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.
The A. C. magazine, managed by José Luis Sert and Josep Torres Clavé, was produced in Barcelona between 1931 and 1937 on a quarterly basis, which resulted in a total of 25 editions. Its innovative design and challenging content are one of the best legacies of the twentieth century avant-garde in Spain, truncated by the arrival of the war. Modern artistic experiences provided a radical discourse which stressed the reality of the moment. Its creators were young architects attracted to a rationalist style, the simplification of forms and the intervention of green spaces, with special interest in achieving a functional city that would overcome deficiencies in transport, housing, health and leisure. Its pages were a body of knowledge committed to keeping Spanish art of the time up-to-date. A.C. also accommodated art, architecture, film, photography, city, furniture design and technique, while spreading the works of GATEPAC members, who used it to organise debates and disseminate news on books, art magazines and architectural releases of the time.
Before the magazine was launched, future GATEPAC members had already organised the visit to Spain of Le Corbusier, Gropius, Mendelsohn and Van Doesburg. They had also already published their first works in all possible media, attended international meetings and organised exhibitions and debates. This intense activity turned the publication into an exquisite catalyst for the Spanish architectural avant-garde, with the support of leading architects like Le Corbusier, Gropius and Mies van der Rohe, who all published their work in it.
The exhibition at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía moves between its pages and focuses both on the precursors to it and the masters of international architecture, with the city and modern life as the core nucleus.