La Asociación de Amigos del Reina Sofía was established in 1987 as the result of a group of entrepreneurs coming together to create a collection. The acquisitions of pieces is done as an individual initiative, but the character of the collection is public, it cooperates with institutions and is made available to as many citizens as possible.
This model, inspired by the efforts of American patronage, takes shape with the establishment of an Advisory Committee -composed of specialists Antonio Bonet, Julián Gállego and Simón Marchán Fiz- and the realisation of the first acquisition: five oil paintings by Juan Manuel Díaz-Caneja. The collection’s focus is the recovery of all artists who have contributed something significant to the evolution of Spanish art. On these premises, acquisitions began and in just over a year and a half, one hundred and thirty works including paintings and sculptures were added to the collection.
This exhibition is the first public presentation of the Amigos del Centro Reina Sofía Collection. The selection to be exhibited ensures that at least one work from each artist is on display. The exhibition is divided into three sections: “Generación de las vanguardias” (The avant-garde generation), “Generación de la rupture” (The rupture generation) and “Nuevas generaciones” (New generations).
It starts off with the generation that corresponds by age to the period of the Historical Avant-gardes. Julio González, Joaquín Torres-García, Oscar Domínguez, Wifredo Lam and Alberto Sánchez are accompanied by lesser-known artists, but who are avant-garde architects from various angles, such as Alfonso de Olivares, Eugenio Granell, Hernando Viñes and Juan Manuel Díaz-Caneja. Highlights including works such as Caballito Japonés (1952) by Eugenio Granell; Composición (1927) by Alfonso de Olivares and Monumento a la paz (1961) by Alberto Sánchez. Untitled (1923) by Hernando Viñes and Popa negra (1924) by Joaquín Torres-García are the oldest works from the Collection and in this section, which goes back to 1986 with La copa en el espejo y Victoria de Los Ángeles, both by Ramón Gaya.
The period after the Civil War includes those artists who synthesise and develop the traditional with the modern. The Generación de la ruptura includes pieces which begin their most significant production, although in many cases it continues until the Eighties. In this way, private reflections are delved into and a panorama of several trends is captured: Informalism, Constructivism and figuration close to Pop Art.
From the sculpture Busto de hombre (1948) by Eduardo Chillida to Torso (1988) by Andreu Alfaro. Altos cipreses (1960) by Fermín Aguayo; El accidente (1963) by Rafael Canogar; two canvasses by Equipo 57; Primer asalto, (1977) by Alfonso Fraile; El Alcalde (1973) and El fumador (1975-1976), by Julio López Hernández stand out; three pieces by Lucio Muñoz from the Sixties; Sylvarum / Varia I (1986) by Pablo Palazuelo and Sagrario (1960) by Antonio Saura, among others.
The previous two chapters are the preamble to the Nuevas generaciones with which the exhibition finishes. All pieces in this section are from the Eighties with the exception of Escalera perro (1973) by Robert Llimós and a painting from 1977 by Guillermo Pérez Villalta. A group of sculptures by Sergi Aguilar, Txomin Badiola, Pello Irazu and Francisco Leiro are exhibited next to the selection of paintings, among which include El mirador (1980) by José Manuel Broto, Nautilus (1987) by Miguel Ángel Campano, Salta-Ojos (Conejitos) (1980) by Luis Gordillo and Flor roja (1987) by José María Sicilia.
The production takes shape in the Eighties and is planned to continue into the future. The contemplation of these works transmits its open and unfinished nature of a section that, as of this artistic creation, is under construction.