The Museo Reina Sofia has added to its collection Is the war over? Art in a divided world , a long-term loan of 34 works from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. The inclusion of these works emphasizes a transatlantic dialogue generated by the arrival of European geometric art models to Latin America, reviving and establishing new bridges to make an invention of the concrete experience, a new land to explore, a language with global purpose yet with strong links with the local.
The works from the Colección Cisneros are installed within a specific historical context, in galleries that reflect the rise and impact of American painting. The first room, Colección Cisneros: Concrete Abstraction is dedicated to the geometric aspect, with both concrete and neo-concrete art and featuring works by Willys de Castro, Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark. The second room, Colección Cisneros 2: Movement and participation includes connection to optical and kinetic art as represented by Gego, Jesus Soto and Mira Schendel, who broke with the images of a “Cold America” and opened to a new and vibrant horizon that also involved audience participation.
After having traveled for thirteen years through some of the most important cultural institutions in Germany, France, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Denmark and Slovenia, and received more than seven million visitors, the Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in collaboration with Centro Gaiás Cidade da Cultura present, for the first time in Spain, the “Orinoco. Viaje a un mundo perdido” ["Orinoco. Journey to a lost world"], on view from May 27th 2013 through January 12th, 2014.
The show at Centro Gaiás offers a unique tribute to the cultural tradition of the twelve ethnic groups living in the Venezuelan Amazon: De’aruwa (Piaroa) Ye’kuana, Yanomami, Hiwi (Guahibo) , E’ñepa (Panare) Wakuenai (Curripaco), Baniva, Bare, Puinave, Warekena, Tsase (Piapoco) and Hoti. Composed of a wide selection of useful objects used by each indigenous group, the collection consists of over 1,500 pieces collected over fifty years of exploration: masks, basketry, body ornaments, musical instruments, feathered, canoes, paddles or gear , everyday objects and magical-religious objects made of forest materials, from parts of animals to plants and minerals.
The Orinoco Collection immerses in the so called “Lost World”, a protected and warm place in the heart of the Amazon jungle, where only one percent of the sunlight manages to reach the ground by noon, but where thethese groups found twelve thousand years ago a cozy place with all the necessary to live. The exhibition is a hymn to unspoiled nature and to the respect for the environment as well as a tribute to traditional cultures and their environmentally friendly way of live. You can explore the show at www.orinoco.org
The Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (FC/CPPC) announces its first major exhibition in Europe, La invención concreta: Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, from January 23rd through September 16th 2013.
La invención concreta [Concrete Invention] traces the development of geometric abstraction in Latin America from the 1930s to the 1970s.
Jointly curated by the respective directors of the Reina Sofia and the CPPC, Manuel Borja-Villel, and Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, this exhibition covers a period of optimism for Latin America as its economies grew after World War II, bringing a sense of confidence and an independence from the European influence that had characterized Latin American culture before the war.
The show is organized around the idea of the intentions of these artists who produced works that they believed could change the world, sometimes socially and sometimes more intimately.
The works connect to a belief system and a broader cultural project, and ask fundamental questions about the nature of art and its place in the world. This exhibition is based on the premise that geometry is a language used by artists to express a broad range of often contradictory intentions, including works by Lygia Clark, Jesus Soto, Tomás Maldonado, Joaquín Torres-García, Hélio Oiticica among many more.
The five groupings around which the exhibition is organized—illusion, geometry, vibration, dialogue and universalism—respond to philosophical premises about geometry and its significance, ranging from the material to the spiritual, the metaphorical to the objective.
FC/CPPC seeks out innovation within the digital world, taking advantage of new tools to further expand its mission and reach the widest audience possible. Accordingly, the show will be accompanied by a comprehensive digital initiative that includes a mobile website and an iPad app that will enhance onsite visits and allow people to access the show and get familiar with the artwork from home and abroad, while sharing through social media tools their own experience with their acquaintances. To explore the artwork in the show please visit www.lainvencionconcreta.org or download the iPad app through iTunes for free.
The Museo Reina Sofía and the Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros have reached an important collaborative agreement in which both institutions will develop a number of cultural projects progressively and jointly. The first phase of this agreement took place on March 2nd and 3rd at the Reina Sofía with an international symposium on Latin American art titled Rethinking American Modernism: Flows and Overflows.
During 2013, the relationship between the two institutions will be consolidated with the opening of a major exhibition dedicated to abstract art in Latin America during 1940-1970, made possible by the collection of the FC/CPPC curated by Manuel Borja-Villel, director of the Museo Reina Sofía, and Gabriel Perez-Barreiro, director of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. Finally, it is expected that this collaboration will culminate in extended loan of an important group of works from the FC/CPPC to be exhibited in the galleries of the Reina Sofia Museum.
International Symposium on Latin American art: Rethinking American Modernisms: Flows and Overflows
The Museo Reina Sofía hosted an international symposium to build a constellation of critical views about modern Latin American art.
Prestigious critics, artists, curators and international experts met to address the problems of the origin of abstraction, the reciprocal influences between Europe and Latin America, as well as the complex processes between tradition and modernity. The workshop provided a theoretical foundation for a future exhibition from the CPPC to be held in 2013 at the Reina Sofia Museum.
Major exhibition from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros at the Museo Reina Sofia in 2013
One of the key moments of XX century art was the period between 1940-1970 in Latin America. This is essentially due to the fact that it had evolved differently from the European or North American art that had, until then, been hegemonic.
In this sense, the best Latin American art collection, which contains the keys that made it unique, is that of the FC/CPPC. The core of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros gathers an important group of works that provide testimony of the uniqueness of that historical period. Among those included are Venezuelan artists such as Gego, Soto and Cruz-Diez; Brazilian artists Mira Schendel, Lygia Clark, Helio Oiticica and Lygia Pape; the Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres Garcia and, from Argentina, Tomás Maldonado and Gyula Kosice.
Collaboration between the Fundación Cisneros and the Reina Sofía will allow the Museum to welcome, for the first time, an exhibition of Latin American abstract art from the years 1940-1970. This show is not only critical for the direction that the Museum is developing, but will also be integrated into educational projects and publications that the agreement provides for.
Extended loan agreement
Finally, this collaborative agreement will culminate with the extended loan of an important body of work from the FC/CPPC to be exhibited in dialogue with the collection from the Museo Reina Sofía.