The illusion of far west in Thyssen Museum Madrid

 

 

 

Sitting Bull, Billy the Kid, dusty plains with herds of buffalo, wild horses scanning the horizon and the paradisiac waterfalls... The exhibition "Illusion of the Far West" is a myth and a romantic enthusiasm, and a topical and colonizing argument, too but it presses the appropriate key to leave us, once again, shocked because of its landscapes, the dignity of the wild Indians, their communion with the most exuberant nature, its connection with all powerful gods... and with how those all discoveries of the painters and artists of the nineteenth century ended up going through the filter of the market and cinema, transforming those "noble savages" into a parody of misery, in the story of a disappearance announced.

 

 

 

 

The exhibition, curated by the artist Miguel Angel Blanco, brings together more than 200 pieces including paintings, photographs, prints, books, comics, movie posters, ethnographic pieces ... and so resembles a curio cabinet that blends art pieces and objects, "treasures" of that nature (precious stones, weapons, fossils, turtle shells, ...). As Guillermo Solana, director of the museum, has explained "it is a time when museums are too predictable, we have wanted to go up to that time when there was no division between art and nature, and where fantasy and reality go hand by hand. A moment in which the Indian territory had already been occupied and most of its inhabitants exterminated with their cultural traditions ".

 

 

 

 

Early Spanish explorers during the sixteenth century, the first contact with native tribes, landscapes and photographs of artists of the nineteenth and Thomas Hill, Henry Lewis, Albert Bierstadt, Carleton E. Watkins, they marked an exciting episode in the history Art, being the eyes that saw the exoticism and grandeur of the new conquered lands and its inhabitants for the first time. Another part of the exhibition is dedicated to the Indian chiefs, with their headdresses, body-painting and their objects of power. For the first time in Spain we can see the famous portraits by George Catlin and Karl Bodmer, Sitting Bull, Geronimo and Joseph - they offered themselves to record their image and power. Edward S. Curtis was the author of the photographic series The American Indian, a controversial and valuable artistic and ethnographic legacy, today largely lost, from which they have been selected multiple images. Curtis portrayed Indian Chiefs when they went to the capital to try to keep the rights of their peoples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the curator of the exhibition, has presented a set of book-boxes from his Forest Library made with materials from the territories of the American West. Until 7 February at the Thyssen Museum in Madrid we can stroll through the political, military and strategic US history, and take a tour of building his own legend as a nation. The rest of the world have drunkthis legend in cinemascope format and posters of Comanche, The Return of a Man Called Horse...

 

 

 

 

Among the parallel activities to the exhibition there is a visit called "Death had a price," this Saturday November 14 at the Meadow of Navalvillar de Colmenar Viejo, location of important westerns as "The Good, the Bad and bad "with Clint Eastwood," The last adventure of General Custer "with Robert Shaw," Three outlaws and a gunman "with Lee Marvin and" Django "with Franco Nero. This activity is aimed at students and graduates in Fine Arts, History Art, Museology, Philosophy, Communication Sciences, interdisciplinary practices and working artists.
 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.