Vogue like a painting
From 30 June to 12 October 2015
Early booking is recommended
Zurbarán. A New Perspective
From 9 June to 13 September 2015
Extended summer hours
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum presents an exhibition devoted to Belgian painter Paul Delvaux (1897-1994), an artist represented in both the Museum’s permanent collection (Woman in the Mirror, 1936) and the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection (The Viaduct, 1963). After an initial stage marked by Flemish Expressionism, Delvaux discovered Surrealism and experienced the influence of Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico. Delvaux’s world has an unmistakable dreamlike quality. His female figures wander like sleepwalkers through nocturnal scenarios, displaying to the viewer their nudity, cold and sensual at the same time. Conducted in conjunction with the Musée d’Ixelles, this exhibition brings together over fifty works by the painter, coming from public and private collections in Belgium, especially the Ghêne collection. The exhibition covers five great themes in Delvaux’s iconography: Eros and Thanatos; the reclining Venus; the obsession with the Double; classical architecture and train stations; and finally, the Dance of Death.
This new exhibition at the Museum within its <exchanging gazes> series focuses on a theme that has interested artists of all periods, namely the self-portrait. Numerous artists have depicted themselves over the course of history, with the aim of recording their state of mind or the passing of time, asserting their status in society or preserving their image for posterity. A selection of nine self-portraits from the Museum’s collections, including examples by Rembrandt, Steen, Freud, Beckmann and Schiele, allows for a succinct summary of the evolution of this sub-genre of the portrait from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Self-portraits always contain a psychological element, at times bordering on the narcissistic and motivated by the desire to delve into the self and reveal it in all its multiple facets. The self-portrait is a reflexive action in which the artist and model become one and the same while the mirror plays a key role as an essential tool for creating the painting, in symbiosis with the work of art itself as a reflection of the idea of the face as the mirror of the soul. Curated by Dolores Delgado. Brochure of the display
Location: Room 48, Ground floor.
For several months the Museum will be showing Gilt by Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008). Lent by the Ars Fundum Collection, it will be on display in room 48 alongside Express, the canvas by the American artist that is part of the Museum’s permanent collection. The guest painting belongs to the Japanese Recreational Clayworks series executed as the result of a trip to Japan, where the artist worked with the craftsmen of Otsuka Ohmi Ceramics. Rauschenberg transfers his personal iconography to large panels of art ceramic, in the case of Gilt combining Goya’s Naked Maja with photographs taken during his travels to Osaka, Tokyo and Nagoya. A multidisciplinary artist with a critical spirit, Robert Rauschenberg became a key figure in the art of the last decades of the twentieth century for his incorporation of “found” objects into his paintings, his experimentation with transfer techniques, and his forays into the world of science and performance. Included in the fee and opening times of the Permanent Collections.
Location: Room 44, Ground floor.
Colombia and its art scene are the stars of this year’s ARCOmadrid 2015. In conjunction with the fair and thanks to a loan from the Banco de la Republica de Colombia, the Museo Thyssen and the Colombian Embassy are presenting an iconic work by Doris Salcedo (born Bogotá, 1958). The oeuvre of this leading international artist offers metaphors of violence and its anonymous victims. In Salcedo’s works everyday objects function as a testament to individuals who have disappeared, thus transforming art into a type of political critique and a space of memory. One example is Untitled, made from delicately folded white shirts that have been stiffened with plaster, piled up and inserted onto metal rods that stand up at different heights. Salcedo thus offers a symbolic sculpture which both moves the viewer and establishes a type of communication that is both physical and spiritual. Her interest in experimenting with objects and in giving them new meanings connects her work to that of artists in the Museum’s collection who were precursors in the use of found materials, such as Kurt Schwitters. Salcedo’s work can now be seen alongside theirs.
In recent years the life and work of Raoul Dufy has been the subject of increasing reassessment. In 2003, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Dufy’s death, several major exhibitions were devoted to him while that same year the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza placed four works by this French artist from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on display in its galleries. The artist’s presence in Spain, however, remains limited. In 2015 and with the collaboration of the Comunidad de Madrid, the Museum offers a reassessment of his work that focuses not only on Dufy’s more hedonistic side as the painter of the pleasures of modern life, but also and primarily on his more introspective, reflexive and personal facet. In order to single out this aspect Juan Ángel López-Manzanares, the exhibition’s curator and a curator at the Museo Thyssen, analyses relatively unexplored issues within Dufy’s output such as the increasing distance of the viewpoints in his compositions, his synthesis of the everyday and the pastoral, the emotional reserve of his landscapes and the importance, particularly in his late works, of depictions of his domestic realm. In addition and for the first time, the exhibition includes the preparatory drawings that Dufy executed for Apollinaire’s Bestiary, alongside a number of prints. With the collaboration of the Comunidad de Madrid.
Location: Room 46, ground floor.
Having been seen at the Museum in 2011, and after that in Chile and Germany, the installation of Matta’s cycle L’Honni aveuglant (The dazzling Outcast) has now returned. Comprising five works by the Chilean artist from the Museum’s permanent collection, it is now on permanent display in Room 46.
A large-format background canvas entitled Great Expectations; two lateral ones, The dazzling Outcast and The Where at Flood Tide; and two suspended from the ceiling, Where Madness Dwells A and Where Madness dwells B, together constitute what Matta termed his Open Cube.
Through this unique and spectacular installation Matta aimed to envelop the spectator in his pictorial universe, charged with literary, spiritual and artistic references. Rather than locating the viewer in front of the work of art in the manner of a window, Matta introduces us into it, placing us in the centre of the cube as if we were one of its six sides and making us feel totally possessed by the painting. The present installation exactly reproduces the way the artist presented it for the first time at the Galerie Alexandre Iolas in Paris in 1966.
The visit to the display is included in the fee and opening times of the Permanent Collections.
Visit the 2011 Microsite
As part of the VanGogh2015 events held in several European museums to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the death of Vincent van Gogh, the Museum is presenting a small exhibition of five of the Dutch artist’s works in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collections: four oil paintings and a lithograph that represent the main periods in his career.
All five works were acquired between 1965 and 1996 by Hans Heinrich Thyssen, who was born in Scheveningen, on whose beach Van Gogh often went to paint during his years in The Hague. They are displayed alongside three paintings (also from the Museum’s collections) by Georges Michel, Charles-François Daubigny and Anton Mauve, three landscape artists who exerted decisive influence on Van Gogh during his formative period.
Special installation of works from the permanent collection of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Location: Room 33 on the first floor.
The artists of turn-of-the-century Paris witnessed the rapid transformation of women’s role in society and, headed by the Impressionists, became chroniclers of the incipient process of women’s emancipation. A new installation featuring nine works from the permanent collection by painters such as Degas, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and Modigliani that illustrate the image of women in the Paris of 1900 will be on show in room 33 until 8 February. The artists depict them in streets, theatres, cafés and shops and cover the full social spectrum: from elegant ladies of the haute bourgeoisie to working-class women.
The visit is included in the admission and opening hours for the permanent collection.
Following the exhibition of French Impressionism organised by the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel in New York in 1886, American artists began to deploy the new brushstroke, brilliant colours and fleeting effects characteristic of the French movement, and many of these artists decided go to Paris in order to become acquainted with it at first hand. This exhibition will be the first in Spain to focus on the spread of Impressionism in the USA. Its curator, Katherine Bourguignon, curator of the Terra Foundation for American Art Europe, will make use of the approximately 60 paintings in the exhibition to analyse the way in which American artists discovered Impressionism in the 1880s and 1890s and the particular interpretation of this style that they developed around 1900. The exhibition will first be shown at the Musée des Impresionnismes Giverny in the spring of 2014, then at the National Galleries of Scotland (Edinburgh) in the summer, and from November at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. This exhibition is organized by the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny and the Terra Foundation for American Art in collaboration with the National Galleries of Scotland and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. With the generous support of the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Special display of German works (20th century) from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza’s Permanent Collection and from the Carmen Thyssen Collection
Location: Rooms 39 and 40, first floor
To mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany are paying tribute to the city of Berlin and its inhabitants with a selection of 18 masterpieces from the Permanent Collections (some of them not normally on display) of which the key theme is this great city, revealing the flourishing artistic scene that existed there in the first third of the 20th century. At that period and due to its lively cultural life and free spirit, the German capital attracted artists such as George Grosz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Otto Dix, Christian Schad and Max Beckmann, making Berlin a meeting point for the European avant-gardes.
In conjunction with this display, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany has organised a programme of related activities at the Goethe Institut, including lectures and film showings.
The visit to the display is included in the fee and opening times of the Permanent Collections.
Exhibition brochure (Spanish)
This exhibition, the first major retrospective to be devoted to Hubert de Givenchy and the Museum’s first incursion into the world of fashion, will present a selection of the finest creations by the French fashion designer. Curated by Hubert de Givenchy himself, it will thus offer a unique focus on his collections over the past half century, from the founding of Maison Givenchy in Paris in 1952 to his retirement in 1996. On display will be dresses that he designed for some of the 20th century’s most iconic personalities, including Jacqueline Kennedy, the Duchess of Windsor, Caroline of Monaco and his muse and friend Audrey Hepburn (whom he dressed for films such as Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s); examples of Givenchy’s most original creations such as the “Bettina blouse” and the “sack dress”; and his admired prêt-à-porter designs, a concept he invented in 1954. These creations will be shown alongside a group of works of different periods and styles from the Museo Thyssen’s collections.
In conjunction with the programming of Bizet’s zarzuela Carmen at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza will be organising a small exhibition of twenty works from Spanish collections on the myth of Carmen. The exhibition will allow visitors to learn more about the iconography associated with the controversial figure of Carmen, starting in the period of Prosper Mérimée’s novel of that title, written in 1845. Alongside Andalusian paintings of picturesque life and popular customs, the exhibition will include works by Gonzalo Bilbao (a preparatory sketch for his famous Women Cigar Makers), Ramón Casas and Picasso, who produced an illustrated book entitled Le Carmen des Carmen (1964). TThe exhibition concludes with the libretti and scores from the first performance of Georges Bizet’s opera in zarzuela format in Madrid and Barcelona in 1887 and 1890 respectively. During the period of the exhibition there will be a Saturday film cycle in the Museum’s Auditorium, showing films by Otto Preminger, Jean-Luc Godard and Carlos Saura, among others.
After being shown in Paris and Rome, the exhibition Alma-Tadema and Victorian Painting arrives at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in June 2014, offering visitors the chance to discover the aesthetic sensuality of some of the most celebrated 19th-century English artists. In their paintings Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Sir Frederic Leighton, Albert J. Moore and Dante Gabriel Rossetti emphasised values that were strikingly different to the moralising attitudes of the day, including a return to classical antiquity, an interest in the nude, rich decorative effects and references to medieval themes inherited from the Pre-Raphaelites. The exhibition, curated by Véronique Gerard-Powell, Paris Sorbonne University professor, includes a selection of works, among them icons of British art such as The Roses of Heliogabalus by Alma-Tadema; Greek Girls collecting Pebbles from the Sea by Leighton: The Quartet by Albert Moore; and Andromeda by Poynter, have been loaned from the private Pérez-Simón collection, one of the most important in the field of Victorian art.
For the 9th in its series of <exchanging gazes> exhibitions, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is presenting an analysis of the concept of the “unfinished” in painting through fourteen works from the Permanent Collection and the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Structured around the traditional genres of history, landscape and portrait painting, the exhibition features sketchily executed works by both Old Master and modern painters. Works on show range from oil sketches by Rubens, Tiepolo, Géricault and Delacroix to a plein air study by Matisse and compositions by Manet, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Heckel and Kokoschka.
The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is presenting Pop Art Myths, the first exhibition on this subject in Madrid since Pop Art at the Museo Reina Sofía in 1992. More than twenty years later, the exhibition’s curator Paloma Alarcó, Head of Modern Painting at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, will offer a reassessment of this artistic trend from a 21st century viewpoint. Featuring more than 100 works ranging from pioneering British Pop Art to the classic American version and its expansion into Europe, the exhibition aims to trace the shared sources of international Pop Art and to undertake a revision of the myths that have traditionally defined the movement. It will reveal how the legendary images created by artists of the stature of Warhol, Rauschenberg, Wesselmann, Lichtenstein, Hockney, Hamilton and Equipo Crónica, among many others, conceal an ironic and innovative code of perception of reality and one that still prevails in contemporary art today. The exhibition is sponsored by Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and will include works from more than fifty museums and private collections around the world, with important loans from the National Gallery of Washington, the Tate, London, the IVAM, Valencia, and the prestigious Mugrabi Collection in New York, to name but a few.
The 8th in the series <exchanging gazes> looks at the history of the nocturnal landscape through a selection of ten works from the Permanent Collection and the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. These are scenes of darkest night but also of the transitional times of dusk and dawn by Van der Neer, Vernet, Friedrich, Grimshaw, Cole, Bierstadt, Nolde, Puigaudeau, O’Keeffe and Delvaux, now shown alongside each other in the Museum’s balcony gallery on the first floor with direct, free access from the Main Hall.
Night has always been a challenge to painters, who have investigated the potential of darkness with the aim of making it a convincing visual theme. Traditionally associated with negative images such as death and danger, its depiction has evolved over the history of painting into an attempt to mitigate these terrors, adding a calming light to the darkness. Ranging from Aert van der Neer, the great 17th-century Dutch specialist in moonlit scenes, to Georgia O’Keeffe’s modern night, this exhibition includes ten nocturnal scenes in which visitors can appreciate the way artists have revealed night-time’s colours, which are different to those of the day.
To mark the centenary of the death of the Spanish painter Darío de Regoyos, the Museum will be holding an exhibition that surveys his lengthy career. Regoyos began his training in Madrid but soon moved to Brussels where he was a member of the European avant-garde groups L’Essor and Les XX. In Brussels, Regoyos became interested in the effects of light and primarily focused on portraits and landscapes. He then returned to Spain and travelled extensively around the country, giving rise to a new period in his painting known as “Black Spain”, which takes the form of a series of more Symbolist works in which he emphasised the darker side of Spanish life and culture. Through his friendship with artists such as Seurat, Signat and Pissarro, Regoyos subsequently assimilated and used the pointillist technique although he is best known for his Impressionist phase, which will be the particular focus of attention in this exhibition with a sizeable group of works. Produced by the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao and curated by Juan San Nicolás, an expert on the artist, the exhibition will be shown in Bilbao at the end of this year then travels to the Thyssen in Madrid in February 2014 before moving on in a smaller version to the Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga.
The first exhibition of 2014 will be devoted to a key figure in painting of the second half of the 19th century: Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), considered to be the father of modern art. Curated by the Museum’s Artistic Director, Guillermo Solana, this is the first monographic exhibition on the artist to be organised in Spain in the last thirty years. It will explore the relationship between two genres to which Cézanne devoted an equally intense focus: landscapes and still life. Like the Impressionists, Cézanne painted his landscapes outdoors but there is no sign of the seasons of the year or times of day in them and the motifs from the natural world are arranged in the manner of a stage set. In contrast, in his still lifes, the artist included the changes and dynamics characteristic of nature, with objects that normally convey stability leaning against each other in a precarious equilibrium.
On display until 2 March 2014 in the Museum’s Main Hall is a presentation of the painting Hercules at the Court of Omphale (1537) following the restoration and technical study of this work over the past few months. The project was made possible through the sponsorship of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Spain. Alongside the newly restored painting are images of its state of preservation before and after restoration, a video providing details on the restoration, materials analysis, x-radiographs, infra-red reflectography and ultraviolet and high resolution photographs.
Following a preliminary technical study, the restoration process primarily consisted of cleaning the painting, removing the layer of varnish that had yellowed over time and correcting old areas of repainting and retouching, in addition to consolidating the support and surface layer of paint. As a result of this endeavour, it is now possible to see the work in the condition in which the artist, Hans Cranach, originally intended it to be seen. It has also gained a greater sense of pictorial depth and it is once again possible to appreciate the rich palette and delicate nuances that were concealed beneath the affected layers.
To mark the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza has organised El Greco. From Italy to Toledo, an exhibition that presents the results of the technical studies undertaken by the Museum’s Restoration Department on four works by the artist in the Permanent Collection: The Annunciation, ca.1576; Christ embracing the Cross, ca.1587-1596; The Annunciation, ca.1596-1600; and The Immaculate Conception, ca.1608-1614.
The chance to study these paintings, dating from different periods within the artist’s career and executed in different places, represents an outstanding opportunity for an in-depth analysis of El Greco’s technical and conceptual evolution during two notably contrasting periods of his life, separated in time by approximately two decades.
Surrealism was not just another artistic movement but an attitude to life that has left a profound mark on all subsequent artistic creation. For the first time this exhibition will reveal how this transformation of modern sensibility had its roots in the profound connection between dream and image in Surrealism. Paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures and photographs by artists such as André Breton, Salvador Dalí, Paul Delvaux, Yves Tanguy, René Magritte, André Masson, Max Ernst, Jean Arp, Claude Cahun and Paul Nougé will be used to construct an overview of this fascinating relationship proposed by the curator José Jiménez, to which little attention has been given in art-historical studies. From the outset, the Surrealists championed the dream together with automatic writing, seeing them as fundamental routes towards the liberation of the psyche. While Freud’s thinking, in particular his great work The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), was crucial for the Surrealists’ own approach to the world of dreams, they were more than mere followers of his ideas. For them, the dream was a field of experience different to that of conscious life, and knowledge of it was essential for the enrichment and expansion of the psyche.
As early as 1980 the art historian Barbara Novak suggested the influence of Dutch Golden Age landscape painting on 19thcentury American painting. Both schools, with their different artistic styles and languages, chose landscape as their fundamental pictorial genre, the former transforming it into an independent subject and the latter into a means for expressing profound emotions. This new installation in the <exchanging gazes> series will present a selection of ten works from the Museum’s exceptional collections, which will allow for a comparison of different interpretations of the landscape by Dutch artists such as Philips Koninck, Jan Josephsz. van Goyen and Jan Jansz. van der Heyden, and American painters including William Louis Sonntag, George Henry Durrie and Albert Bierstadt, among others.
In the summer of 2013 the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza will be presenting the first monographic exhibition in Spain on the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro (1830-1903). A key figure within Impressionism (he wrote the movement’s foundational letter and was the only one of its artists to take part in all eight Impressionist exhibitions from 1874 to 1886), Pissarro was nonetheless eclipsed by the enormous popularity of his friends and colleagues, in particular Claude Monet. The exhibition includes more than 70 works with the aim of restoring Pissarro’s reputation and presenting him as one of the great pioneers of modern art. Landscape, the genre that prevailed in his output, will be the principal focus of this exhibition, which offers a chronologically structured tour of the places where the artist lived and painted: Louveciennes, Pontoise and Éragny, as well as cities such as Paris, London, Rouen, Dieppe and Le Havre. While Pissarro is traditionally associated with the rural world, to which he devoted more than three decades of his career, at the end of his life he shifted his attention to the city and his late output is dominated by urban views. Curated by Guillermo Solana, this exhibition will subsequently be shown at the CaixaForum, Barcelona.
The depiction of reflections on the surfaces of objects within a painting is a recurring motif in painting and one that fascinated numerous artists from the 15th century onwards due to its pictorial potential. The interplay between the real and the reflected image is now the chosen subject for a new installation of works from the Museum’s Permanent Collection, in which Old and Modern Masters are juxtaposed in the same space. In this new edition of <exchanging gazes> artists of different periods reveal their technical mastery by using metals, glass and mirrors to reflect details outside the pictorial space or hidden within the scene. On occasions they even offer a display of artistic narcissism by using this device to depict themselves painting behind their easels. The visual game becomes fully evident in this new installation, encouraging the viewer to raise questions about what is reality and what is reflection in each painting.
The late 1960s saw the emergence of a group of artists in the USA who painted objects and scenes from daily life with a high degree of realism, using photography as the basis for their works. This new movement achieved international recognition when it participated in the Kassel Documenta of 1972.
The present exhibition at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza offers the first survey of Hyperrealism, from the great US masters of the first generation such as Richard Estes, John Baeder, Robert Bechtle, Tom Blackwell, Chuck Close and Robert Cottingham, the movement’s continuation in Europe and its impact on painters of subsequent generations up to the present day. Hyperrealism is not a closed movement and today, more than forty years after it first appeared, many of the group’s pioneers continue to be active, together with new artists who deploy a photo-realist technique in their works. The artistic resources and motifs have evolved and changed over time but Hyperrealist works, with their astonishing definition, precision and detail, continue to fascinate the public.
The present exhibition brings together 66 works by three generations of artists, loaned from numerous museums and private collections. It has been organised by the Institut für Kulturaustausch (German Cultural Exchange Institute) and is curated by its director Otto Letze. The Kunsthalle in Tübingen has been the first venue to present the exhibition, which will travel to various European cities. It can be seen at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid until 9 June, followed by the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (UK). The exhibition’s principal aim is to offer visitors a complete survey of the contribution made by Hyperrealism to the history of art and this is the first exhibition on the subject of this scale to be seen in Europe, offering an unprecedented chance to see a large group of works representative of this movement as a whole.
The fifth edition in the series <exchanging gazes> focuses on the depiction of everyday life in painting. Interior scenes. Women and Daily Life brings together a selection of ten works from the Museum’s Permanent Collection that share an interest in depicting scenes of everyday, family and private life. Thematically and formally related but from different periods and places, these works establish a dialogue that will allow visitors to appreciate part of the evolution of a pictorial genre in 17th-century Holland at a time when views of interiors became an independent pictorial genre. The exhibition also includes examples of 18th-century French painting, which popularised images of women in private spaces, and the depiction of domestic scenes in the 19th- and early 20th- centuries.
This new installation is on display in the Balcony Gallery on the first floor, which has direct access from the Main Hall. Entry is free.
The principal aim of this exhibition is to offer an analysis of the practice of painting outdoors as a factor within the transformation and modernisation of 19th-century art. In general, this practice is generally associated with Impressionism. In fact, although Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Pissarro first started to exhibit their works in the photographer Nadar’s studio in 1874, plein air painting had already existed for nearly a century and the execution of studies painted outdoors were a key part of a landscape painter’s training from the late 18th century onwards. They subsequently became a fundamental element within naturalism and their importance as a modernising factor within painting lasted until the end of the 19th century. The exhibition will bring together around 100 works and it will span a chronological period from 1780 to 1900. It starts with work by some of the founders of plein air landscape painting such as Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes and Thomas Jones, and continues through the work of figures such as Turner, Constable, Corot, Rousseau, Courbet, Daubigny and all the great figures of Impressionism, concluding at the end of the century with Van Gogh and Cézanne among many other key names. The exhibition is curated by Juan Ángel López, Curator of the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid.
Nearly 400 pieces from the historic Cartier Collection of the legendary French jewellers Cartier will be on display at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza from October 2012. The exhibition will present a comprehensive selection of the finest jewels that Cartier has repurchased over the course of the decades in order to assemble a representative collection of the Maison’s production and to show the evolution its style during the first half of the 20th century. Exhibits range from the great tiaras and the so-called Garland style of the early 20th century to Art Deco jewels and others inspired by exotic places (China, Egypt and India, including the famous “tutti frutti” pieces), gold jewellery of the 1930s and 1940s and one-off commissions for leading personalities of the century such as Wallis Simpson, Grace Kelly, María Félix, Elizabeth Taylor and Coco Chanel. This is a major exhibition that will introduce visitors to one of the world’s finest jewellery collections, allowing us to appreciate the creativity and mastery of Cartier’s designers and artist-jewellers over the course of more than one hundred years.
On 26 July 1981 Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza arrived at Lucian Freud’s studio in order to begin a series of lengthy and numerous sittings for the first of the two portraits that the artist would execute of this leading art collector. That work is now the starting point for the fourth edition of <exchanging gazes>, a series of new installations based around works in the Museum’s Permanent Collections that has been devised in conjunction with the Thyssen’s 20th Anniversary. The final edition for 2012 marks the end of twelve months of celebrations with the figure of Baron Thyssen – one of Freud’s first admirers – acting as the lynchpin that articulates the relationship between two great artists: Lucian Freud and Jean-Antoine Watteau. br> On this occasion the installation also includes two invited works: Portrait of Baron H. H. Thyssen-Bornemisza (Man in a Chair) of 1985 and Drawing of Large Interior W11 (after Watteau) of 1983, loaned from private collections. Displayed in the Museum’s first floor Balcony Gallery, they are accompanied by two further works by Freud and one by Watteau from the Museum’s collection: Portrait of Baron H. H. Thyssen-Bornemisza of 1981-1982, Reflection with two Children (Self-Portrait) of 1965, and Pierrot Content of ca.1712. br> This new installation is on display in the Balcony Gallery on the first floor, which has direct access from the Main Hall. Entry is free.
Paul Gauguin’s flight to Tahiti, where he regained his primitive style via exoticism, is the guiding thread of this exhibition. Through a comprehensive selection of works by a groupo of late 19th and early 20th century artists it will illustrate of the world how travel to supposedly more authentic regions brought about a transformation in creative language. The exhibition shall also analyse the degree to which this experience conditioned the rise of modern art. Curated by Paloma Alarcó, Chief Curator of Modern Painting at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, this exhibition will focus on the results of the artistic explorations undertaken by artists including Gauguin, Matisse, Kandinsky, Klee and Macke. It will also look at Gauguin’s influence on the German Expressionists and the French Fauves, emphasising his role as the creator of a new and exotic canon, the starting point for the avant-garde artistic idioms that arose in the early decades of the 20th century.
The third edition in this series of new installations of the Permanent Collection, which is part of the Museum’s 20th Anniversary celebration programme, focuses on the different ways of representing the Orient and the exotic. From the 18th century onwards the oriental was seen not only as a stimulus to the creative imagination but also as an attitude to life. This was an Orient without precise boundaries or even an imaginary one, arising from the need for new sources of artistic inspiration and from the interest in the exotic, which was seen as strange and different. Among the works featured in this exchange of gazes on the Orient is a group portrait painted in India by Johann Zoffany of a British civil servant and his family, one of Antonio Guardi’s “Turkish scenes” that depict life at court in Constantinople, two works in the Oriental mode by Eugène Delacroix, two Japanese style scenes of women by William Merritt Chase and the depiction of a harem by August Macke.
The exhibition Hopper is the result of a collaborative project between the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Réunion des Musées Nationaux de France. These are two particularly important institutions with regard to Edward Hopper, given that Paris and early 20th-century works of art were key reference points for the artist, while the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid houses the most important collection of his work outside the USA. Despite their enormous popularity and apparent accessibility, Hopper’s paintings are among the most complex phenomena within 20th-century art in the opinion of the exhibition’s two curators, Tomàs Llorens (Honorary Director of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza) and Didier Ottinger (Associate Director of the MNAM/Centre Pompidou). In order to demonstrate this point the exhibition will be organised into two parts: a first half that covers the artist’s formative years from approximately 1900 to 1924, represented through a comprehensive selection of sketches, paintings, drawings, illustrations, prints and watercolours that will be complemented by works of artists as Winslow Homer, Robert Henri, John Sloan, Edgar Degas or Walter Sickert; a second half will cover the years 1925 onwards, that focuses on Hopper’s mature output and aims to illustrate his career in the most complete and wide-ranging manner possible. In order to do so, this section combines thematic groupings (recurring motifs and subjects in Hopper’s works) with an overall chronological ordering.
The second edition of this exhibition series, which is among the activities devised to celebrate the Museum’s 20th Anniversary, shifts the focus of attention to the Germanic world. Faces and Hands: Ancient and Modern Germanic Painting will present approximately ten works from the Permanent Collection and the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection by artists including Dürer, Lucas Cranach the Younger, Otto Dix and Max Beckmann. This new installation will aim to reveal the relationship between two periods - the German Renaissance and the age of Expressionism and New Objectivity -when the depiction of the human figure played a key role. Both in the Renaissance and in the years after World War I, German artists focused on man, his image and his exaltation through art. The portrait was the perfect vehicle for these ideals, contributing to the growth of the genre during the two periods in question.
Moneo Rooms. First Basement.
On occasion of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum’s 20th Anniversary, the museum has undertaken the study and restoration of Tintoretto’s The Paradise, one of the masterpieces of the permanent collection. The restorers carry out their activities in full view of the public, to show the technical and artistic results in “real time”. From 9 July to 2 September 2012, the Moneo Rooms at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is hosting a small exhibition on the technical study which was carried out prior to the restoration of Tintoretto’s The Paradise. The aim is to draw the public’s attention to the techniques used in the restoration of works of ar t in general. The exhibition illustrates how technical studies act as tools of analysis and support helping the restorer to decide what course of action to take and methods to use before undertaking the restoration of a work of art.
The Binney Collection of Indian Art in the San Diego Museum of Art (USA) is one of the world’s most important collections of 12th to 19th-century South East Asian art. A selection of 105 paintings, prints and manuscripts will now be shown in Europe for the first time, introducing visitors to the work of local artists produced for rulers and for the Persian, Central Asian and European merchants who arrived in India during this period. The works on display demonstrate these artists’ remarkable ability to adapt and modify their traditional style without losing their distinctively Indian character. The exhibition is organised into four sections, starting with a juxtaposition of works in the autochthonous Indian tradition and the type of painting that was produced for foreign clients from the 15th century onwards. This is followed by a second section on the illumination of books of Persian poetry, a third on the birth and evolution of the new style that arose from the confluence between these two traditions in the 16th century under Mughal rule, and a final section with paintings produced for British traders and civil servants associated with the East India Company. The latter constituted a notably enlightened group of clients, whose desire for knowledge about India is reflected in works that convey the natural beauties of the country, its flora and fauna, landscapes and peoples.
Organised by the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and Caja Madrid Foundation and curated by Jean-Louis Prat, President of the Comité Chagall, this exhibition will be the first major retrospective in Spain devoted to this Russian artist. Its principal aim is to highlight the prominent role played by Chagall within the history of art. The galleries of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum will display work from the artist’s early years and from his period in Paris, at that time capital of the avant-garde. In addition, there will be sections on Chagall’s experience in Revolutionary Russia and in France up to the time of his enforced exile to the United States in 1941. The exhibition space of Caja Madrid Foundation will focus on the artist’s American years and on his subsequent artistic evolution. Attention will be paid to his use of biblical subjects and his relationship with contemporary poets. Also on display will be works in other media such as sculptures and ceramics.
To coincide with the celebrations this year of its 20th anniversary, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is launching a new exhibition activity. With the general title of Exchanging Gazes, it will take the form of a regular presentation of an innovative temporary display of works from its collections. The first edition opens on 7 February and coincides with ARCO 2012, the invited country for which is Holland this year. It will present a visual dialogue between paintings by Piet Mondrian, his fellow Dutch artists Theo van Doesburg and Bart van der Leck and various works from the Dutch Golden Age. This juxtaposition will allow for an appreciation of the conceptual proximity between the work of the De Stijl members and the Dutch artistic tradition, united by a similarly utopian vision of painting.
As the result of an important agreement reached with the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris, this autumn the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza will be presenting the first monographic exhibition in Spain on the work of the Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot. Married to Eugène Manet, brother of her teacher Édouard Manet, Morisot was the first female painter to join the ranks of the Impressionists, taking part in the legendary First Impressionist Exhibition of 1874 and in other subsequent ones of the group. More than thirty works from the Musée Marmottan Monet will be shown alongside others from the Thyssen collections, allowing visitors to discover the elegant, luminous work of this painter, expressed in the form of landscapes, scenes of daily life and female subjects. Morisot’s life and work also allow for an analysis of the role of women in late 19th-century France given that she was not just a great creative figure but also an urban, middle-class woman who was interested in fashion. Furthermore, as an active member of the cultural scene of the day she supported intellectuals and artists such as Manet, Renoir, Monet, Pissarro, Degas and Mallarmé. In Paul Valery’s words: “Berthe Morisot’s uniqueness lies in the fact that she lived her painting and painted her life.”
The depiction of buildings in paintings was one of the options used by artists to emphasise the scenes and episodes depicted in their compositions. These architectural backgrounds constitute the guiding thread of the exhibition, which spans the 14th to the 18th centuries. It will focus on general issues that will reveal to the visitor the evolution of these decorative backgrounds, as well as offering a detailed and wideranging analysis of the various issues that contributed to the creation of an independent genre from the 17th century onwards.
Special display of the Russian avant-garde works from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza’s Permanent Collection and from the Carmen Thyssen Collection
Location: Rooms 42 and 43, ground floor
The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza has the most important collection of Soviet avant-garde art in Spain. Coinciding with the Contemporary Art Fair ARCO 2011 (Madrid, 16 to 20 February) with Russia as Invited Country, the Museum will be showing a new installation of its holdings of the so-called “Russian avant-gardes” in Rooms 42 and 43 on the ground floor of the Palacio de Villahermosa.
In the early decades of the 20th century a unique and unprecedented cultural renaissance took place in Imperial Russia (soon to become the Soviet Union). The Russian art world sprang to life with programmatic exhibitions, passionate manifestoes and theoretical declarations, accompanied by the rise of numerous different avant-garde movements. Some were based on outside influence, such as Cubo-Futurism and Rayonism, while others were authentic creations of the new, revolutionary Russia, such as Suprematism and Constructivism.
Visitors to the Museum will have the opportunity to learn about all these movements through a group of 35 works by artists of the stature of Chagall, Larionov, Goncharova, Stepanova, Popova, Kliun, Lissitzky and Kandinsky.
New Installation of the Permanent Collection.
Context Exhibitions Room, First Floor Balcony-Gallery.
The new installation of the five large canvases of the series L’Honni aveuglant (The Dazzling Outcast) by Matta from the Museum’s Permanent Collection reflects the way that the artist hung it for its first presentation at the Alexandre Iolas Gallery in Paris in 1966.
The Chilean artist Matta presented this series using his “open cube” system. The result was a type of modern polyptych that created a box which enveloped the viewer. Two of the canvases were displayed horizontally, suspended from the ceiling and closing the space created by the other three. Through this spectacular installation Matta submerged the viewer in his pictorial universe, which was hermetic, hallucinatory and filled with literary, spiritual and artistic references.
Forty-five years later and on the centenary of the artist’s birth, to be celebrated in 2011, the series can once again be seen in its original splendour.
In the summer of 2011 the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza will be holding a comprehensive exhibition of the work of the Spanish artist Antonio López (born Tomelloso, 1936). It will feature oil paintings, drawings and sculptures of some of his most typical subjects such as the interior, the human figure, landscapes and urban views, principally of Madrid, as well as depictions of fruit. In the reality that surrounds him López looks for everyday aspects that he can reproduce in his work, using a slow, highly meditated creative process that aims to capture the essence of the object or landscape epicted.
In conjunction with World Youth Day, which will be celebrated in Madrid between 16 and 21 August, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza has organised an exhibition comprising a selection of outstanding works from its Permanent Collection of Old Master Paintings. Dating from the 14th to the 18th centuries, they illustrate various episodes from the life of Christ during three different stages of his life. The exhibition will be displayed in the Contexts Exhibition Room at the first floor and the admission will be free.
Among the works on display will be the panel of Christ and the Woman of Samaria by the great 14th-century Sienese master Duccio di Buoninsegna, juxtaposed with another depiction of the same subject by Guercino, one of the leading painters of the 17th century, whose interpretation is characterised by its pronounced naturalism and serenity. Among further examples of Italian painting is a notable pair of canvases by Giovanni Paolo Panini depicting The Expulsion of the Money Changers from the Temple and The Pool at Bethesda, painted in Rome around 1724. Panini used monumental architectural settings to organise the numerous groups of figures in his compositions.
The Northern schools of painting are well represented in the exhibition. Among the examples on display is Dürer’s panel of Jesus among the Doctors, considered one of the great masterpieces in the Collection due to its technique and the originality of its composition. Jan Brueghel I’s painting on copper panel depicts the miracle of Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, set in a markedly realistic landscape and characterised by its lively chromatic range. Two interior scenes depict other incidents from the life of Christ, namely The Calling of Saint Matthew by Marinus van Reymerswaele and The Supper at Emmaus by Matthias Stom, whose chiaroscuro technique recalls the style of Caravaggio.
The exhibition Heroines looks at the depiction of women in active roles and at the gender identity crisis in western art. It covers a broad chronological span, from the Renaissance to the present day. In western art, women have all too often been reduced to two prevailing, complementary models; that of mother or that of the object of sexual desire. Other, parallel roles have, however, arisen, in which the female figure has liberated herself from a passive, submissive position in order to become an active subject. Such roles include hunting and athletics exercise, war, political power, and magic and religion, among others.
The exhibition Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904) is the result of an ambitious joint project co-organised by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Musée d’Orsay and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. It constitutes the first major monographic exhibition to be devoted to this French painter and sculptor since the one held around thirty years ago in the US, and will be based on the detailed art historical studies and catalogues of the artist’s work that have appeared in recent years. In the spring of 2011 Madrid will host a reduced version of the large scale exhibition that has been presented in Los Angeles and Paris over the course of 2010, with a selection of 55 works including some of Gérôme’s most famous compositions. The oils and sculptures on display will reveal all the key characteristics of his art and will allow for an analysis of his theatrical concept of history painting, use of realism, interest in detail evident in his Orientalist works, and use of polychromy in his sculptural oeuvre.
The exhibition Impressionist Gardens, which analyses the development of Impressionist painting of gardens, will include not only works by the leading figures of that movement but also examples by its forerunners, such as Delacroix, Corot and Courbet, as well as that of later painters such as Klimt and Sargent. Through the introduction of hundreds of previously unknown plants and species of flowers from Asia, Africa and South America and the opening to the public of the royal parks, gardens became extremely popular in France from the 1880s onwards. The Impressionists and their followers, with their interest in colour, outdoor effects and preference for subjects from daily life, were certainly interested in the subject and naturally looked to gardens in search of inspiration.
For the first time in Spain, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is presenting the work of the Peruvian photographer Mario Testino. The 54 images in the exhibition focus on both his activities as a fashion photographer (including photographs taken for magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, V Magazine, Allure and The Face) as well as on his more personal images and impressions that were specially created for this exhibition. Combining analogue photography with the most cutting-edge digital technology, Testino reveals the process and implications involved in the process of removing one’s clothes to become naked. The women in his photographs are first shown in all their glamour as top models and celebrities wearing haute couture dresses, then in their naked beauty. The result is to show the different faces of the world of fashion, perfectly reflected in the relationship between the photographer and his models. What we see is the iconic “Testino woman,” strong and independent, moving at completely opposing extremes – hence the concept of “All or Nothing” – a concept that the photographer has defined and refined over the course of his career.
The exhibition offer the visitor a unique survey of Quattrocento Florentine art whose starting-point is one of the great paintings in the Museum’s collection, the Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni. Within this context the exhibition analyse portraiture in Florence through works by Botticelli and Pollaiuolo as well as Ghirlandaio himself and will focus on masterpieces associated with the marriage between Giovanna degli Albizzi and Lorenzo Tornabuoni. Finally, it include an important section on religious art made for private devotional purposes, bringing together not just panel paintings but also sculptures, manuscripts and other objects of the highest artistic quality.
Monet and Abstraction aims to explore the crucial but still little studied role of this great Impressionist painter in the development of abstract painting after World War II. The exhibition takes the form of a survey of the artist’s work, from his ethereal landscapes to the monumental depictions of his garden at Giverny where he spent the last twenty years of his life. Through these works the exhibition will analyse how Monet’s ongoing obsession with capturing a sense of the instantaneous led him to break down pictorial representation to a mood of near abstraction. While his painting was considered anachronistic by the avant-garde trends that prevailed in the early decades of the 20th century, around 1950 Monet was rediscovered by the young American and European abstract painters, who elevated him to the status that he currently enjoys within the history of art. Monet’s works will be displayed in the rooms of the Museo Thyssen and at Fundación Caja Madrid alongside paintings by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Sam Francis, Joan Mitchell and Gerhard Richter, among others, offering the visitor the chance to appreciate at first hand the connections between them.
Tears of Eros, a major exhibition devoted to the torments of passion: the dark side of sexual desire. The title of the exhibition is taken from the book by the French writer Georges Bataille, Les larmes d’Eros, and is based on a number of his ideas on eroticism, such as the prohibition/transgression dialectic and the identification of the erotic with religious sacrifice. The exhibition has a global, pansexual character, covering the widest range of orientations and types of desire: the male and female gaze and the heterosexual and homosexual one, voyeurism and exhibitionism, bondage and sadomasochism, and the different varieties of fetishism. All these differing aspects are to be found within the compendium of the myths of Eros, both those deriving from the Greco-Roman Olympus and those originating in the Bible. The present exhibition illustrates the survival of these myths up to the present day and their transformation in the modern era, a process that has given them new, perverse meanings.
The Annunciation Diptych by Jan van Eyck, which is one of the gems in the Museum’s permanent collection, is also one of the most important examples of grisaille painting. This was a widely used and highly appreciated technique from the late 14th onwards, based on the graduated application of a single colour, generally grey or neutral tones, which modelled the shadows to create an effect of sculptural relief. For the first time the exhibition will compare various examples of late Medieval grisaille depictions in the media of drawing and painting as well as ivories, illuminations, textiles and glass and metal objects. The aim is to offer a survey of this technique with the intention of investigating its possible artistic, social and practical implications.
This is the first retrospective exhibition of the work of the French painter Henri Fantin-Latour to be held in Spain. It is jointly organised with the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon, where it can be seen from 26 June to 6 September 2009. An artist of the generation of Manet, Degas and Whistler, Fantin-Latour (Grenoble, 1836 – Buré, 1904) shared many of their ideas but for various complex reasons has not been considered one of the great pioneers of modern art. The present exhibition aims to rectify that position and will present a comprehensive selection of more than 70 oil paintings and drawings representing the finest examples of his work, loaned from museums and collections worldwide.
The exhibition focuses on the work of Matisse between 1917 and 1941. These two important dates mark the start and finish of the central period within his career during which time Matisse developed his most individual and distinctive style but which has been the subject of less attention than the early and late phases of his activity. Marked by the shadow of World War I and the menace of the impending conflict, this period was of crucial importance for the dissemination and consolidation of modern art, a process in which Matisse undoubtedly played a central role. This is the context in which the exhibition will analyse the artist’s work with the intention of showing how Matisse expanded the scope of his pictorial investigations at this period, focusing on the relationship between line, colour, volume and space and opting for an aesthetic that aspired to the timeless without abandoning its commitment to modernity.
The aim of this exhibition is to offer a broad overview of the concepts, issues and solutions involved in the depiction of shadows in art from the Renaissance to the present day. The exhibition is organised into two closely related sections. Firstly, it presents a comprehensive survey of the work of artists and movements who have depicted and used the element of shadow in various ways from the Renaissance to the late 19th century. These range from symbolic connotations and the way that Renaissance artists studied and used perspective to the representation of light and shade in Impressionism, also looking at the spectacular way that tenebrist Baroque painters used this element as well as its incorporation as a crucial narrative element in the Romantic and post-Romantic periods. The second part, which will be shown in the exhibition space of Fundación Caja Madrid, opens with a section on “lights and shadows in modern art” and analyses these elements were represented during the 20th century. This section pays special attention to the manner in which they were projected in Surrealist games and their important role in German Expressionism. The other sections in the second part offer a survey of the multi-media and light-hearted use of shadow play, from the photography of Man Ray and André Kertész to recent installations by Christian Boltanski, also looking at cinema in the work of Murnau, Orson Welles and Peter Greenaway.
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The 22nd exhibition in the Contexts of the Permanent Collection series will be devoted to Pieter Saenredam (1597-1665), one of the most notable painters of the 17th century, swo devoted much of his oeuvre to the depiction of buildings, seen from both inside and outside. Saenredam was also a pioneer in his investigation of perspectie and in his use of preparatory sdetches and measurements taken in situ, which provided the starting-point for his paintings. These practices distinguish him from his predecessors and from other contemporary artists. Saenredam produced numerous preparatory sketches in Haarlem where he lived, and he also moved to other villages and cities such as Assendelft, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rhenen and Alkmaar in order to draw and take measurementes. This exhibition will offer a surey of his work and will include his finest and most exquisitely painted compositiones created over the course of his career.
The period inmediately prior to the outbreak of war in 1914 coincided with a highpoint of activity among the avant-garde movements. In addition, the experience of World War I exercised a powerful influence on the work of numerous artist during this period. Featuring around 180 works, this exhibition offers a survey of the development of new international art between approximately 1913 and 1917. Through the work of dozens of artist from the main artistic movements of the day -Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Vorticism, Abstraction, etc.- it reflects this artistically conflictive period. The exhibition looks at the different trends in new international art at this time; the role that the avant-garde assumed in relation to the events of the war (often a prophetic or apocalyptic one); and the way that the new cultural languages were able to express pro-war attitudes or denunciatory ones in the face of the madness of the conflict.
This exhibition presents a survey of Miró´s work in th period between 1918, the year of his first solo exhibition, and his death in 1983. The guiding concept is a recurring theme in his work: the earth. In contrast to other art historical interpretations which have emphasised the artist´s links with Surrealism, the present exhibition will focus on his fidelity to rural and pagan life, his fascination with excess, fecundity -including sexuality- and death. Seen from this viewpoint, Miró´s work in the second half of his life acquires greater importance than is usually acredited to it.
The fitst monographic exhibition in Spain to be devoted to Avigdor Arikha (Rumania, 1929), an artist appreciated by a small group of collectors and art lovers. Arikha is a passionate defeder of "painting form life", based on first-hand observation. The exhibition includes an extensive selection of his paintings and drawings and continues the Museum´s plicy of devoting exhibitions to contemporary art.
The Museum will be taking part in the XI edition of the International Photography and Visual Arts Festival, whose theme this year is "The Place" as a physical space and emotional experience. On display at the Museum will be a selection of works by the German photographer Florian Maier-Aichen whose images of rural and urban landscapes frequently use dramatic colours and viewpoints to create a sensation of the unreal. Technically, Maier-Aichen uses methods derived from documentary photography in an unconventional manner to create images that convey a sense of the Sublime.
Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) was one of the great figures of 20th-century art; an artist open to the main trends within the Parisian avant-garde prior to World War I, but one who remained independent of any particular school. This exhibition aims to analyse his career from the time of his arrival in Paris in 1906 to his death. In contrast to other exhibitions on the artist organised up to now, the present one will show his work within the context of a dialogue with the great masters who influenced him, particularly Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brancusi, and with his fellow-artists in Montparnasse, including Marc Chagall, Chaïm Soutine, Moïse Kisling, Ossip Zadkine, Tsuguharu Foujita and Jules Pascin.
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A new exhibition in the Contexts of the Permanent Collection series which focuses on the relationship between Otto Dix -one of the great 20 th century German painters- and his friend Hugo Erfuth, a celebrated portrait photographer. The exhibition brings together works by the two men, revealing how their influence on each other extended beyond their close personal friendship. In addition, it analyses Dix´s unique technique through the presentation of recent research undertaken by the Museum´s Restoration Department on the painting Hugo Erfuth with his Dog from the Permanent Collection. The painting forms the centrepiece of the exhibition.
A selection of around 70 works on paper focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries by artists such as Goya, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Miró, Freud or Warhol, among others.
This exhibition centres on German art from the late 15th to the mid-16th centuries with a particular focus on two issues: the artist’s image of his world and the role that these images played in particular areas such as religion, politics and war. It also analyses the relationship between the autochthonous ideas of German culture at this period and exterior influences, principally those of the Italian Renaissance. The two key figures in the exhibition are Dürer and Cranach the Elder but visitors will also see works by other important artists of this lengthy period.
This retrospective devoted to the work of the painter Richard Estes will cover his artistic activities from the 1960s to the present with the aim of analysing the career of the main founder and one of the great figures of American photo-realism. Using photography as a direct visual source, Estes focused on the representations of real landscapes. In contrast to other photo-realist artists who directly transferred the photograph to the canvas, Estes only used it as his starting-point, taking various viewpoints of the chosen location and playing with them until he arrived at the definitive image which he transformed into a kind of optical illusion. Richard Estes will also be shown at the Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, Italy, co-organiser of the exhibition.
With the collaboration of the Consorcio Turistico de Madrid
Auvers-sur-Oise, May 20th - July 29th 1890
Sponsored by Banco Caixa Geral and Fidelidad Mundial
This exhibition is devoted to one of the great names in art: Vincent van Gogh. More specifically, it focuses -for the first time-on the last three months of the Dutch painter’s life in Auvers near Paris. The Auvers period was a brief but remarkably productive one and involved a radical change of direction in Van Gogh’s work which he did not have time to fully develop.
With the collaboration of the Consorcio Turístico de la Comunidad de Madrid.
Iceberg and Ancient Persia, two series created in 2000 and 2001 by the American photographer Lynn Davis, are the subject of the exhibition presented at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum as part of the 10th edition of the International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts, PHotoEspaña. Following the tradition of American landscape photography, Davis depicts the ruins and monuments of Antiquity and the natural landscapes that she has visited, aiming to capture the beauty of these places and the emotions aroused by their contemplation through her photographic images.
Through works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Salvador Dalí, Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol, this exhibition analyses the evolution of portraiture in the 20th century. The exhibition will first be shown at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemmisza and the Fundación Caja Madrid, and then travels to the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth (Texas), which is the co-organiser together with the other two institutions. It is the first in-depth study of this traditional genre within European painting, which acquired new importance within international art in the modern era.
The first in a new series of annual exhibitions entitled Studiolo will present a group of works from the Permanent Collection selected by a living artist. A studiolo, the diminutive of studio, was a small room in Renaissance palaces in which princes and rulers would read, reflect and contemplate carefully chosen works of art. In this first edition the painter Avigdor Arikha has been commissioned to make the choice of works. Focusing on the idea of “painting from life”, Arikha has assembled a group of paintings by Caravaggio, Titian, Degas, Cézanne and Mondrian along with works by his own hand. Arikha is a painter appreciated by a small but select public, admired by critics and by knowledgeable collectors and artists...
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Express, 1963, from the Permanent Collection of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, is one of the first paintings in which Rauschenberg used silkscreen, a technique that allowed the artist to use photographs in his canvases to create large-scale collages. The exhibition focuses on this group of works created in the 1960s, which make repeated use of Rauschenberg’s unique iconography.
The exhibition will aim to reveal shared artistic preoccupations and look at the occasional encounters between these two very different creative figures. The use of colour and light as expressive devices, the desire to formulate a type of modern painting based on naturalistic tradition, their notable commercial and social success which prevented them from being considered avant-garde painters, and the development of a more personal style in their late years are among the shared characteristics emphasised here.
The Pérez Simon Collection is an important private Mexican collection comprising over one thousand works of painting, sculpture, drawing, decorative arts and manuscripts. Until now it has never been presented to the public as a collection. The present exhibition at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza will focus on the painting collection. A selection of 57 paintings dating from the 14th to the 19th century has been made from the more than 400 masterpieces in the collection. They include outstanding examples of Italian, German, Flemish, Dutch, French and English painting. The section devoted to the 19th century will be particularly important, as it is one of the most significant areas of the collection, notable for its Victorian paintings. The exhibition will include paintings by Bronzino, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Jan and Pieter Brueghel, Van Dyck, Rubens, Canaletto, Giambattista Tiepolo, Goya, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
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The exhibition will look at the two competitions convened in the late 16th century by the Republic of Venice to execute the paintings that would decorate the Sala del Gran Consiglo in the Palazzo Ducale. The leading Venetian artists of the day presented their preliminary designs for these two competitions, of which those by Tintoretto (two preliminary oil paintings, one in the Museum’s collection), Palma Giovane and Bassano have survived. The exhibition reunites these works, which are all of large format. Tintoretto’s The Paradise, in the Museum’s collection, measures 164 x 492 cm, giving an idea of the scale of these works and the exceptional nature of the exhibition.
The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with the Musée du Louvre, where it will be shown until May 2006, and with the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, where the exhibition will be seen following its Madrid showing, in Autumn 2006.
The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is participating in the 9th edition of PHotoEspaña, the International Festival of Photography and the Visual Arts, with an exhibition of the work of Bae Bien-U (born Yosu, South Korea, 1950). The 16 photographs on display comprise the two series Pine Tree and Wind of Tahiti. The first consists of images created in the early 1990s and focuses on pine forests, which have been an important source of inspiration for the artist. In these photographs the trees became living creatures that unite earth and sky or represent individuals and social groups. The second series, Wind of Tahiti, created between 2002 and 2003, depicts trees and plants imbued with strength and colour recalling Paul Gauguin’s paintings during his Tahitian period. Bae Bien-U is one of the leading names in young Korean photography. He is a self-taught artist whose work is notably influenced by his study of art. His photography has been exhibited world-wide, from Tahiti to New York, as well as Tokyo, Paris and London
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Fra Angelico. The Virgin of Humility, sponsored by Banco Urquijo, is the 18th in the Thyssen-Bornemisza’s Contexts of the Permanent Collection series. On this occasion the focus of the exhibition is the magnificent panel by the Italian artist normally on display at the Museu d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), but which can be seen in Madrid this spring. The exhibition analyses two types of Virgins that were widely represented in art over the centuries, and of which the collection has particularly fine examples. They are the Virgin of Humility and the Virgin enthroned with the Christ Child. It also looks at precedents for the pose of the Virgin of Humility to be found in scenes of the Adoration of the Magi as well as in other Marian themes which present Mary as Queen of Heaven.
The exhibition offers a survey of the birth and development of Russian avant-garde art during the first third of the 20th century. It begins with an investigation of the quest for a new national art based on Russian folk tradition at the turn of the century. A second section is devoted to early attempts to link up with international European art, in particular Futurism, then moves on to analyse the careers of highly individual artists such as Chagall, Kandinsky and Filonov. The exhibition then looks at post-war organic abstraction and concludes with the most extensive section, devoted to artists’ attempts to go beyond traditional art and convert it into a means of constructing the new man. Painting, sculpture, photography and art in the service of propaganda are among the wide variety of media covered in this exhibition.
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Raffaello Sanzio (Urbino, 1483-Rome, 1520) arrived in Rome from Florence, probably in the autumn of 1508. According to Giorgio Vasari (1550), the young artist was summoned to the court of Pope Julius II (1503-1513) on the recommendation of Bramante, also from Urbino and at that point in charge of the works on Saint Peter's. Once in Rome, Raphael was immediately contracted to take part in the decoration of the Pope's private apartments, located in the north wing of the Vatican complex. He began work on the room known as the Stanza della Segnatura. His astonishingly innovative style, allied to his unprecedented approach to narration was such that the decorations realised shortly before by other artists were destroyed and the entire project awarded to Raphael.
The exhibition Mimesis. Modern Realism 1918-1945, jointly organised by the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Fundación Caja Madrid, focuses on the rise and spread of Realism in the years between the First and Second World Wars, a crucial period for the consolidation of avant-garde modern art. During these years, Realism was a vigorous force within painting and sculpture as well as film and literature, becoming one of the leading trends within modern art.
20th-century art historians chose to concentrate on certain specific aspects of Corot’s extensive œuvre. He was thus seen as either the heir of Neo-classical landscape or as a forerunner of Impressionism, interpreted from the starting-point of his realist landscapes or, in contrast, through his most refined, highly-worked Salon pieces. The present exhibition aims to focus on all these different aspects without opting for any one in particular. In addition, its intention is to act as a point of departure for a revision and reassessment of an aspect of his work which has been relatively passed over by critics but to which Corot owed his fame in the 19th century: the so-called Souvenirs (Recollections).
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Hans Memling was of German origin and was born in Seligenstadt around 1435. The first reference to the artist dates from 1465 when he is known to have acquired citizenship in Bruges, an essential requirement for practising as an artist in the city, where he arrived already a fully qualified master. Memling is thought to have first trained in his native city, in Germany, then perhaps moved on to Brussels to study with Rogier van der Weyden. In Bruges he worked for the leading families as well as for the large and flourishing community of foreigners who engaged in business activities there. Despite this, he never received an official commission from the city. Memling's first important work was the Last Judgement Triptych commissioned by the representative of the Medici family, Agnolo di Jacopo Tani. Among Memling's most important compositions is the Triptych of the Saint Johns of 1479, painted for the Hospital of Saint John in Bruges and now in the Memlingmuseum in that city. The Moreel Triptych of 1484 is also a significant work, painted for the church of the Apostle James and paid for by the politician and merchant Willem Moreel. In it, Memling included one of the first family group portraits. A major late work is the famous reliquary with scenes from the Life of Saint Ursula, completed in 1489 and featuring views of the city of Cologne.
2005 marks the centenary of the constitution of the group of artists called Brücke, founded in June 1905 by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, who at the time were architecture students in Dresden. Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein, Cuno Amiet and Otto Mueller were among the most outstanding painters who later joined this association, which broke up definitively in 1913. The eight intensive years of activity of this group witnessed the greatest development of the first period of German expressionism, which went through various stylistic phases marked precisely by the artistic objectives shared by its most important members.
The exhibition focuses on an analysis of the work of Paul Gauguin and the artists of his day with whom he was associated: the older masters who taught or inspired him, such as Pissarro, Cézanne and Degas, his contemporaries, above all Van Gogh, and other artist that show his influence, such as Bonnard, Vuillard and Picasso. The exhibition spans the period from 1884 to 1891. During these years Gauguin evolved from a secondary Impressionist painter into the leader of the Symbolist movement in painting. His efforts to move on from Impressionism led him to question the entire naturalist tradition of European art as it had developed from the Renaissance onwards. One by one he abandoned all the descriptive devices traditionally used in painting (perspective, shadows, chiaroscuro, local tone) in favour of the pure value of line and colour on the picture plane.
Following a period of decline after the death of Murillo and the predominance of foreign artists at the court of the early Bourbon monarchs, the 19th century saw a new flourishing of painting in Andalusia, resulting in one of its most productive eras. From the 1830s onwards, Seville and other capitals of the region witnessed a notable economic revival. More important, however, was the arrival in Andalusia of foreign travellers from England and elsewhere in Europe. These early “tourists” had first started to arrive in Spain in the late 18th century. However, it was in the second quarter of the next century that they appeared in large numbers, the result of the repercussions throughout Europe of the Spanish War of Independence (1808-1813) and the new Romantic taste for the exotic. More than any other region, Andalusia represented for these travellers the “Romantic myth of Spain”. Seville and Granada in particular welcomed writers and painters such as Washington Irving, Richard Ford, Théophile Gautier, Alexandre Dumas, David Roberts, John Frederick Lewis, Alfred Dehodencq, Gustave Doré and others, whose work established the image of “picturesque Spain”. This was accompanied by a growing demand abroad for paintings depicting the principal landscapes, monuments and popular customs of southern Spain.
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The central work in the exhibition, The Crucifixion, from the permanent collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, is one of the earliest known paintings by the artist and is considered to date from the first part of his career. This is a particularly interesting panel, notably for the treatment of the landscape. The artist represents a scene at evening in which the light takes on a key role, both in the sky and in the tones used to realise the figures. Following the medieval tradition, alongside the central motif (usually scenes from the New Testament or lives of saints), it was common to find invented motifs, such as the Holy Land, Jerusalem or Bethlehem, recreated in the form of medieval cities, with a pleasing and picturesque landscape in the background filled with touching human details. The present work uses such an approach, with a broad setting that includes the city of Jerusalem, seen from outside with its walls and a church and castle standing out among the buildings.
The 66 works selected for the temporary exhibition offer the public the opportunity to analyse the origins and development of modern Catalan painting, with works dating from the mid-19th to the early 20th century. The exhibition opens with a section dedicated to the Romantic and naturalist landscape, considered the first chapter in the history of modern art in Catalunya. This movement focused primarily on landscape as its subject and looked to Romanticism as its inspiration. One of the key figures in this movement was Martí Alsina, represented here by four works. According to Tomàs Llorens, Chief Curator of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and responsible for the selection of works in the exhibition, “Interestingly, Romanticism was both the starting point but also the conclusion of this type of naturalist landscape”. Corbera de Llobregat, an important landscape by Llouis Rigalt featured in the present exhibition, is a key example of this relationship between the two movements.
This is the first monographic exhibition in Spain devoted to the entire career of the German painter Willi Baumeister. Along with Paul Klee, Baumeister was one of the leading figures in 20th-century German painting, and one of the most influential for the origins of abstract art in Spain. Jointly organised by the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Fundación Caja Madrid and the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich, and with the support of the Baumeister family, the exhibition will travel to Munich following its Madrid showing. It can be seen in Munich from March to June 2004. Willi Baumeister was part of the generation of artists who emerged on the German art scene in the years immediately following World War I, along with figures such as Schlemmer, Müller and Siegel. He lived and worked mainly in Germany, although in the 1920s he was linked to the Paris group L’Esprit Nouveau (along with Léger, Le Corbusier, Ozenfant and others) and in the 1930s he formed part of the international movement Abstraction Création. Throughout his life, Baumeister also maintained particularly close links with the Spanish art scene. Like many other European artists of this period, Baumeister has been somewhat overshadowed due to the bias towards North American art criticism in the second half of the 20th century. The present exhibition, which features around 92 works (75 paintings and 17 drawings) aims to offer an overview of his entire career and to situate Willi Baumeister in the position which he merits as one of the great figures of European abstraction. The exhibition also pay particular attention to his links with Spanish art of the period.
The exhibition aims to demonstrate the active role of the musical model in painting with specific reference to the development of abstract art. It covers the years between 1908 and 1925, with particular reference to the decade starting in 1910 when the first moves were made towards abstraction. To illustrate how the different means by which the idea of synesthaesia (meaning the correspondence between different sensory perceptions such as, in the case of music and painting, hearing and sight) gave rise to abstract art, the exhibition will include works by a total of 48 artists. All were contemporaries of Wassily Kandinsky, the key figure in the development of abstraction.
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The Pietà was painted by José de Ribera in 1633 and is considered one of the most successful treatments of this subject by the artist who represented it in several works. The exhibition sponsored by Caja de Ahorros de Mediterráneo, looks at the iconography of the Pietà in this painting and more specifically examines Ribera’s significant contribution to the representation of this episode from the Passion. With this end in mind, the exhibition brings together a select group of works produced at different times in the artist’s career.
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Rubens' inspiration was a canvas by Titian which was lost during the 19th century but which previously belonged to the Spanish royal collection. It was copied by Rubens during his period at the Court of Madrid and is known through other surviving versions. The best, and the one considered closest to the lost version, is the oil in the National Gallery of Washington (cat. nº. 2). Having the two compositions displayed side by side at the exhibition allows us to examine the different interpretative and stylistic approaches of the two artists.
The exhibition’s main aim is to demonstrate the important contributions of Robert and Sonia Delaunay to modern painting between 1907, the date of their first meeting, and 1941, the year in which Robert died. Around 70 works loaned from museums and private collections feature in the exhibition. Light was the main motif within Robert Delaunay’s pictorial language. Following a detailed study of colour theory, the artist reached the conclusion that the force and paradoxical reality of light its omnipresence, its infinite energy and its inmateriality could only be represented pictorially through colour. The artist himself gave his method of representing light through colour the name of Simultanisme. This was his unique artistic principle from 1912 onwards, the year in which he published Light, a text which was to have a major influence on leading contemporary artists and which was translated into German by Paul Klee. At around this time Apollinaire invented the word “Orphism” or “Orphic Cubism” to defines his friend Delaunay’s work. Delaunay himself defined his move towards abstraction with these words: “… those reminiscences of objects, of residues of objects in my paintings, appeared to me as harmful elements. I intended to fuse those objective images into coloured rhythms, but those images were of a different nature… Then I had the idea of discarding images seen in reality: objects which interrupted and corrupted the coloured work. I attacked the problem of formal colour.”
The exhibition includes more than 70 works and aims to offer an overview of Alfred Sisley’s entire career, covering the different countries and areas which he visited and painted in the course of his life. Perhaps less famous than the other members of the group – Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and Degas – Sisley is however, considered to be one of the purest exponents of Impressionism; his way of life, working methods and his art represent the essence of this movement, to whose founding principles he remained faithful throughout his career. One of the principal aims of the exhibition is to rediscover and highlight the figure of Sisley in the context of the Impressionist painters, but also as one of the great landscapes painters in the history of art, gifted with an exceptional sensitivity for colour and an innate sense of composition. At the same time, it will investigate some little-known but no less important themes in order to re-evaluate his art, including his links with English Romantic painting, and the until now relatively unstudied period at the end of his career from 1880-1899.
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Gradiva rediscovers the anthropomorphic ruins (retrospective Fantasy) of 1931-32, a key work in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum’s 20th-century collection. Dalí based his painting on the heroine of a novel by Wilhelm Jensen, Gradiva (published in Germany in 1903) which the Surrealists used as a source of inspiration, particularly through Sigmund Freud’s 1907 interpretation of the book entitled Delirium and Dreams in Jensen’s “Gradiva”.
The main objective of the exhibition is to provide a complete overview of Braque’s artistic career as well as to convey his role as one of the key painters of the 20th century. To achieve this aim, a group of 50 paintings and 6 sculptures have been loaned from museums and private collections around the world: the Statens Museum for Kunst (Copenhagen), the Staatsgalerie (Stuttgart), the Tate Gallery (London), the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), the Musée de Grenoble, the Musée Picasso (Paris), the Paule and Adrien Maeght Collection, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber, the Menil Collection (Houston), the Fondation Margerite et Aimé Maeght, the Collection of M. and Mme. Claude Lorens, etc. Among the key events of Braque’s career was undoubtedly the co-invention of Cubism together with Picasso, representing a key chapter in the history of modern art. Alongside Picasso, Braque’s creation of new techniques and pictorial devices such as papier collé and painted words, his unique interpretation of the traditional genres of painting, in particular landscape and still life, his constant rethinking and investigation of the representation of space, volume and colour, and the solutions he formulated in his works have all become landmarks in the history of 20th-century art. In addition, their influence on numerous contemporary artists is both an obvious and extremely important one.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection and the Museum of Pedralbes Monastery present the exhibition The Three Kings from the East. History of a Tradition, a new look at the depiction of figures that are part of the collective imagination. Through the works of great masters like Ferrer Bassa, Pietro de Rimini and Luca di Tommè, this exhibit is an evocative journey through the history and the iconography of the Three Kings from the thirteenth century to the eighteenth.
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The portraits of Max Schmidt (1914) from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, and Carl Leo Schmidt (1911) from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, constitute two of three fragments of the Triple Portrait of the Schmidt Brothers which was cut up in the 1950s (the third fragment, depicting Hugo Schmidt is now lost). The two surviving elements have now been brought together for the first time in fifty years and are the subject of the next in the Contexts of the Permanent Collection exhibition series.
This exhibition proposes a new interpretation of the relationship between classicism and modern art in the first half of the 20th century. The key to this interpretation is the notion of form. Formalism, a theoretical position which placed greater emphasis on form over content in the work of art, was fundamental to the birth of the new, avant-garde art of the 20th century and to its break with the art of the previous century. In addition, formalism encouraged one key trend of modern art, which was the quest for a new classicism in the 1920s and 1930s.
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An outstanding painting by Camille Corot, The Park of the Lions at Port-Marly, is the subject of the 10th exhibition this summer in the Contexts series, based on the permanent collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid. Corot painted this canvas in August 1872 during the ten days that he spent in the house of his friend and pupil Georges Rodrigues-Henriques in Port-Marly. The exhibition aims to study in depth the relationship between Corot and the Rodrigues-Henriques family. With this end in mind, it features the three paintings that the 76-year-old Corot executed during that summer during his stay at Port-Marly, as well as some of his paintings which belonged to the family and paintings by Georges Rodrigues-Henriques himself realised during the same period. The exhibition brings together a unique group of works for the first time and also looks into various issues related to a little-known episode in the life of the great French painter.
The exhibition Canaletto. An imaginay Venice sets out to reassess the traditional interpretations of the work of one of the greatest eighteenth-century painters. The paintings and prints on show convey the image of a city wohse fame is universal, an icon which has remained unchanged over the passing of time. For this reason, some art historians have seen Canaletto as a painter who mechanically reproduced the reality of his surroundings. The present exhibition analyses his work from a different perspective: that of an artist capable of changing the image of his city, to the extent that it is difficult to separate the fiction of his paintings from the truth of the city`s architecture.
The aim of the present exhibition is to trace the movement of works of art, ideas and artists in the Mediterranean region in the fifteenth century. The first third of that century saw the abandonment of Gothic modes and the dissemination of new artistic theories and forms which were developed in the Netherlands and Northern Italy. More than one hundred paintings and objects have been brought together here with the aim of examining the routes by which these new ideas were spread, the artists involved in this process and the centres where they developed. The exhibition will make it possible to examine some key works in the development of the Renaissance figurative idiom within the cultural context in which they were created. In addition, it will bring together paintings which have been separated for many years, such as Rogier van der Weyden's Saint George from the National Gallery, Washington, and his Virgin and Child from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
Exploring Eden is an exhibition which looks at 19th-century American Landscape painting, a chapter of art history which is very little known in Europe despite the important contribution which it made to the tradition of landscape painting in the west. The exhibition, which is structured chronologically from Romanticism to Realism, begins with the figure of Thomas Cole, the father of North American landscape painters, and ends with Winslow Homer, a painter whose work heralds the beginnings of modern art.
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Michael Andrews (1928-1995) was an artist whose roots were firmly established within the British figurative tradition and who is normally linked with the so-called School of London, a mixed group of artists who shared an interest in the depiction of the human form as well as a complete rejection of academic realism. In addition to Andrews, all the other artists in the group - Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff - are well represented in the collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
Victor Hugo (1802-1885), one of the great figures of world literature, was also an important visual artist whose work in this area has been little known until now. This exhibition, which will subsequently be shown at the Maison de Victor Hugo in Paris, comprises a sizeable group of works on paper and a group of objects, the products of his inexhaustable creative imagination. With this exhibition, the Thyssen-Bornemisza is contributing to recent initiatives which are making Hugo's pictorial art - somewhat eclipsed, perhaps, by the great fame of his literary work - better known. These efforts aim to introduce the public to a surprisingly innovative artist with regard to form and technique.
Born in Vidalia, Georgia, Algur Hurtle Meadows (1899-1978) was the founder of the General American Oil Company. Meadows travelled to Spain for business reasons in the 1950s, spending lengthy periods in Madrid. As a result of his numerous visits to the Museo del Prado, which was just near his hotel, and the enormous interest which he developed in seventeenth-century Spanish painting, Meadows decided to build up his own collection of Spanish art. His first acquisitions were of works from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: later he broadened the chronological scope of the collection to include works from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries. The new museum, founded in memory of his first wife, Virginia Garrison Stuart (1901-1961), reflected Meadows’s desire to establish a museum of Spanish art in Texas. In 1967, with the help of William B. Jordan, the collection was revised and refined while new works of indisputable quality were added to it. Algur H. Meadows took an active part in this process of revision and acquisition which still continues today.
The Geneva-based collection of Jan and Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski was initiated in the late 1960s with the acquisition of a drawing by the French artist Georges Seurat. Since that first purchase thirty years ago, the Krugier-Poniatowski collection has grown to include more than 400 drawings. The collection, which is well known to experts in the field, has been an active force in the art world since its beginnings, with specific works lent to important exhibitions. However, it is only now at the turn of the century that the collection's owners have decided to make a large selection of drawings available to the public for the first time.
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The eighth edition of the Contexts exhibition series is organised around the presentation of the picture Haff (Inlet), by the German expressionist artist Max Pechstein, acquired by the Ministry of Education and Culture for the Museum Collection. It is the first time a new picture join the collection and the acquisition also add to the already very extensive group of works by the expressionist group Die Brücke (The Bridge) in the Permanent Collection. This event, together with the importance of the work, was considered to be a great opportunity to organise a new show in the Contexts series. To accompany this picture, the exhibition also included a group of twelve oil paintings and watercolours that Pechstein made in the summer of 1909 during his fruitful stay in Nidden, a small fishing village on the Baltic. This was a key moment in his artistic development, as he affirmed himself and acquired the necessary expressive resources to fully develop his unique and personal style.
Naturalism was an imprecisely defined artistic tendency which left its mark on western painting for almost three centuries, reaching its culmination in the nineteenth century. In the face of history and portrait painting, traditionally considered as the leading artistic genres, naturalism sprang from pictorial achievements within the realms of landscape paintings, scenes of daily life and habits -also known as "genre" paintings- and the field of still-lifes. It was precisely because these were considered minor genres that none of them were subject to the strict rules which governed the painting of mythological, religious and allegorical paintings, which were obliged to improve upon reality in order to represent "the ideal". Naturalism took advantage of a direction observation of nature and a progressive abandoning of workshops conventions.
Through an ample selection of his works, including oils, drawings and watercolours, the exhibition Morandi. A Retrospective Exhibition offered a complete chronological overview of the career of the Italian artist, whose work, in spite of being little known, stands out for its quality and degree of refinement. Morandi is a timeless artist, with a totally personal language, whose work reflects, as few others do, the essence of modernity. Giorgio Morandi was an isolated artist, not easily placed into any of the great movements of contemporary art. Nonetheless, his work clearly illustrates the fundamental ideas which enable us to understand 20th century art.
In Madrid, the exhibition included a group of 78 highly important works lent from various museums, institutions and private collections from all over the world, many of which had never before been loaned to an exhibition. The main novelty was the presentation of an extraordinary set of works from his Cretan years, the most unknown period for the Spanish public. The hanging arrangement was organised according to an order which combined a chronological itinerary with the thematic grouping of the works; some of the most important and largest paintings were placed in the Museum’s central hall, including one of his most emblematic works, The Martyrdom of St Maurice, left its habitual home at El Escorial for the first time.
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For the second time since its inception, the Contexts programme of exhibitions presented an analysis of a work by Pablo Picasso from the Permanent Collection; on the first occasion it was Harlequin with a Mirror, which opened the series in 1995, and this time it is the turn of Bullfight. Alongside this work was exhibited a marvellous group of fifteen works by the artist on the same theme, the bullfight, which Picasso produced during the mid-1930s, and which can be considered in some respects the precursor to Guernica. The main aim of the exhibition, curated by Tomàs Llorens and sponsored by the Caja Madrid Foundation, is to show the most profound interpretation of the world of the bull that Picasso ever produced, an interpretation that goes beyond the shock, the pain or the physical violence which seems to have made Picasso consider the rite of bullfighting as a parable of love and death.
The aim of this exhibition is to present the set of works Joaquín Sorolla made for the Hispanic Society of America in New York, the most important project of his life and to which he dedicated his greatest efforts. In 1911, the founder of the Hispanic Society, Archer M. Huntington, entrusted the Valencian painter with the decoration of a large hall in its New York premises. The result was a series of large-sized paintings, known as The Regions of Spain, which synthesised the vision of Spain at that time seen through Sorolla’s eyes. The exhibition, which will travel to the Fine Arts Museum in Valencia after its presentation in Madrid, shows a complete set of studies and sketches made by Sorolla for the above-mentioned panels, as well as some portraits of illustrious Spaniards, also requested by Huntington to decorate the library of the same institution.
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The general idea of this type of exhibition was really exemplified by this show, which reassembled one of the intense and extensive series produced by Czech artist Frantisek Kupka, a painter whose chief method of working was to deal repeatedly with the same subject through a whole series of studies. The exhibition presented the two main oil paintings of the series, Positioning of Mobile Graphic Elements I, which belongs to the permanent collection of the Museum, and Positioning of Mobile Graphic Elements II, from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, together with a group of numerous sketches on paper from several museums and collections. This exhibition, sponsored by MoviStar with the collaboration of the Grupo Ruiz Nicoli, enabled the public to come close to the work of an artist who may be little-known and undervalued in our own time, but who was a pioneer in the field of abstraction.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the IVAM Centre Julio González in Valencia have worked together to organise what was to be the first important retrospective exhibition in Spain of the Swiss artist Paul Klee. The project, curated by Tomàs Llorens and Emmanuel Guigon, was first presented in Valencia, and later travelled to Madrid. The exhibition brought together an extensive selection of works, which offered a complete overview of the artistic career of Paul Klee, who was considered as one of the most original and influential creators of the 20th century. This exhibition is perfectly in line with the Museum’s aim of presenting exhibitions centred on movements, artists or periods especially well represented in the Permanent Collection, thereby enriching the Spanish art scene; in fact, with a few exceptions, Spanish museums lack works by Paul Klee, whereas the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum has four masterpieces belonging to different periods and styles of his artistic career.
The second photography exhibition that took place at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum presented, during the summer months, a group of twenty works produced in the rooms of the Villahermosa Palace by Alberto Schommer. The images, in black and white as is usual in Schommer’s work, showed the artist’s personal view of the visitors to the Museum and of the works of art on display. The gaze and the work interrelate producing in turn a new and different work in which there is room for the play of light, for magic and for mystery. The show, which was exhibited in the central hall of the Museum, and which was free, was part of the first International Photography Festival, organised by PhotoEspaña, which took place in several cultural spaces around the Castellana area.
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The exhibition, sponsored by Caja Madrid Foundation, is devoted to the study of the work of Willem Kalf, one of the most significant and influential 17th century Dutch still life painters. On this occasion, the aim is to highlight an aspect of this artist’s work that is not often studied, his technique, together with that of many followers who literally copied his work. With this aim, six works have been brought together, representing both originals and copies, either contemporary or from a later period. The exhibition also presents a selection of the information obtained in the study for the restoration that was carried out before the exhibition, as well as the results of this study. The conclusions of the analysis have been also the subject of several essays included in the catalogue, edited by the curator of the exhibition, Sam Segal, who is a specialist in 17th-century Dutch still life painting, and by Ubaldo Sedano, chief restorer of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
Sponsored by Banco Urquijo, the exhibition August Macke (1887-1914) opened on 18 March, organised in collaboration with the Westfälisches Landesmuseum in Münster, where a few months before a selection of one hundred watercolours by the artist had been presented. Next to these works, the Spanish public could admire a group of oils from the different creative periods of the painter: this made the exhibition the first important one dedicated to August Macke outside Germany. As one of the leading members of the German expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), Macke, whose career was prematurely truncated by the First World War, centred his attention mainly on the expressive value of pure colours and their relation with musical values. His pictorial work shows the influence of the French post-impressionism, and especially of fauvism and of Picasso and Braque’s analytical cubism, as well as of the dispersion of shapes typical of Italian futurism and the “simultaneous contrasts” of Delaunay’s orphism.
This exhibition, sponsored by Barclays Bank, gather a selection of eighty works from various museums and collections, having as a thread the subject of qualities, metaphors and figures associated with women and feminity in the Venetian taste and pictorial imagination of the 18th Century. The itinerary of the exhibition, the commissioner of wich was Tomàs LLorens, has been conceived as an analysis of the evolution in taste and pictorial language from the late Baroque period to Neoclassicism. One of the gratests attractions of this exhibition is the presentation in Spain of the masterpiece by Antonio Canova, The Three Graces.
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Following the usual pattern for this type of exhibitions, the painting selected on this ocasion, Catalan Peasant with a Guitar, is show surrounded by other works directly related to it; in this case all the oil paintings by Miró on the subject of the Catalan peasant, as well as their preparatory drawings or those related to the series. The aim of this exhibition, and idea and project of Tomàs LLorens, is to shed new light on the discussion regarding the sequence followed by Miró when painting the series of the Catalan peasant, a topic still not completely clear, and wich would help to define more clearly Joan Miro´s artistic evolution.
During the spring ans summer months it is possible to visit the exhibition George Grosz. The Berlin Years. The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, where it was on show before coming to Madrid. Its presentation in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is possible thanks to the sponsorship of the Banco Central Hispano. For this exhibition, twenty oil paintings, some hundred works on paper and several sketchbooks, illustrated books and portfolios from several museums and private collections, as well as from the Grosz Legacy, have been selected. The exhibition is centred around the the work and activity of the German artist during the years he lived in Berlin (1893-1933), his most influencial period for 20th Century art, from wich the foundation owns some of his most significant paintings, particularly Metropolis.
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The main objetive of this exhibition is to propose a joint analysis of thee versions on the subject of the Annunciation painted by El Greco in his mature years: the final work, which was a part of the altarpiece of the Doña María de Aragón College, at present in the Prado Museum, and two smaller replicas of sketches, belonging one to the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum and the other to the Permanent Collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Two other paintings were also included: The Baptism of Jesus and The Adoration of the Shepherds, belonging to the Palazzo Barberini Collection in Rome, which are versions of two larger works belonging to the same altarpiece. The visitors would also observe the results of the scientific study carried out mainly on the occasion of the restoration of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum´s Annunciation.
This exhibition presents to the public a wide selection of over a hundred works representing the best of what is known as cadavres exquis, collective drawings made by members of the Surrealist Group. The promoter of this procedure was André Breton, as he was interested in exploring the mechanisms of the unconscious by means of a collective activity. The aim of this exhibition and of the catalogue published on this occasion was to present, not only a particular set of works of art, but also a real and original type of artistic production, as well as to deep in the public´s knowledge of the Surrealist movement.
Contexts of the Permanent Collection 2
The second show of the series Context is dedicated to one of the Expressionist painters best represented in the Permanent Collection, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and precisely to one of his most important works, Fränzi in front of a Carved Chair, considered to be a masterpiece of the German Expressionism of the beginning of this century. Other works from different museums and collections on the same subject and belonging to the same period are exhibited in the same room. The exhibition has been organized with the contribution of Lufthansa and of the German Embassy. Its commissioner is Dr. Magdalena Moeller, director of the Brücke Museum in Berlin and author of the study published in the catalogue of the show.
For this exhibition, organised in collaboration with the Spanish National Museum of Decorative Arts, seven carpets have been selected from its collection. This set of carpets, coming from the two most important and renowned production centres in Spain and abroad, Alcaraz (Albacete) and Cuenca, is exhibited in the "Villahermosa Gallery", on the second floor of the Museum. The exhibition also includes seven paintings from the Permanent Collection in wich different types of carpets from that time are represented, to illustrate the everyday use of these objets.
Curated by Tomàs LLorens, this exhibition offers a selection of 85 works from the almost 400 that made up then the Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza's private Colecction. It was dedicated to the period going from from the 18th Century to the begining of the 20th Century, and more specifically to landscapes and genre painitngs. The itinerary designed led from views of Venice patinted by Canaletto and Guardi, or works by the great masters os Spanish genre ans realist painting -from Goya to Sorolla or Joaquin Mir-, to landscapes by the main exponents of French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism (Monet, Pisarro, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, etc.), including an important selection of the 19th Century North American school. The itinerary ends in a room dedicated to art and the turn of the century, showing important works by Picasso, Kandinsky and Nolde, amongst others. Of great relevance is the chance to admire for the first time four marble sculptures by Rodin, commissioned from the French sculptor by August Thyssen, the grandfather of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Contexts of the Permanent Collection 1
The painting selected for the first exhibition of Contexts of the Permanent Collection is Picasso's most important work in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Harlequin with a Mirror dated in 1923 and considered to be one of the best examples of the artist's neoclassical period. Next to it we show for the first time in Spain the painting The Pipes of Pan, from the Picasso Museum in Paris, the masterwork of Picasso's classical period, also dated in 1923. Together with these two main works, the exhibition also presents two other oil paintings and various drawings and sketches, illustrating and explaining the close link between them and their creative process.
The Thyssen Bornemisza Museum presents it first exhibition of photographs showing the work carried out by the prestigious photographer from Valencia Gabriel Cualladó (Masanasa, 1925), winner of the 1994 National Photography Prize, in the galleries of the Museum itself, and on the subject of the public which visited them. The photographs were set up in the Temporary Exhibitions Gallery, following mainly a stylistic criterion and a rhythm in accordance with their particular characteristics. They were shown mostly in pairs, reproducing the arrangement and the order which they had in the exhibition's catalogue.
Between the months of April and July, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid open its temporary exhibition rooms to a retrospective show of works by André Derain, dubbed as "the painter of modern malaise". This is an adaptation, carried out by Tomàs LLorens, of the anthological exhibition organized the previous Autumn by the Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris. A selection of 55 paintings are presented in Madrid, which attempts to show the career of this versatile artist. Thus, the Derain fauve is presented first, the young Derain who was the heir to Gauguin and Van Gogh, the subsequent rejection of Post-Impressionism and the approximation to the work of Cézanne and the artistic manifestations of primitive people, his claim of traditional painting genres -still life, landscape and portrait-, the inclusion of the nude after the First World War, and the sombre vision that inundates the art of his final period.
This is the first monographic exhibition organised in Spain about this pictorial genre of the 17th century Dutch School. The Temporary Exhibitions Gallery was specifically designed for this occasion, and its interior spaces were re-distributed in order to adapt them to the characteristics of the paintings and to the criteria of the exhibition. This was carried out following a clear chronological run through the twelve spaces destined for this ocasson, starting with the so-called transition artists between the 16th and the 17th century, to conclude with those masters whose work reveals the origin of new pictorial tendenceis.
This first temporary exhibit has been organised to coincide with the first anniversary of the inauguration of the Museum, with works from the Collection that, due to their fragility, can only be exposed for short periods of time. The works on paper in the Museum form a group 79 works and are part od the Modern Master´s section, which cronologically covers the 19th and 20th century, although the majority of the works date from the begining of Modern Art.