This exhibition comes from a group of exhibitions collected under the title Arte para un siglo, a selection of Spanish art from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía that has travelled through more than a dozen Autonomous regions in Spain. This project, organised by the Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks, is divided into three exhibitions whose chronological limits are marked by artistic or historical changes determined by Spanish art in the twentieth century.
The Museo Reina Sofía collection starts in 1881, the year Pablo Picasso was born, and extends to the present. A selection has been made for this first exhibition, from a collection of fifteen thousand works, dedicated the turn of the century and spanning from 1881 to 1925.
During the period reflected in this exhibition, artistic activity in Spain focuses on two main regions: Catalonia and the Basque Country. La Sala Parés and the café Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona became references for Catalan Modernism which artists present in this exhibition belonged to, painters such as Santiago Rusiñol, Dario de Regoyos, Hermen Anglada-Camarasa and Isidre Nonell and sculptors such as Enric Casanovas, Paul Gargallo and Julio Antonio.
The Catalan Noucentisme, a term coined by Eugenio D'Ors, advocates a return to classical models faced with the rise of Modernism. This trend is reflected in the works of painters Joaquim Sunyer and Joaquín Torres-García as well as the sculptor Josep Clara.
The Basque Country has important examples of the new reforms that art was experiencing at this time. In this exhibition there are pieces by some of its greatest representatives, such as Francisco Iturrino, Juan de Echevarría, Ignacio Zuloaga, Ramon de Zubiaurre and Valentine de Zubiaurre as well as sculptor Daniel González.
Joining them are other artists who, without being associated to these two foci contributed to the profound transformations of Spanish art during these decades, those such as Eduardo Chicharro, Julio Romero de Torres, Nicanor Piñole and Daniel Vázquez Díaz regarding painting and Mateo Inurria, Emiliano Barral, Victorio Macho and Emilio de Madariaga regarding sculpture.
The vast majority of these artists stand out for their cosmopolitanism. Many of them travelled to Europe and were part of the Parisian avant-garde. Despite being Spanish, sculptors like Julio González and Mateo Hernández produced a large part of their work in Paris. Darío de Regoyos trained in Brussels, Ignacio Zuloaga obtained remarkable success in New York, Julio Romero de Torres saw the paintings of Leonardo, Raphael and Tiziano in his travels through Italy and Juan de Echevarría studied in France, England and Germany, among many other examples that explain the dominant European styles in their work, those such as Post-Impressionism, Modernism, Symbolism and Expressionism.
This exhibition records the importance of the foundations laid by the creators who lived through the turn of the century, when a great artistic transformation in Spain takes place, one that runs through the twentieth century and continues today.
Palacio de Villagigedo, Asturias (June 28 - July 24, 2002); Cultural Cantabria, Santander (July 26 - August 30, 2002); Sala Fundación Caja Vital-Kutxa, Vitoria (September 6 - October 6, 2002); Caja Duero, Salamanca (October 8 - November 9, 2002); Ibercaja, Zaragoza (December 20, 2002 - January 18, 2003); Sala de Exposiciones Amos Salvador, Logroño (January 24 - February 22, 2003); Sala de Exposiciones Cultural Center Las Claras, Murcia (February 28 - March 29, 2003); Museo de Albacete (April 4 - May 4, 2003); Cultural Center Puerta Real, Granada (May 29 - July 13, 2003); Cultural Center Palacio de los Serrano, Ávila (July 18 - September 7, 2003); Museo Municipal de Málaga (September 17 - October 12, 2003); Kiosko Alfonso, A Coruña (October 17 - November 7, 2003)