De Picasso a Tàpies. Claves del arte español del siglo XX en las colecciones del MNCARS

24 october, 2001 - 17 february, 2002 /
Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands
Salvador Dalí. The Enigma of Hitler, 1939. Painting. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection, Madrid
Salvador Dalí. The Enigma of Hitler, 1939. Painting. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection, Madrid

Gathered under the title Picasso a Tàpies. Claves del arte español del siglo XX en las colecciones del MNCARS, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía presents in this exhibition a selection of works from its own collection. It proposes a broad view of the visual arts from 1900, when Pablo Picasso moved to Paris, and 1960, when the generation of Antoni Tàpies achieves international success.

This exhibition has been specifically designed to be exhibited at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, an institution that, in 1959, presented an exhibition titled Jonge Spaanse Kunst where twenty-six artists who represent Spanish Abstraction and Informalism were gathered.

On this occasion sixty-seven works by thirty artists were displayed in the Dutch museum, chronologically divided into two blocks. The first corresponds to the first four decades of the twentieth century and the second to the period between 1940 and 1960. In turn, each has sections which separate the different trends and movements of each period.

The exhibition begins with the title "Alrededor del cubismo" and presents those Spaniards who develop part of their work in the Paris of the avant-garde. María Blanchard, Pablo Gargallo, Julio González, Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso make crucial contributions to the development of the Cubist movement. By Picasso there are three paintings displayed along with six preparatory sketches of Guernica (1937), work that forms part of the Museo Reina Sofia collection.

Following that the "Del novecientos al ultraísmo" section exhibits the work of Daniel González, José Gutiérrez Solana and Joaquín Torres García, three artists who have a great influence on Spanish Art of the first third of the twentieth century. They are followed by two exponents of what is called the Generation of 27: Francisco Bores, practitioner of a fantastic realism and Luis Fernández, one of the drivers of the Abstraction-Création group.

In relation to Surrealism, we see present artists such as Óscar Domínguez, Ángel Ferrant, Juan José González Bernal, Joan Miró y Juan Ismael. Included in this section is Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, who work together on the films Un Chien Andalou (1929) and L'âge d'or (1930), which this exhibition dedicates a space to.

There is also a section entitled "Vallecas y el Nuevo Paisaje español," referring to the School of Vallecas, fundamental to the national avant-garde during the Thirties. The work by Alberto Sánchez, to whom the Museo Reina Sofía dedicates a retrospective in 2001, joins Benjamín Palencia and Godofredo Ortega Muñoz in this exhibition.

In the second block of this exhibition two major trends are represented, key during their twenty years on the Spanish art scene. The first, entitled "La generación abstracta" gathers contributions by the grupo El Paso, with artists like Antonio Saura, Manuel Millares, Martín Chirino y Rafael Canogar. The group from Cuenca is present through the works of Fernando Zóbel and, finally, there are three great artists who do not belong to these trends: the painter Antoni Tàpies and sculptors Jorge Oteiza and Eduardo Chillida.

The second trend during this period is presented under the title "Figuraciones de los sesenta", a section marked by realist figuration by Antonio López and the influence of Pop Art present in the work of Eduardo Arroyo. The tour of this exhibition closes with these two artists, an exhibition which addresses six decades and some of the major artistic events during the twentieth century in Spain.