This exhibition makes visible the historical documentation that keeps the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía on the Spanish gallery scene. Like previous exhibitions on the Galería Multitud and the Galería Sur this documentary exhibition is held in the Museum Library in one of the most important Spanish galleries of all time: the Galería Juana Mordó.
The archive of documents on display includes material generated by the activity of the gallery from when it opens on March 14, 1964, until the Nineties. Among the documentation is a library with books on contemporary art, exhibition catalogues, fairs, events, brochures, invitations and magazines. Added to this is a large amount of handwritten documents: correspondence with artists and institutions, critics and collectors, price lists, invoices, quotes and accounting records. Also present is different graphic documentation such as photographs, slides and posters. It all reflects the artistic, social and cultural activity of gallerist Juana Mordó (Thessaloniki, Greece, 1899 - Madrid, 1984) who becomes an emblem of Madrid's cultural world in the second half of the twentieth century from when she arrives in Madrid in 1943.
Juana Mordó studies in Paris. After her second marriage to Henri Mordó she moves to Berlin, where she remains until the rise of Nazism. After a few years in Switzerland she comes to Madrid, where she first works as a columnist for radio, newspapers and magazines under the pseudonym Carmen Soler. During the Fifties onwards Mordó becomes involved in artistic projects such as the I Exposición Internacional de Escultura al Aire Libre or in the coordination Rosa Vera print editions in Madrid.
In 1958 she manages the Biosca Gallery for the five years before opening her own gallery on calle Villanueva in Madrid. To this space she adds another on calle Castelló in 1975. Two years later she opens the Divulgación Cultural Centre in calle Princesa, to bring artistic creation closer to the public through activities.
The collector and gallerist Helga de Alvear works closely with Juana Mordó from 1980 and eventually takes over the running of Mordó’s gallery after her death. Ten years later, after progressively incorporating new artists, the space changes its name to Galería Helga de Alvear.
The archive of documents from Gallería Juana Mordó belonging to the Museo Reina Sofía was donated by Helga de Alvear in 1997. From it interesting documents have been selected among which include various photographs of artists and people invited to the inauguration as well as portraits of Juana Mordó with family and friends from the 1920s onwards. Also exhibited are catalogues from exhibitions at the Gallery where artists fundamental to the history of Spanish contemporary art exhibited, such as the members of the group El Paso, Manuel Millares, Antonio Saura, Martín Chirino and Rafael Canogar; artists belonging to the group from Cuenca such as Gustavo Torner and Gerardo Rueda; acclaimed artists such as Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies and Eduardo Chillida; realism artists like Antonio López, Julio López Hernández and Carmen Laffón; followers of pop art as Equipo Crónica and Eduardo Arroyo; artists exiled after the war such as Manuel Ángeles Ortiz, Francisco Bores and Antonio Rodriguez Luna; Latin American artists such as Fernando Botero, Rómulo Maccio and Alberto Greco and international artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Hans Hartung, David Hockney, Robert Motherwell and Nam June Paik.
More than fifty photographs and one hundred and fifty documents spread out into seven windows and eighteen panels are those that testify to the relevance of the artistic environment of one of the most important art galleries in Spain.