List of selected artworks. Maps for the tour in the museum



El arte sucede. Origen de las prácticas conceptuales en España (1965-1980)

11 october, 2005 - 9 january, 2006 /
Nouvel Building, Floor 1

The exhibition El arte sucede. Origen de las prácticas conceptuales en España (1965-1980) (Art Happens: The Origin of Conceptual Practices in Spain 1965-1980) takes its title from James Whistler's saying “Art happens”. Whistler was an habitué to Stéphane Mallarmé's circle and worked in close proximity to his line of thought, the reflections of which contributed to establishing the basis of the interdisciplinary and supranational conception of art. The exhibition explores the appearance and development of Conceptual Art in Spain, bringing together an anthology of works realised by diverse artists with their own traits, linked by their experiences and interests whilst also sharing approaches with their international counterparts. These traits are defined by the multifarious relationship with popular culture, the social, the political, the subjective and the body itself.

El arte sucede aims to synthetically reconstruct the landscape of transgression of artistic behaviour that materialised in Spain from the second half of the Sixties to the end of the Seventies; a time that craved freedom, with art practices being understood as a space of questioning and exploration, a space in which a new sensibility flourished that represented a break-away from traditional languages.

In the period covered by the exhibition, the transforming potential of everyday and natural materials, or the relational aspects between minimal, primary structures that soon led to diverse forms of Actionism are highlighted. Gradually, there was a move towards a cross-section of disciplines, the integration of mechanisms related to philosophy, sociology, psychoanalysis, politics, technology, popular culture, science, architecture, music and language in the creative process.

The ideas and starting points stemmed from lived experiences, materials and places in close proximity, the search for areas that were capable of releasing renewed vitality in thought that was in keeping with particular purposes and sensibilities, and the same longing to bring art and life closer together. There was the increased use of technology in this period among the artists: video, film, audiovisual projection, photography and reel-to-reel tape recorders - modern tools with enormous potential. These mediums could be used to recall ephemeral actions, creating documentaries or fiction from reality as well as experimenting with images with no references other than the images themselves in transformation. These new mediums helped to provide a representation of space, movement, and most importantly time, that were previously unheard of in plastic arts.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in coproduction with Sala Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea, San Sebastian and the Diputación de Guipuzcoa
Rosa Queralt
Exhibition Tour: 

Sala Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea, San Sebastian (January 31 - March 25, 2006)


Current exhibitions

  • Exhibition view. Ree Morton. Be a Place, Place an Image, Imagine a Poem, 2015
    May 20 - September 28, 2015

    Ree Morton

    Be a Place, Place an Image, Imagine a Poem

  • Exhibition view. Carl Andre. Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010, 2015
    May 5 - October 12, 2015 Palacio de Velázquez. Parque del Retiro

    Carl Andre

    Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010

  • Vista de sala de la exposición. Federico Guzmán. Tuiza. Las culturas de la jaima, 2015
    April 16 – August 30, 2015

    Federico Guzmán

    Tuiza. The Cultures of the Bedouin Tent

  • Paul Klee. Baldgreis, 1922. Oil on cardboard, 40.3 x 37.4 cm. Kunstmuseum Basel © Kunstmuseum Basel
    March 18 - September 14, 2015

    White Fire

    The Kunstmuseum Basel Modern Collection

  • Pablo Picasso. Buveuse d’absinthe (The Absinthe Drinker), 1901. Oil on canvas, 81 x 60 cm. Im Obersteg Foundation, permanent loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel. Photography: Mark Gisler, Müllheim
    March 18 - September 14, 2015

    Collectionism and Modernity

    Two Case Studies: The Im Obersteg and Rudolf Staechelin Collections