Fiction and Reality: Spanish Art of the 21st Century in the Contemporary Art Collection of Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid
The «Fiction and Reality» show at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art is held within Russia — Spain Year 2011. The project presents works by Spanish artists form the collection at the Patio Herreriano Museum. The Museum opened in the city of Valladolid in 2002. Its collection comprises oeuvres by Spanish masters dated from 1918 to the present, which have been aquired by the Association «Contemporary Art Collection» since 1987. The Collection counts over 1000 works, and is considered to be the biggest collection of contemporary Spanish art. The works acquired by Spanish prívate companies are donated to the Association and are exhibited at the Patio Herreriano Museum.
The curator of the exhibition is the chief coordinator of the Collection — Maria de Corral, world famous art historian. For the project in Moscow she has selected works which best illustrate the full spectrum of contemporary Spanish art. The exhibition will include a range of works in various media — painting, video, photography, installation, sculpture, drawings — created in the past decade, and will feature artists who are all important figures in the contemporary Spanish art scene.
The key theme selected for the show by Maria de Corral is the interplay of fiction and reality. The curator states that the past decade forced us to review the notions of the real and the virtual worlds. With the development of new technologies the gap between reality and fiction has become enormous. Fiction and reality are the new source of inspiration for the artists of this century.
The first exhibition room presents photography. Almost all works feature people. Photographs by artists Damiàn Ucieda and Laura Torrado create the illusion of action. Whereas Damiàn’s characters look like imaginary film actors, Laura Torrado makes up theatrical scenes marked by incredible femininity. In the works by the artists’ duo Cabello and Carceller girls dress up as David Bowie and Brad Pitt, and Txomin Badiola unfolds before the viewer a multi-episode drama.
In the black and white graphic works by José Miguel Pereñíguez people vanish completely, and abstract symbols take their place. Executed with academic precision, these drawings conjure up images of dreams. Chus García Fraile conjures up enchanting images of a nocturnal city with surprisingly simple means, Ester Partegás plays with consumer society imagery.
Maggie Cardelús, Concha Pérez and Sandra Gamarra create an illusion of intimacy. The artists abandon traditional techniques, and combine photography, sculpture, installation, and painting. The next room develops the idea of space, employing solely painterly medium. Alfonso Albacete creates a realistic interior, which, in its turn, serves as a background for an impossibly bright abstract composition. In Philipp Fröhlich’s dream-like scene, house interiors suddenly merge with wild nature. Jorge Galindo combines surrealism, kitch and pop-art. Abstract works by Felicidad Moreno and Nico Munuera are also exhibited in this gallery.
In the next room, the works on display are executed in mixed media to show how artists use new technologies mixed with traditional painting techniques, to expand the boundaries of painting . The exhibition is concluded with video works by Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Sergio Prego, El Perro and Cristina Lucas.
The thematic division is only arbitrary, since any real classification demands detachment which is virtually impossible when dealing with the art of our contemporaries.
All works displayed at the «Fiction and Reality» show are not only reflective of the true Spanish nature, but they have enough creative potential to be understood outside of the country of origin. The curator believes that this project presents the most accessible way of communication between the two countries — the laguage of art is international as it blurs territorial, social, and language borders.