This selection reflected the Museum’s desire to assemble a collection that prioritises the originality and innovative nature of the art that produced in Catalonia in the second half of the twentieth century, without leaving aside the international context that they formed part of.
The exhibition began with a selection of works focusing on the connections between the Catalan and the international avant-gardes, exemplified by artists such as Alexander Calder, Joaquín Torres García, Hans Hofmann and Josep Lluís Sert.
Moving into the sixties, the emphasis shifted to the coexistence of the contructivist works of Jorge Oteiza and Pablo Palazuelo, the informal approach of Antoni Tàpies, Jean Dubuffet and Lucio Fontana, and the expressionism of Antonio Saura.
Meanwhile the rupture that took place in response to Informalism in the sixties was illustrated with works by artists such as Marcel Broodthaers, Robert Rauschenberg, Piero Manzoni and Mario Merz. In the following decade, in Catalonia, the pictorial trend based on texture, colour, brushstroke and gesture – Albert Ràfols-Casamada, Joan Hernández Pijuan and Robert Llimós – coexisted with the conceptual approach of Francesc Abad, Fina Miralles, Pere Noguera, Francesc Torres and Àngels Ribé.
A selection of Ferran Garcia Sevilla’s Dioses introduced the primitive and expressionistic painting of the eighties. The exhibition continued with a space set aside for projects from the eighties and nineties: the interest in intimism – the concerns and human fears of Rosemarie Trockel, Pepe Espaliú and Juan Muñoz – existed alongside the desire to modulate spaces and urban metaphors of Jordi Colomer, and the works of James Lee Byars, which lay somewhere between the cryptic and ironic.
This presentation came as a response to the museum’s interest in building a collection that gave priority to the originality and innovative character of approaches originating in Catalonia, while also mentioning the international context in which they could be included at the same time.
The exhibition was structured around certain key moments:
The connection with the avant-gardes, accentuating the relationships established in Catalonia with international artists who had close links with the culture of the country, such as Alexander Calder, Joaquim Torres i García and even Hans Hofmann who, through his relationship with Josep Lluís Sert, represented the connection with international art.
The 1950s, which witnessed the appearance of different approaches, from those derived from Constructivism (Jorge Oteiza and Pablo Palazuelo) to decidedly informal ones that focused on matter and gesture, such as the works of Antoni Tàpies, Jean Dubuffet and Lucio Fontana, as well as those tending toward Expressionism, as was the case with Antonio Saura.
Reactions to international Informalism, which came about during the 1960s in the form of very different approaches with innovative and ground-breaking perspectives by artists such as Marcel Broodthaers, Robert Rauschenberg, Piero Manzoni and Mario Merz. In the 1970s, Catalonia saw the co-existence of painters interested in texture, colour, brushstroke and gesture, as was the case with Albert Ràfols-Casamada, Joan Hernández i Pijuan and Robert Llimós, in addition to artists who followed conceptual approaches which placed the idea or concept above formalisation of the work. The active core of Catalan conceptual art was represented in the show by Francesc Abad, Fina Miralles, Pere Noguera, Francesc Torres and Àngels Ribé.
Painting from the 1980s, with its more “primitive” and Expressionist trends, which was introduced with a selection of the Gods of Ferran Garcia i Sevilla. This presentation of the collection ended with a space dedicated to different approaches from the 1980s and 1990s which shared an interest in human intimacy, concerns and fears present in some recent approaches by Rosemarie Trockel, Pepe Espaliú and Juan Muñoz, as well as the call to build, the modulation of spaces and city metaphors, as appeared in the works of Jordi Colomer.
Works by James Lee Byars, halfway between cryptic and ironic, which ended the exhibition.