The exhibition Las tres dimensiones de El Quijote. El Quijote y el arte contemporáneo español (The Three Dimensions of Quixote. Quixote and Contemporary Spanish Art) is held in conjunction with the celebration of the 4th Centenary of the publication of Don Quixote. The exhibition, organised by SECC (The State Society for Cultural Commemoration), brings together twenty original and unpublished works, created especially for the occasion by some of the most preeminent contemporary Spanish artists: Andreu Alfaro, Eduardo Arroyo, Rafael Canogar, Martín Chirino, Alberto Corazón, Susy Gómez, Cristina Iglesias, Carmen Laffón, Francisco Leiro, Eva Lootz, Julio López Hernández, Blanca Muñoz, Juan Navarro Baldeweg, Miquel Navarro, Carlos Pazos, Javier Pérez, Jaume Plensa, José María Sicilia, Susana Solano and Darío Villainy. The selected artists have created their own personal, unpredictable and original interpretations, a far cry from the illustrations of yesteryear.
Very few literary works have inspired quite as many images as Don Quixote; Cervantes' novel, rightly considered the first modern novel, has aroused interest from artists across the board.
The illustrated editions, with engravings by prominent artists, have been drawn up since the 17th century, despite the height of the artistic recreation of Quixote being in the 19th and 20th centuries. Renowned artists such as Eugène Delacroix, or the realist painter Honoré Daumier, realised paintings inspired by the novel.
From the 19th century onwards, the number of relevant artists wishing to apply their talents to representing scenes from Quixote starts to multiply; nevertheless, a quick reassessment of this artistic material arrives at the conclusion that the work inspired by the story of the knight from La Mancha focuses primarily on the field of illustration.
In the avant-garde of the 20th century, many renowned Spanish artists turn their attentions to Cervantes' famous novel, for instance Salvador Dalí, Miquel Barceló, Eduardo Arroyo and Antonio Saura, who approach the work from different viewpoints and from divergent motivations and requirements.
For the purposes of the exhibition, twenty Spanish artists from different generations using diverse styles, techniques and supports, have been invited to participate. Each one creates a new piece for the exhibit that is inspired by some kind of motif or passage from Cervantes' novel. The challenge signifies a move beyond the boundaries of mere conventional illustration, accepting the task of conveying the whole universe of suggestion described by Cervantes in this the most universal creation in Spanish literature through images or objects.
Museo Municipal de Albacete (March 2 - June 4, 2006); The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo (June 1 – August 13, 2006); Benaki Museum, Athens (first semester 2008)