The art system in Spain tentatively began to take shape in the eighties, during the early days of the transition to democracy. A decade later it had put down roots, with the opening and promotion of new museums and contemporary art centres throughout the whole country, a trend that has continued up until the recent past.

Rightly or wrongly, the State has been highly influential in shaping this system right from the start, a circumstance that sets it apart from other European models and from the Anglo American model in particular. On one hand, this influence can be seen in a cultural financing model that is essentially based on government sponsorship and has made it possible to carry out projects unfettered by the limitations of the market; on the other, it has led to an unfortunate history of political meddling in cultural management.

This meeting returns to some of the key elements of that first stage of gestation of a State art system, offering a snapshot of the debates, agents, institutions and cultural policies that shaped it. Rather than trying to offer a thorough vision of all of the developments that have followed, the idea is to compare this snapshot with the situation today – in the context of a much more globalised (art) world –, when the art system in Spain and its models of governance and financing are again undergoing a profound rethink.

Auditori MACBA


Friday 17 February 2012
17.30-18.15 Jesús Carrillo
18.15-19.00 Patricia Mayayo
19.15-20.00 Jorge Luis Marzo
20.00-21.30 Open Debate

Jesús Carrillo is an art historian and the head of cultural programmes at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. He is the author of Tecnología e imperio (2003) and Arte en la red (2003), and co-editor of Modos de hacer: arte crítico, esfera pública y acción directa (2001) and several volumes of the editorial project Desacuerdos.

Patricia Mayayo is a professor of art history at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, where she participated in the research project El sistema del arte en España, 1975-2000. She has published , Cuerpos sexuados, cuerpos de (re)producción (2011) and Historias de mujeres, historias del arte (2003), among other titles.

Joge Luis Marzo is an art historian, curator and professor at ELISAVA/Universitat Pompeu Fabra. He is the author of several books including Art modern i franquisme (2007) and ¿Puedo hablarle con libertad, excelencia? Arte y poder en España desde 1950 (2010).

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Instantáneas del sistema del arte en el Estado español, 1982-2012 (Patricia Mayayo)
Instantáneas del sistema del arte en el Estado español, 1982-2012 (Jesús Carrillo)
Instantáneas del sistema del arte en el Estado español, 1982-2012 (Jorge Luis Marzo)