Meadows Museum announces Spanish partnership, plans to import 90 modern works in fall

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By Lili Johnston

The Meadows Museum announced a partnership that will bring over 90 pieces of Spanish art to the museum, the Modern Spanish Art from the Asociacón Colección Arte Contemporáneo exhibit on June 21.

“The exhibition…is full of extraordinary examples of modern art,” said Meadows curatorial assistant, Shelley DeMaria, which she explains “explores the often overlooked richness and diversity inherent to modern Spanish art.”

This exhibit integrates the larger perspective of the Meadows Museum, an existing hub for Spanish art and research. The museum’s existing collection of artwork ranges from the 10th to 21st centuries. Modern Spanish Art from the Asociacón Colección Arte Contemporáneo situates many 20th century Spanish artists within the larger context of modern art and the museum’s collection.

Such a feat was made available by Asociación Colección Arte Contemporáneo (ACAC), a collection of Spanish private companies. Since its naissance in 1987, the ACAC has curated “collection put at the service of society”—the words of their objective.

Eugenio Carmona, a 20th century scholar of art curated the exhibit. The 20th century marks one of the richest centuries in terms of Spanish art, defining the periods of renowned artists such as Picasso and Gris. The exhibit features artists such as Eduard Chillida, Óscar Domínguez, and Joaquín Torres-García, names little appreciated during their time but who now find international acclaim.

“The 20th century was a fertile and creative time when it comes to modern art in Spain. In spite of the Civil War and the Franco regime, great art continued to be created throughout the era,” said Mark Roglán, director of the Meadows Museum. “The exhibition, through our collaboration with the ACAC, revisits the important artistic period and re-engages with artists and art that deserve greater recognition and a place in the popular understanding of modern art.”

Marked by political upheaval, a turn of regime, and piercing distress, the modern period of art is representative of its historical context, molding the heart of Spanish modern art in the 20th century. Reaching an apex with surrealism, Modern Spanish Art from the Asociación Colección Arte Contemporáneo paints a path through the period.

The pieces are divided into five sections, allowing laymen viewers to begin to comprehend the exhibit, both its existence and its gravity. The sections mark the following of a variety of formal approaches during this period.

Form: Towards a Constructive Art, marking the transition away from the geometric Cubism—cofounded by the infamous Pablo Picasso—to freer interpretation.

Lyricism and Free Expression, embracing the freedom and spontaneity of hand and subject and setting precedent for the advent of North America’s Abstract Expressionist movement

New Physiognomies, New Realisms, at the forefront of modern realism, depicting men and women of a transforming European society in compositions that underscored their differences, meshing art and reality; a move away from the lyricism of abstract movement, and a demonstration of the modernity and complexity of changes in society, especially for women

Surrealisms Expanded, visual strokes of the dream-state, revealing new ideas of paranoia, exile, memory, and human nature, and a broader interpretation of what it meant to depict the unconscious

Nature and Culture, the convergence of popular culture with nature and ethnography, integrating modern art and cultural identity

For those looking to appreciate the exhibit more deeply, gallery talks and tours will be offered.

Modern Spanish Art from the Asociación Colección Arte Contemporáneo premiers October 9, 2016 and will run through January 29, 2017.

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