Continuing from Arte para un siglo. Colecciones del Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. I. Cambio de Siglo (1881-1925) this exhibition traces the contribution of Spanish art in the following years, the period belonging to the avant-garde, which takes 1925 as a starting point and extends until the end of the Spanish Civil War, 1939.
Spanish art has many important examples of artists central to the development of the avant-garde from the beginning of the 20th century. The greatest of all of them is Pablo Picasso whose enormous contribution is shown in this exhibition with three pieces among which is a study for Guernica (1937), one of the most emblematic works of the twentieth century and which is the centre-piece of the Museum’s collection. This pioneer of Cubism was seconded in his innovations by other artists such as Juan Gris, of whom the museum has built a representative collection in recent years, and María Blanchard in the pictorial field. Julio González, Pablo Gargallo and Honorio García Condoy follow this trend with their sculptural productions. They are all part of the group of Spaniards who lived in Paris during these decisive years, as also are Manuel Ángeles Ortiz, Francisco Bores, Pancho Cossío and Alfonso de Olivares, among others.
Also present in the exhibition are Cristóbal Ruiz y Daniel Vázquez Díaz, two painters who returned to Spain after their stay in Paris. The latter, together with Rafael Barradas, links his work to the Ultraist movement, a movement that opposed modernism and has important implications in both artistic and literary fields.
Surrealism is one of the new trends which is most reflected in the "inner avant-garde". To the three key names in this exhibition Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Óscar Domínguez are added Juan José Luis González Bernal, Juan Ismael, Ramón Marinel·lo and Gregorio Prieto.
However, the Spanish avant-garde produced in the national territory is necessarily linked to the School of Vallecas represented in its beginnings by Alberto Sánchez, Benjamín Palencia and Maruja Mallo in the early thirties. Close to them is the constructivist Joaquín Torres-García.
This exhibition is rounded-off with contributions by the aforementioned Maruja Mallo and Alfonso Ponce de León to magical realism and by Horacio Ferrer to social realism. The work of this artist in this exhibition -Madrid 1937, better known as Aviones negros (1937)- was exhibited at the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris World Exposition in 1937, the building it was held in was designed by José Luis Sert and Luis Lacasa a model of which is exhibited by way of concluding this birds-eye view of the Spanish avant-garde.
The selection of thirty-five artists from the Museo Reina Sofía collection roam, as in previous exhibitions, through the rooms of a dozen savings banks located in different regions of the country.
Palacio de Revillagigedo, Gijón (June 27 - July 24, 2003); Cultural Center Caja Cantabria, Santander (July 30 - August 30, 2003); Sala Fundación Caja Vital Kutxa, Vitoria-Gasteiz (September 5 - October 4, 2003); Sala de Exposiciones San Eloy, Salamanca (October 10 - November 8, 2003); Cultural Center Palacio de los Serrano, Ávila (November 14 - December 13, 2003); Sala de Exposiciones Amos Salvador, Logroño (December 19, 2003 - January 17, 2004); Sede de Ibercaja, Zaragoza (January 23 - February 21, 2004); Sede de Caja Murcia, Murcia (February 27 - March 27, 2004); Sede de Caja Segovia, Segovia (April 2 - May 1, 2004); Sede de Caja Granada, Granada (May 7 - June 11, 2004); Sede de Caja Castilla La Mancha, Albacete (August 28 - September 25, 2004); Sede de Unicaja, Málaga (October 1 - 31, 2004); Sede de Caja Guipúzcoa, San Sebastián (November 5, 2004 - January 9, 2005)