Spain 1957-2007 – at Palazzo Sant Elia in the Sicilian Capital of Palermo


Spanish Art 1957-2007
Exhibition > 14th September 2008

España 1957-2007, curated by Demetrio Paparoni, qualifies among the most important shows on Spanish art that were organised in the last few decades.

Mostra España 1957-2007, a cura di Demetrio Paparoni, Palazzo Sant’Elia, Palermo.
Da sinistra:
Equipo Crónica, La salita (Las Meninas), 1970, 200 x 200 cm;
Juan Muñoz, En el espejo, 1997;
Pablo Picasso, Nu couché et homme à la guitare, 1972, 81 x 100 cm.
© Fotografie Valentina Glorioso

The exhibition has its starting point in 1957, when the El Paso group was established, thereby marking a shift in 20th-century Spanish art from the modern to the contemporary. 1957 was a crucial year as it brought about a radical change in Spanish art. However, the exhibition also includes a selection of works by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Joan Mirò, and Salvador Dalì, who continued to represent a significant point of reference for younger generations of artists. Modern and contemporary Spanish art is deeply rooted in the tradition of the past, notably the 17th Century, with Cervantes’ Don Quixote and the Baroque tradition. The exhibition, therefore, is not organised chronologically. Rather, it is divided into sections, namely:

Quijotismo trágico (Tragic Quixotism). There is nothing quite like Cervantes’ mockheroic poem, Don Quixote, to express the tension, rooted in Spanish culture, towards goals so ambitious, that they necessarily embody the risk of failure. 20th-century art is permeated by the so-called quijotismo, that is, the bitter irony always verging on comedy but capable as well to show the tragedy of failure, regardless of historical periods and of the various styles adopted.

Misticismo pagano (Pagan Mysticism). The pull towards the divine expresses itself in Spanish culture as mysticism. However, it is not merely single individuals who long to escape towards God. On the contrary, there are more complex social phenomena at play, which become manifest in rich collective rituals, highly charged with sexual energy.

Existencialismo barrocco (Baroque Existentialism). While the section entitled Quijotismo trágico examines the relationship between the single individual and other people, the focus here is the individual’s relation with him/herself. Baroque Existentialism finds expression in the so-called horror vacui (literally, “fear of empty space”), which man experiences when he confronts his limits. Stylistically, such a theme is carried out by invading space with a profusion of objects, which aim to fill the anxiety generated by the aforementioned void.

Tenebrismo hispánico (Spanish “Tenebrismo”). The name of this section was inspired by the pictorial style, adopted by a peculiar group of artists from Northern Europe and Spain. It focuses on the relation Spanish art has entertained with black, and on its predilection for very strong contrasts, based on the chiaroscuro technique.

Abstracción simbólico-formal (Symbolic and Formal Abstraction). Finally, within the context of 20th-century abstract art, Spanish art moves along two lines, that is, it both focuses on the relation human beings have with their subconscious, often expressing it in surrealistic fashion, and it employs nature’s geometric shapes conceptually (and instrumentally). In both cases, the goal is to define a self-sufficient language “grammar,” capable of dealing creatively with symbols and with their concrete counterparts, which cannot be entirely controlled, not even by the author/artist.

Mostra España 1957-2007, a cura di Demetrio Paparoni, Palazzo Sant’Elia, Palermo.
Da sinistra:
Luis Gordillo, Alunizando, 2002, La Fiebre verde, 2001, dittico, insieme 400 x 350 cm;
Daniel Verbis, El ojo del huracán, 2006, tecnica mista e dipinto murale, cm 5 x 16 metri.
© Fotografie Valentina Glorioso

Mostra España 1957-2007, a cura di Demetrio Paparoni, Palazzo Sant’Elia, Palermo.
Da sinistra:
Francisco Leiro, Capítulo XV Don Quijote apaleado por unos arrieros, 2005, 429 x 400 cm;
MP & MP Rosado, Han dormido mucho tiempo en el bosque, 2002, misure variabili;
Rafael Canogar, El castigo, 1969, 169 x 110 x 54,5 cm.
© Fotografie Valentina Glorioso

Mostra España 1957-2007, a cura di Demetrio Paparoni, Palazzo Sant’Elia, Palermo.
Da sinistra:
Carmen Calvo, En el centro, 1996, 250 x 4000 400 cm;
Jordi Bernadó, Manolete, 2007, 180 x 230 cm;
Eduardo Arroyo, Le Meilleur Cheval du monde, 1965, 200 x 230 cm.
© Fotografie Valentina Glorioso

Mostra España 1957-2007, a cura di Demetrio Paparoni, Palazzo Sant’Elia, Palermo.
Da sinistra:
Juan Uslé, Rizoma mayor, 1998-1999, 244 x 305 cm;
Juan Miró, Mujeres y pajaros, 1968, 245 x 125 cm;
Juan Miró, Escritura sobre fondo rojo, 1960, 195 x 130 cm; Juan Miró, Personnage et oiseau, 1968; Juan Miró , Le Guerrier, 1970;
Juan Miró, Personnage, 1970.
© Fotografie Valentina Glorioso

List of exhibited artists :

Fermín Aguayo, Manu Arregui, Eduardo Arroyo, Txomin Badiola, José Manuel Ballester, Jorge Barbi, Miquel Barceló, Jordi Bernadó, Joan Brossa, Luis Buñuel, Carmen Calvo, Daniel Canogar, Rafael Canogar, Jacobo Castellano, Eduardo Chillida, Jordi Colomer, Salvador Dalí, Equipo Crónica, Equipo 57, Pepe Espaliú, Esther Ferrer, Dionisio Gonzalez, Luis Gordillo, Juan Hidalgo, Cristina Iglesias, Pello Irazu, Francisco Leiro, Eva Lootz, Antonio López, Enrique Marty, Ramón Masats, Mateo Maté, Manolo Millares, Antoni Miralda, Joan Miró, Juan Luis Moraza, MP & MP Rosado, Juan Muñoz, Antoni Muntadas, Miquel Navarro, Aitor Ortiz, Jorge Oteiza, Pablo Palazuelo, Carlos Pazos, Perejaume, Javier Pérez, Pablo Picasso, Joan Hernández Pijuan, Jaume Plensa, Sergio Prego, Manuel Rivera, Bernardí Roig, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Antonio Saura, Adolfo Schlosser, Eusebio Sempere, José Maria Sicilia, Santiago Sierra, Susana Solano, José Suárez, Antoni Tàpies, Francesc Torres, Juan Uslé, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina, Eulàlia Valldosera, Daniel Verbis, Manuel Vilariño, Zush/Evru.

    Images © Valentina Glorioso. All rights reserved

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~ by Stampfli & Turci on August 18, 2008.

5 Responses to “Spain 1957-2007 – at Palazzo Sant Elia in the Sicilian Capital of Palermo”

  1. […] Spain 1957-2007 – at Palazzo Sant Elia in the Sicilian Capital of Palermo […]

  2. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.

    Tim Ramsey

  3. We visited this exhibition and saw a fantastic short film featuring a male ballet dancer. Could you possibily tell me which artist this was by????

  4. The Dancer video was made by Manu Arregui and is titled “Un impulso lirico del Alma” 2007 HD Video 8’00”.

  5. Hello, we visited this exhibition and saw a video made of many photographs. You could see a man that is getting wet. This moment is shown from different perspektivs. We would like to know the name of the artist and of cause the name of the video. Thank you very much. Olli + Cris

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