In the context of the MA in Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture organised by the Museo Reina Sofia Study Centre in conjunction with the universities Autonomous (UAM) and Complutense (UCM) of Madrid, the Library and Documentation Centre's Espacio D presents Lost Modernities. Bauhaus and Spain, an academic exercise and exhibition arranged by a group of students from the MA's Art Theory and Critique itinerary.
The exhibition's point of departure is the imagery constructed by some of the future professors at the Bauhaus following their visits to the peninsula in the early and later 1920s. Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee were all particularly interested in Spanish popular culture, and extracted concepts from it that they would later adapt to the school's formal proposals.
While the Bauhaus project was expanding internationally, a particular development was taking place in Spain, marked by successive sociopolitical contexts in the twentieth century: the Second Republic, the Civil War and Francoism. Initially, artistic modernity germinated in focal points –Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and San Sebastian– where there was a visible reception of modern languages in a background of progressive, innovatory aspirations. An example of this is the assimilation of the Bauhaus's rational principles by groups such as GATEPAC that arose in the twenties and thirties, in architectural projects like the Nautical Club in San Sebastian or magazines such as A.C., Orto and La Gaceta Literaria.
During the Civil War, the same rationalism was used with very different ends to its first optimistic applications in instances such as the geometric ornamentation of the psychotechnical detention and torture centres, the chekas. Then, in the mid Franco era, groups such as Parpalló and Equipo 57 aimed to construct a normative modernity that shared its premises with the Bauhaus in the application of progressive aesthetic principles in artistic practice. With these and other case studies, of which photographs, drawings, magazines, maps and documents are exhibited, the construction of modernity in Spain is proposed as a multi-directional panorama.
The material from Lost Modernities. Bauhaus and Spain allows us to reconsider the cornerstones, absences and vestiges of the multiple oscillations between two modernities: Spain and the Bauhaus.
Júlia Ayerbe, Irene Baonza Sánchez, Macarena Cádiz, Luis Cemillán Casis, Julia Fernández Toledano, Isabel Ferreira, Rodrigo Flechoso Fernández, Iria Gámez, Yaiza González López, Laura Hatry, Irene Izquierdo de la Gala, Noelia López, Aitor Merino Martínez, Inés Molina Agudo, Mónica Monmeneu González, Gonzalo Montañés Blanco, Álvaro Porras, Sergio Redondo, Ana Redondo Plaza, Uxue Ruiz de Arcaute, Juan Jesús Torres, Miguel Vega, Isis Mariana Yépez Rodríguez, Irene Zöller Huete
Master’s Degree Course in Contemporary Art and Visual Culture taught at the Study Centre of the Museo Reina Sofía in collaboration with the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) and Complutense University, Madrid (UCM).
Library and Documentation Centre