Approaches I. Contemporary Spanish Art in Helga de Alvear Collection

Approaches I is the first of a new series of exhibitions which aim to explore the Helga de Alvear Foundation Collection’s commitment and engagement with Spanish contemporary art from a variety of different perspectives.

from November 5th 2011 to September 30th 2012

Approaches I is the first of a new series of exhibitions which aim to explore the Helga de Alvear Foundation Collection’s commitment and engagement with Spanish contemporary art from a variety of different perspectives. This first “approach”, curated by Rafael Doctor, features works from 1975-2011.
In this exhibition visitors can appreciate the rich range of arguments and approaches employed by Spanish art in recent years and how these has been reflected in the specific personality of this collection, undoubtedly one of the most singular and important collections ever created in Spain.
As visitors walk through the rooms of the Centre they will come across a number of different conceptual sections, invariably open to interpretation, into which various artists –the crucial pillars for understanding the nature of art made in Spain in recent times– have been placed separately.
The exhibition starts off in a peculiar airport waiting room made by Ester Partegàs which raises a host of questions and ideas about collecting and officialdom, and about the sensual and poetic aspects of perception. These questions and ideas also pervade a large room nearby devoted to works discussing the complexity of nature in many different ways. On floor -2 is set aside for Pop art painting and for the two principal styles of this genre to be found in Spain. On display on floor -1 are various conceptual approaches that highlight a critical analysis of Spanish society and history. Lastly, in two large rooms on floor 1 works of art based on a wide range of pictorial approaches are contrasted with sculptural pieces conceived with different conceptual and formal notions.
Amongst these works, a few other pieces have been interspersed transversally across the exhibition layout. Accordingly, a visit to this exhibition is an open-ended adventure to be read and interpreted differently by each visitor, who are encouraged to be the real actors in this complex, fascinating and absolutely thriving story about Spanish contemporary art.

Rafael Doctor Roncero

Arts administration expert and art historian, Rafael Doctor studied History of Art at the University of Castilla-La Mancha and the Complutense University in Madrid. In 1998 he founded and directed the magazine Apartado 14.479 and began to contribute to various media specializing in contemporary art. In 1991 he coordinated the Cuatro Direcciones project at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid and the following year he collaborated with the Department of Exhibitions of the Comunidad de Madrid. From 1993 to 2000 he was in charge of programming cultural events at the venue of Canal de Isabel II in Madrid where he curated a number of exhibitions of contemporary photography as well as launching the Jornadas de Estudio de la Imagen of the Comunidad de Madrid, which he directed for the first seven years. In 1997 he was responsible for creating and directing Espacio Uno at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, where he worked until 2001 curating some twenty exhibitions. That same year, on occasion of the Venice Biennale, he curated an exhibition called Ofelia y Ulises. En torno al arte español contemporáneo and he was appointed as head of the art programme at the Casa de América in Madrid. From the end of 2002 until the beginning of 2009 he set up and directed the MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León. He curated the Noche en Blanco in Madrid, in 2009, and the Noche de Luna llena in Segovia, in 2011. From October 2009 to October 2010 he directed the Fundación Santander 2016. In addition, during this entire time he has regularly given lectures and classes at Arts Centres and Universities in Spain, Europe and Latin America and he has been a member on the juries of the most important national art prizes as well as author of innumerable articles, texts and essays. In 2003 he was awarded the Medal for Civil Merit by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his contribution to the expansion of Spanish culture. He is author of the novel Masticar los tallos de las flores regaladas (Almuzara 2006) and the non-fictional books Una historia otra de la fotografía (Taller de Arte, 2000) and Historias de la fotografía (Taller de Arte, 2002).

Review of the exhibition about the first of a new series of exhibitions which aim to explore the Helga de Alvear Collection’s commitment and engagement with Spanish contemporary art from a variety of different perspectives. This first “approach”, curated by Rafael Doctor, features works from 1975-2011.

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