The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales (State Society for Cultural Commemorations) are joining together to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Spanish Constitution with an exhibition dedicated to the new generation of Spanish museums of modern and contemporary art. This exhibition provides an overview of experimental changes in Spain in terms of cultural infrastructure since 1978, the year when the Spanish Constitution was adopted. For this exhibition, twenty-five museums have been chosen and are represented by models of their buildings, pieces from their collections and information about their mission and exhibition programmes.
In the last twenty years covered by the exhibition, the presence of cultural centres has been decentralised. Not only has there been a massive opening of new centres, but many of them have started their own art collection. The Museo de Museos exhibition presents an opportunity to reflect on these changes that have led to the transformation of the arts in Spain.
From all the centres represented, the first to open its doors was the Gala-Salvador Dalí foundation in Figueres in 1974. It was followed by the Museo Vostell Malpartida in Malpartida, Caceres in 1976. The Eighties saw the opening of the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in 1986 (which acquires the status of the Museum in 1990), the IVAM in Valencia and the CAAM of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria both in the same year, 1989.
The Nineties started with the opening of the Antoni Tàpies’ foundation in Barcelona. It was followed by two other foundations, the one dedicated to César Manrique in Lanzarote and the foundation Pilar i Joan Miró in Palma de Mallorca, both in 1992. A year later the CGAC opened in Santiago de Compostela. The MEIAC of Badajoz and the MACBA in Barcelona were inaugurated in 1995. Two years later the Guggenheim Museum is installed in Bilbao. The Nineties end with the opening of the Museo Esteban Vicente in Segovia (1998), the Museo Barjola Gijon (1998), the CAAC in Seville (1998) and the EACC in Castellon (1999).
This exhibition registers nine openings from 2000 to 2004: José Guerrero Centre in Granada (2000), Chillida-Leku in Hernani (2000), ARTIUM in Vitoria-Gasteiz (2002), MARCO in Vigo (2002), "la Caixa" foundation in Barcelona (2002), Museo Patio Herreriano in Valladolid (2002), CAC in Malaga (2003), Museo Oteiza in Alzuza (2003) and finally, still under construction, MUSAC in Leon.
Some of the buildings that host these centres, museums and foundations are identified architectural projects; others have meant the renovation and restoration of historic buildings. A total of twenty-five museums shared between twelve of the seventeen Spanish regions.
All museums in the exhibition have their own collection, except for the EACC in Castellon and the MARCO in Vigo due to the character of its programme. The works on display in this exhibition are owned by these collections. Each of these centres has contributed a piece to make up a museum of museums, which gives title to the exhibition. In this way, gathered here are the work of: Juan Uslé (ARTIUM), Luis Gordillo (CAAC), Miguel Ángel Pascual (CAAM), Carles Congost (CAC Malaga), José Guerrero (Diputación de Granada Collection), Antonio Murado (CGAC), Eduardo Chillida (Chillida-Leku), Antoni Tàpies (Antoni Tàpies Foundation), Thomas Joshua Cooper (César Manrique Foundation), Salvador Dalí (Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation), Susana Solano (“la Caixa” Foundation), Joan Miró (Pilar i Joan Miró Foundation), Equipo Crónica (IVAM), Marcel Broodthaers (MACBA), Alfredo Jaar (MEIAC), Miquel Barceló (MNCARS), Marina Núñez (MUSAC), Juan Barjola (Museum Barjola), Esteban Vicente (Museum Esteban Vicente), Cristina Iglesias (Guggenheim Bilbao), Jorge Oteiza (Museo Oteiza), Juan Navarro Baldeweg (Museo Patio Herreriano), Wolf Vostell (Museo Vostell).
Finally, the Espai d’Art Contemporani in Castellon and Museo de Arte Contemporánea in Vigo present the models of the buildings in which they carry out their activity. In the first case, the model belongs to architect Julián Esteban Chapapría and the second by the architects Manuel Portolés Sanjuán, Francisco Javier García-Quijada Romero and Salvador Fraga Rivas.