AI WEIWEI VISITS SPAIN’S NEWEST CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM

29/07/2021

Leading artist, Ai Weiwei visited the Helga de Alvear Museum, Spain’s newest contemporary art museum, in the heart of the historic city of Cáceres yesterday. One of the most important new contemporary art museums in Europe, the Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear in Cáceres, has been created to house Spain’s most significant private

Leading artist, Ai Weiwei visited the Helga de Alvear Museum, Spain’s newest contemporary art museum, in the heart of the historic city of Cáceres yesterday.

One of the most important new contemporary art museums in Europe, the Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear in Cáceres, has been created to house Spain’s most significant private collection of international contemporary art developed over 40 years by the leading gallerist and collector, Helga de Alvear.

Ai Weiwei´s work Descending Light (2007) which is located in the central hall of the museum, has already become an icon for citizens of Cáceres. It was installed with the collaboration of art students from the local high school working with the museum’s education department.

Ai Weiwei turns the chandelier lamp, common in institutional buildings throughout the country, into a symbol of the luxury of the elites. Thus, aesthetically as well as critically, he creates a metaphor for contemporary China. By showing the lamp on the ground, he conveys a clear political message to us. Despite the material success of China’s economic boom in recent years, the communist power apparatus must collapse in order to achieve a true democracy that respects human rights to exist.

Interested in artworks that helps us to understand our present, Helga de Alvear has been a collector of Ai Weiwei’s work over many years. She will donate to the city other works by the artist, now part of the museum’s collection, including Untitled (2006), the video installation 258 Fake (2003-2011) and Colored vases (2008).

The Helga de Alvear Museum was founded in response to Helga de Alvear’s wish to share her collection with the public and to the ambition of several public institutions in Extremadura to provide Cáceres with a centre for research, promotion and education in the field of the contemporary visual arts.

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