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The ‘La Caixa’ Foundation and MACBA art collections to be on show throughout Asia for two years

China, Japan, Philippines and Malaysia are some of the countries that will host the exhibition ‘The Turn of the Century in Spanish Contemporary Art’, formed by works from the Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum (MACBA) and the foundation of the Catalan savings bank ‘La Caixa’. The collection of both entities consists of 5.500 artworks and is considered one of the most important compilations in Southern Europe. The exhibition touring in Asia will include artworks from Spanish sculptors and painters like Antoni Tàpies, Eduardo Chillida or Miquel Barceló, from the last 50 years.


15 November 2011 07:43 PM



Barcelona (ACN).- The \u2018La Caixa\u2019 Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) will combine their collections and put a series of artworks representing the last 50 years of Spanish Contemporary Art in a travelling exhibition that will visit various Asian cities. Both Catalan institutions have signed a collaboration agreement with Spanish Cultural Action (AC/E), which promotes Spanish culture abroad, to assist in the exhibition\u2019s organisation. With the title of \u2018The Turn of the Century in Spanish Contemporary Art\u2019, the exhibition will journey from the beginning of autumn 2012, to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Manila (Philippines). Later it will travel to China and Japan, where it will be held coinciding with the Year of Spain in the Japanese country. The collection on display is an unpublished selection of artworks produced over the past 50 years by artists like sculptor Eduardo Chillida, Catalan painter Antoni Tàpies, Miquel Barceló, Antonio Saura, Juan Muñoz, Antoni Muntadas and Cristina Iglesias, among others. The art show is expected to move around different Asian cities until mid-2014.

\u2018The Turn of the Century in the Spanish Contemporary Art\u2019

The selection of artworks for the exhibition, all of them coming from the collections of Barcelona\u2019s Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) and the foundation of the Catalan savings bank \u2018La Caixa\u2019, suggests a trip through the history of Spanish contemporary art, emphasising the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The art show starts in the decade of the 1950s with the abstract informalism painting of Antoni Tàpies, Modest Cuixart, Manolo Millares, Antonio Saura, Eduardo Chillida and Jorge de Oteiza. This movement was put on a level with modernity and assembled all the contemporary art at the time. As a reaction against this tendency\u2019s institutionalisation, of abstract nature, the next generation of artists preferred the objectivity and sensory and they reflected a desire of returning to reality.

The following trend, root and heritage of the 1968 movement, fetched the influences of conceptual art, minimalism, \u2018arte povera\u2019, \u2018performance\u2019 and the experimentation of cinema and photography, and it was developed in the late 1960s, until it finally consolidated itself during the next decade. At the exhibition, this period is represented by the artworks of Antoni Muntadas, Francesc Torres, Joan Rabascall and Equipo Crónica.

The leap to the 1980s meets with the reappearance of expressionist abstraction, brought by artistic figures like Miquel Barceló, José María Sicilia and Lluis Claramunt. At that time, a new sculpture style started to shine, characterised by the rejection of the minimalist\u2019s proposals, with emergent artists such as Juan Muñoz, Cristina Iglesias and Pepe Espaliú.

From 1990 onwards, a new generation of artists arose and focused on figuration as well as on political activism, institutional criticism and art socialisation. This is the case of Asier Mendizabal and Mabel Palacín. Other artists like Jordi Colomer also converge in an analysis of globalisation and of an increasingly complex and multicultural society.

An agreement between Catalan and Spanish institutions

The President of Spanish Cultural Action (AC/E), Charo Otegui; the President of \u2018La Caixa\u2019 and \u2018La Caixa\u2019 Foundation, Isidre Fainé; the President of the MACBA Foundation, Leopoldo Rodés; the Director of the MACBA, Bartomeu Marí; and the General Director of Social Work \u2018La Caixa\u2019, Jaime Lanaspa, have reached an agreement to organise the exhibition \u2018The Turn of the Century in Spanish Contemporary Art\u2019 in different Asian cities for two years (from 2012 to 2014).

One of the most important collections of contemporary art in Europe

The arrangement with Spanish Cultural Action (AC/E) was possible thanks to the previous agreement between the \u2018La Caixa\u2019 Foundation and the MACBA Foundation, in order to unite their respective collections of contemporary art. The common collection gathers a total of 5.500 artworks and it is one of the most relevant inside Spain and southern Europe about the period of time that goes from the second half of the twentieth century until today.

The exhibition\u2019s curators are Bartomeu Marí, Director of the MACBA, and Nimfa Bisbe, Director of the Contemporary Art Collection of \u2018La Caixa\u2019 Foundation. Both institutions are involved in the elaboration of the project, whereas the AC/E will co-organise the exhibition in the different cities where it will be presented.

Other MACBA and \u2018La Caixa\u2019 Foundation joint projects

The collaboration between MACBA and \u2018La Caixa\u2019 Foundation plans other projects for the coming years, both at the different seats of these institutions and also in Spanish and foreign museums. The first of these exhibitions, \u2018Volum!\u2019 (Catalan for \u2018Volume!\u2019), premiered last week in Barcelona, at the MACBA\u2019s main building, designed by Richard Meyer. It will be followed, in mid-December, by the show \u2018The Persistence of Geometry\u2019, which will be hosted at Madrid\u2019s CaixaForum museum. The CaixaForums are art centres owned, managed and funded by the foundation of the Catalan savings bank \u2018La Caixa\u2019. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao will open in \u2018The Inverted Mirror\u2019, and Palma\u2019s CaixaForum will offer a new look on this art collection starting in November 2012.


  • From left to right: Jaime Lanaspa, Isidre Fainé, Charo Otegui, Leopoldo Rodés, and Bartomeu Marí (by Fundació La Caixa)

  • From left to right: Jaime Lanaspa, Isidre Fainé, Charo Otegui, Leopoldo Rodés, and Bartomeu Marí (by Fundació La Caixa)