Donated to MACBA just one year ago, the Rafael Tous Collection is a portrait of a specific artistic practice at a particular moment in time. A passionate collector who was linked to the textile world, Rafael Tous developed an eye for Conceptual art, with its diverse practices that nevertheless prioritise the idea and process over the object. Acting intuitively, and without regard for market speculation, Tous built a collection that helps define the attitudes and experimental work carried out by a group of artists, many of whom became friends and were supported by him on their artistic journey.
This collection contains the testimony of a generation that chose to take part in exhibitions held in alternative cultural spaces rather than more conventional art venues. The first of these were Mostra d’Art Jove, an exhibition of young artists held in Granollers in 1971 and 1972; 1.219 m3 at a pelota court in Vilanova de la Roca, 1972; and Informació d’Art Concepte at the Llotja del Tint in Banyoles, 1973. Equally relevant are the spaces that constituted the cultural fabric of the time by acting as alternatives to the non-existent institutional circuits, such as the Petite Galerie de l’Alliance Française in Lleida, Sala Tres in Sabadell, Espai B5-125 of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and, in Barcelona, Sala Vinçon, the galleries ‘G’, Aquitània and Ciento, Escola Eina, Sala de l’Associació del Personal de la Caja de Pensiones and the various foreign cultural institutes, among others. It is also worth noting the role played from 1980 onwards by Metrònom, an exhibition space in the heart of the city created and programmed by Tous himself. Metrònom acted as a catalyst for ideas that fused music, performance and site-specific projects, and led to the creation of many large-scale installations.
Curated by: Antònia Maria Perelló, curator and head of the Collection MACBA, and Claudia Segura, curator of exhibitions and Collection.
In real time. The Rafael Tous Collection of Conceptual Art offers an important journey through the experimental practices of the seventies and eighties in Catalonia, including action art, the interaction with nature, an interest in the media and the new consumerism, social and political critique, the word and the incorporation of the object, to mention but a few. The works presented here clearly illuminate the inclinations and preferences of this private collector, who, in the act of collecting, found his own way of expressing himself.
Francesc Abad, Eugènia Balcells, Jordi Benito, Carmen Calvo, Jordi Cerdà, CVA (Comité de Vigilancia Artística), Benet Ferrer, Alicia Fingerhut, Teresa Gancedo, Ferran Garcia Sevilla, Eulàlia Grau, Josep Maria Joan i Rosa, Àngel Jové, Antoni Llena, Eva Lootz, Miralda, Fina Miralles, Muntadas, Pere Noguera, Jordi Pablo, Pilar Palomer, Carlos Pazos, Carles Pujol, Joan Rabascall, Àngels Ribé, Benet Rossell, Francesc Torres and Jaume Xifra.
We wish to express our gratitude to Rafael Tous for his generosity, dedication and involvement in the project, as well as to all the artists with whom we have collaborated closely to make this exhibition possible.
We also want to thank the following people and companies for their help and support: Vicenç Altaió; Víctor Aguado; AMEE (Associació de Música Electroacústica i Art Sonor d’Espanya); ENPLATER S.A.; Enric Farrés Duran; Barbara Held; Grupo Lacasa; Mont Marsà; Antoni Mercader; Gloria Moure; Gerardo Peral; Glòria Picazo; Ros Ribas; Valentín Roma; Ivo Sans Fingerhut; Manuel Segade; Nil Tous.