Dialogues with the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español in Cuenca
The Spain of the 1950s, at the height of Francoism, and Europe after the Second World War saw the birth of a painting radically different from that of the interwar period. Cubism and surrealism were succeeded by European informalism and American abstract expressionism, which questioned the form and matter of painting. Thus, a new generation of artists revolutionized art and opened new paths for abstraction. The importance of the painter's gesture, the expansion of the pictorial space and the use of new pigments mixed with other materials and on other supports mark the artist's new relationship with reality.
At the same time, as an opposition to the emotional, violent and individualistic nature of abstract expressionism, and to informalist tendencies, a series of movements appeared at the end of the fifties that were also expressed in the field of abstraction but which they seek harmony and order in geometry, sharp contours and pure colors, and kinetic experiences that incorporate a reflection on space and movement.
The exhibition "THE PATHS OF ABSTRACTION, 1958-1977. Dialogues with the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español of Cuenca» is based on the important holdings of the Museum of Abstract Art of Cuenca created in 1966 by the painter and collector Fernando Zóbel, and managed since 1981 by Fundación Juan March. The exhibition highlights the significance of this museum, which Alfred H. Barr, founder and first director of MoMA, said in 1967 was "the most beautiful little museum in the world", while also presenting the variety and complexity of the various forms that abstraction adopted during the second half of the 20th century, and shows its main tendencies in the national and international spheres, such as informalism, abstract expressionism, geometric abstraction, art optical-kinetic or the painting of color fields.
The selection, which has around seventy works, includes works by Spanish artists with international prestige, such as Antonio Saura, Manolo Millares, Rafael Canogar, José Guerrero, Equipo 57 or Pablo Palazuelo, and also by the main representatives of the Catalan informalism, such as Antoni Tàpies, Modest Cuixart, Joan Josep Tharrats, Josep Guinovart or Albert Ràfols-Casamada, among others. In its presentation at La Pedrera, the exhibition is complemented by a dialogue with some of the main international artists through the work of artists such as Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Jean Dubuffet, Hans Hartung , Alberto Burri, Alexander Calder, Ad Reinhardt, Esteban Vicente or Mark Rothko.
An exhibition organised by Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation and Fundación Juan March.
Curated by: Manuel Fontán del Junco, Sergi Plans and Marga Viza.