Encuesta a 24 galerías de arte de Madrid, 1974

Survey of 24 Galleries in Madrid, 1974
Media installation, Various dimensions

This work, which remained unseen until the exhibition that the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona dedicated to Grup de Treball in 1999, consists of a survey of 24 art galleries in Madrid. Although signed by Grup de Treball, it was Francesc Abad and Dorothée Selz who personally conducted the surveys. Rottenburg, Novart, Kreisler, Aele, De Luis, Biosca, Vandrés, Kahnweiler, Skira, Redor and Lienzo were among the galleries that received the questionnaire. The work includes a map of Madrid upon which red stickers indicate the location of the 24 galleries interviewed. Their geographical situation, concentrated in a couple of respectable neighbourhoods near the city centre, already indicates the position of the art market within the social spectrum.

The work was carried out following Grup de Treball’s participation in Nuevos Comportamientos Artísticos (New Artistic Directions), held at the German Cultural Institute in Madrid in March 1974. It took the form of lectures, actions, discussions and documentation and was organised by the German Institute in Madrid and Barcelona and the British and Italian institutes in Barcelona. Grup de Treball was actively involved with different actions, statements and interventions, such as the gallery survey. The twelve questions received by the galleries included the following: Do you agree that the gallery establishes and maintains the value of the work of art? Would you accept that artistic practice be detached from an exchange value? In a context like ours, do you believe art is possible without galleries (prices) and without collectors (speculation)? In the face of real transformation, do you think that the gallery would make sense? The direction and tone of the questions make clear the intention of the project, emphasising the link between art and the market or between art and capital. The work aimed to highlight the eminently mercantile aspect of art galleries, underscoring the lack of artistic criteria and questioning their promotional mechanisms.

The work represents the second phase of Grup de Treball. If during 1973 the group had consolidated, 1974 was a time of radicalisation and the opening of a wider platform of discussion. While one focus of the group’s interest was the political situation and social repression under the Franco regime, another was the critical debate on the distribution channels of art and their sometimes opaque mechanisms. ‘Basically, the ideology of Grup de Treball consisted in denouncing the romantic and idealistic conception of art, the elitism of its distribution channels[...], the commodification of art, and in demanding a critical reading from the viewer.’

Technical details

Original title:
Encuesta a 24 galerías de arte de Madrid
Registration number:
Grup de Treball (Grup d'artistes)
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Media installation
Map of the city of Madrid, various documentation on paper and gelatin silver prints
Various dimensions
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Gift of Grup de Treball
© Grup de Treball
It has accessibility resources:

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Encuesta a 24 galerías de arte de Madrid