibition entitled El surrealismo en España (Surrealism in Spain) takes a look back at the output in Spain, between 1925 and the Civil War (1936-1939), of almost fifty artists. The period is defined by, or evolves alongside, French Surrealism. Lucía García de Carpi, the exhibit's joint curator with Josefina Alix, points to two factors that cause so-called Spanish Surrealism to gain so much importance. The first being that within the revival of avant-garde art, the artists start to take an active interest in what is being disseminated by the Surrealists in Paris, going beyond the mere receptive nature of European movements. The second involves an heterogeneous style in Spain in terms of language and conception. Their theoretical, literary, exhibiting and artistic approaches bring at least four locations into the spotlight: Madrid (the residency of students and “Telluric” Surrealists Alberto Sánchez and Benjamín Palencia), Catalunya (the ADLAN Group and Logicofobista Group), Tenerife (the setting for Gaceta del Arte, Óscar Domínguez and the International Surrealist Exhibition organisation in 1935) and Zaragoza (Tomas Seral y Casas and Alfonso Buñuel).
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.”
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.
The exhibition Campo Cerrado takes its name from the homonymous novel by Max Aub and looks to examine Spanish art in the complex and controversial 1940s, a decade that has received little attention and one that exists in a critical and historiographical vacuum, despite its importance in structuring modern sensibility in Spain.