The 20th Anniversary of Museo Reina Sofía


November 14th to 28th

In 1990 the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía was reinaugurated as a National Museum. This two-layered function, located somewhere between the openness of an art centre and the memory of a museum, has comprised the identity of the institution ever since. Now, twenty years later, Museo Reina Sofía is celebrating its anniversary by bringing the two conditions together, intensifying the mediation program and encouraging new readings of both the exhibitions and the museum's permanent collection.

The viewer is the focal point of this series of activities, the main purpose of which is to transform the museum experience from a visual reception into another, more conversational and participative one. With this shared aim, artists, researchers and historians have been invited to reinterpret, along with the public, the exhibitions and the collection, using a variety of formats that range from visits and lectures to performance art and concerts.

The 20th anniversary celebration is thus intended as a commemoration of the museum's recent history but also as a look ahead to its changing future.

The Collection

imagen de Colección

Is the war over? Art in a divided world (1945-1968) 

Date beginning November 24th Place: Sabatini Building, 4th floor

A new installation of works from the Collection that analyses a period of enormous tension between artistic practice and social reality, in which modernity folds back over itself while the new geopolitical scenario of the Cold War develops.

Collection Itineraries

Dates: November 22nd to 28th Place: Meeting point

These itineraries enable visitors to make different approaches to a collection conceived as a set of specific times, histories and moments. Normally visitors follow the itineraries on their own, but on this occasion they are guided by specialists in feminism, theatre and popular culture, who provide commentary on the itinerary.

Feminism: a feminist look at the avant-garde

Guided by Patricia Mayayo

Theatre: the Collection on stage

Led by Zara Prieto, , researcher at the Spanish High Council for Scientific Research.

Popular Culture

Guided by Pedro G. Romero

Guided visits to the Collection

Dates: November 27th and 28th Place: Meeting point

This series of visits traces the origins of modernity from the end of the 19th century through 1936, journeying from the moment that the notion of avant-garde begins to take shape, as a response to a new type of urban experience and artistic freedom, to its crisis with totalitarianism on the brink of the Spanish Civil War.


imagen de Artes en Vivo

The week of the 20th Anniversary brings the inauguration of two exhibitions that, along with the ones already open, explore the disequilibrium between images and history, asking what happens when images survive and defy their times and looking into how stories can be told based upon a montage of two perceivable, yet unequal, realities.

ATLAS. How to carry the world on one's back?

Dates: November 26th - March 28th Place: Sabatini Building, first floor

Curated by the French historian Georges Didi-Huberman, ATLAS is a turning point in the idea of the art object as a surface; art objects are no longer the depository of a gaze but rather a space for the exhibition and organisation of fragments of the world. ATLAS, like the exhibitions on Jean-Luc Mylayne and Hans-Peter Feldmann, understands images to be something that is neither information nor allegory.

Miroslaw Balka. ctrl

Date: November 26th - April 25th Place: Abadía de Santo Domingo de Silos (in the province of Burgos) and Sala de Bóvedas, Museo Reina Sofía

The essence of the modern project is the rejection of the past and the prospect of bringing the future to us. What happens when the future has fallen from the political horizons? What happens when the modern project, in its rejection of the former times, is our past? Miroslaw Balka analyses this condition, revising the symbols of power from the past and their physical presence.

Live arts and music

imagen de Artes en Vivo

Is the war over? Art in a divided world (1945-1968)

Date: November 14th  Place: Nouvel Building, Auditorium 400

A singular show by Israel Galván, with a script by Pedro G. Romero, that reviews the choreographies and original pieces of the period.

Lagartija Nick X Val del Omar

Date: November 18th Place: Nouvel Building, Auditorium 400

With this event, the band from Granada offers, more than a concert, a recreation of Val del Omar's notion of "total show" using the industrial sounds of alternative rock.

Suzanne Lacy The Tattooed Skeleton

Date: November 23rd Place: Nouvel Building, Auditorium 400

A performance that marks the culmination of The Tattooed Skeleton, a project by artist Suzanne Lacy that critically analyses the narrations and representations of gender-based violence.

babü Oskar Schlemmer and the Bauhaus Dances

Date: November 24th Place: Nouvel Building, Auditorium 400

An interpretation of pieces by Oskar Schlemmer in a show that combines audiovisual screenings and music. Schlemmer, the teacher of the Bauhaus theatre workshop, conceived of his work as a synthesis of art and the new mechanical life, replacing the will of the actor with the calculated movement of mannequins and automatons.

Le désir attrapé par la queue (Desire Caught by the Tail)

Date: November 26th Place: Sabatini Building, 2nd floor, Room 206

Dramatized reading of the text written by Picasso in 1941, which confirms the links between surrealism and existentialism in the post-war avant-garde.

Lectures and conferences

imagen de Conferencias y encuentros

Linda Nochlin. Master lecture

Date: November 20th Place: Sabatini Building, Auditorium

In this lecture the author of Realism (1971) will address the question of portraying society and the artist's political engagement as part and parcel of modernism.

Georges Didi-Huberman. Presentation of Atlas. How to carry the world on one's back?

Date: November 26th Place: Sabatini Building, Auditorium

The author of Quand les images prennent position(2008) introduces the implications of narrating history based upon the “survival” of the image and upon the constellation, as opposed to hierarchy.

David Quigley. Irresoluble contradictions: art institutionalization policies during the 1930s.

Date: November 29th Place: Sabatini Building, Auditorium

This lecture examines the relationship between the avant-garde and the public, by analysing three crucial exhibitions taking place in 1936-37.

Guided visits and itineraries

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Val del Omar as seen by…

Date: November 22nd and 26th Place: Meeting point

Despite its radicalness, Val del Omar's work has traditionally been received only by groups of the initiated and by the filmmaker's followers. This program offers new ways of seeing the exhibition VAL DEL OMAR: overflow under the guidance of filmmakers and art historians.

Val del Omar as seen by Javier Aguirre

Val del Omar as seen by Romà Gubern

Turning on La Truca

Dates: November 26th to 28th Place: Meeting point

The filmmaker José Val del Omar performed a great many of his experiments in the PLAT Laboratory, the “machine garden”, as he called it, which summed up his research into projected and holographic images. La Truca, the mechanism of the PLAT that processes and creates collage images, is turned on periodically.

Collection Stories Dystopian Europe. Art following World War Two

Dates: November 24th and 27th Place: Meeting point

This program of visits asks how the art of the post-war period symbolizes the horror of the Second World War and at the same time, between rejection of the recent reality and the search for a new beginning, lays the foundations for contemporary art.