Equipo Crónica. El realismo socialista y el Pop Art en el campo de batalla, (Socialist Realism and Pop Art on the Battlefield), 1969. Painting, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection. Temporary loan from Manuel Valdés, 2010 © Equipo Crónica (Manolo Valdés) VEGAP, Madrid, 2020. AP, Madrid, 2020
My growing commitment to the most current art is manifested by exploring the work of some artists in a historical context, and also critically describing the art system. Thus, I have attempted to abide by what, in my opinion, are the most persistent vocations in my professional career: the enjoyment (understanding) of artworks per se and their ideological disclosure. […] At any rate, to sum up this accountability, I can only offer the conclusion that there is no conclusion. What we have already made does not belong to us. Others must decide whether what we have sought to offer is useful.
Juan Antonio Ramírez
“Los poderes de la imagen: para una iconología social (esbozo de una autobiografía intelectual)” (Powers of the Image: For Social Iconology [Sketch of an Intellectual Autobiography]), in Boletín de Arte, no. 29, 2018
The Juan Antonio Ramírez Chair, which picks up from the master lectures organised annually by the Museo Reina Sofía since 2010, seeks to create a permanent place of reflection, pivoting on art history understood as a discourse with highly specific characteristics and its growing importance in a society which today is shaped by image overload.
The name of the Chair pays homage to Spanish art historian Juan Antonio Ramírez (1948–2009), founder of the MA in Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture, and is jointly organised by the Autonomous University of Madrid, the Complutense University of Madrid and the Museo. Ramírez’s advocacy of art history in its freest, most inventive and original form configures this space of collective questioning, one which invites, annually, a figure of international renown to give a master lecture and conduct an in-depth seminar with which to open the Study Centre’s academic year.
Ultimately, the Chair, organised in collaboration with the aforementioned MA, explores the different approaches and methodological strains running through the historiography of art in recent years, placing the stress on its crossovers with other knowledge and practices, and the conditions and characteristics defining the present.