ART AGENDA FOR SUMMER’19: WHAT YOU CANNOT MISS THIS AUGUST

Summer is the ideal occasion to enjoy culture and art in a more relaxed way, outside the rush of the rest of the year. In addition to resting and regaining strength, it is good to take advantage of all the cultural activities scheduled at this time to help us stand the heat.

MADRID

Rogelio López Cuenca awaits us at the Reina Sofía Museum with the exhibition “Yendo leyendo, dando lugar”. This is the first monographic exhibition that the Centre dedicates to this creator of Nerja, obsessed with the power of language and plasticity that the message can adopt in its many forms and over time. From his beginnings in the 80s with collaborative works that merged different disciplines, until he changed direction in the mid-90s, becoming more reflective and critical with the system, López Cuenca shares his concern around essential topics for the individual of our time, such as the migratory flows, historical memory or urban speculation. Until August 26th.

Rogelio López Cuenca, “Traverser”, 1986. Yñiguez Aragón Collection (via museoreinasofia.es)

SEVILLE

In 2019, the memorable trip to the Moon turns 50 years, a unique event that marked the history of events of the twentieth century. CaixaForum joins the commemorations with a funny and close exhibition about the work of Hergé and his famous character Tintin. Because Hergé was a visionary and, years before the first human-crewed mission left the planet, he had already put these charismatic protagonists in orbit. “Tintin and the Moon” covers a large part of the most famous and well-known space missions, in addition to planning a journey through the history of space exploration by the hand of Tintin and Milú. Until October 27th.

VALENCIA

Any occasion is a good moment to review the work of Fernando Léger, one of the parents of modernism. The IVAM, in collaboration with Tate Liverpool, organises this exhibition that brings together fifty pieces of the author, as well as videos, fabrics and murals, with which to take a tour of the trajectory of this Parisian creator. Besides, the exhibition revisits some key points of his artistic role and emphasises his profile of political criticism, being Léger, as he was, a staunch defender of the social function of art for all.

Fernando Léger, “Le tableau Les Constructeurs”, 1950

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

Media has extensively covered the refugee drama in recent years. However, the approach to the problem has sensationalist dyes that emphasise the drama of the experience lived by its protagonists and the catastrophic consequences of many failed trips. The CGAC of Santiago de Compostela brings together the work of about twenty contemporary artists under the curatorship of Piedad Solans and Santiago Olmo, in an exhibition that addresses this human conflict with a historical perspective and with less emphasis on the journalistic dissemination of the situation. Because societies and identities are also built on the basis of the flows of people. Exile has been, is and will be a great engine of cultural exchange and must be faced as a reality not exceptional, but purely human. "We refugees", until October 13th.

Roland Fischer, “Refugees”, 2016. (via cgac web, courtesy of the artist)

BARCELONA

With educational vocation, the CCCB hosts the exhibition “Quantum”, a project that gathers the joint work of artists and scientists to facilitate the explanation of concepts related to quantum physics. The tour splits into two parts, on the one hand, the work of ten artists who introduce these notions in their work to demonstrate that quantum physics transcends the purely theoretical level of academicism, and, on the other, the development and results of nine research projects around this theoretical physics approach. The visitor faces a multitude of questions about our reality and the perception of the world in an enriching and different experience that will make us rethink the traditional postulates of the known. Until September 24th.

LEON

The exhibition “El giro notacional” of the MUSAC delves into the power of the notation systems in the different fields in which they apply, not only for academic purposes but also for reflection. The desire to limit something, to translate it into a universally understandable encrypted language is at the same time, a form of intervention that eliminates the arbitrariness and freedom of things that happen without a pre-established order. This collective exhibition brings together the work of a large group of artists under the curatorship of José Iges and Manuel Olveira. The route articulates around five main axes: the musical notation, the mathematical and scientific world, the notations of the kinetic movement, those of cartography and space and, finally, those of thought. Until September 15th.

Josep Maria Mestres Quadreny, “Aronada”, 1971.

 

Buying the first work of art always instils respect. A difficult feeling to define that mixes vertigo with adrenaline. But over uncertainty and caution, a pleasurable sense of connection, understanding, and desire prevails. That work that, once seen, stays in the mind, reappears in the memory several times a day and seems to tell you that it is willing to be part of your home, is the perfect candidate to make the decision.

In the first steps, many collectors do point out that one does not start from an established plan, but rather that one acquires pieces based on taste and the connection one feels with them until, after time, they realise that the volume of works that accumulates can be labelled as a "collection". For example, this is how Alicia Aza explains it:

“I was not aware that I was collecting until many years later when a third party named me as a collector and talked about my collection. In 2005, I became aware of what collecting means and decided to articulate a collection with an identity of criteria and formats”.

Marcos Martín Blanco, co-founder, with his wife Elena Rueda, of the MER Collection, shares this same opinion:

“Collecting has been a passion, driven by a visceral state that encourages you to do so. The collection, in terms of acquisitions, has not been particularly complicated because, let's face it: it is easy to buy because they are all beautiful things and you have some clear idea of where you want to go, but at first those preferences were not so clear. It is with the time that a criterion is being formed”.

It is not always this way, of course, but for the buyer who starts out on this path, the personal connection that entails the first piece is essential. There it is the germ of a lasting relationship that is not limited to a simple aesthetic question but is an open window to knowledge, to exploration, to a world that is often unknown to us and awakens our fascination. The seed of that connection is purely sentimental, and it is precisely this impulse that determines the first acquisitions. The first piece is never forgotten.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Ana Maqueda

Exceeding the usual recommendations made by advisers and agents, rare is the occasion when the art lover decides to buy by pure investment. These paths usually open later, when the volume of pieces is large enough. In addition, there are those who are a bit against this classic concept of the traditional collector, approached from an eccentric, elitist and little accessible vision. On the contrary, art buyers are, above all, art lovers, sentient beings and permeable to creative stimulus who, at a given moment, decide to deepen the relationship they already have with art to take a piece home.

It is not that hard to overcome that small psychological barrier that turns the visitor into a buyer if one approaches the matter from a more personal and intimate perspective than from social consideration. Small-format works, graphic work or serial photography are of great help for this, whose price range, generally more affordable, allows a closer comparison to the daily basis expenses. In this way, the purchase of art falls within the range of feasible activities and becomes something close and possible.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Marc Cisneros

At that moment, a different relationship with art begins, based on pure experience and coexistence with the acquired piece. Perhaps it can be seen as an act of daring, but on many occasions, it is more a matter of necessity and transformation. Collectors also agree that the acquisition of an artwork is an exercise on personal analysis and opening up to a new field of knowledge that was previously alien to us. Alicia Aza explains that the reason she acquired her first piece of video art, by Sergio Prego, is because she did not understand it and because she saw it as a challenge and an opportunity to self-improve. This open window to knowledge creates new connections and bonds with creators, as one of the most fascinating parts of the process. Candela Álvarez Soldevilla explains that

"I think the most interesting thing in the art world is talking to artists. They are people with a special sensitivity to listen and understand.”

And Alicia Aza also says:

"I can share the satisfaction of being able to count on many artists in my circle of close friends today, and that is a long way to go."

Thus, with works that seem acceptable within the horizon of expenses that each one considers affordable, it is easy to find a piece that catches us. Since then, our home also evolves into a space in which art has a permanent place and presence, and there is no doubt that this transforms us inside.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Henar Herguera

Jaime Sordo, owner of Los Bragales collection and founder of the 9915 Contemporary Art Collectors Association, has always defined his relationship with art as a true passion and a vital necessity. For buyers who start on this path, he has the following recommendation:

“It is an essential condition that they feel the need to live with their passion to enjoy the works. Another very important aspect is that before making decisions for purchases, they are informed, so it is necessary to read specialised newspapers and books, visit exhibitions and museums and a lot of contact with galleries, which is an important and very specific source of information of the artists they represent. Finally, the presence in national and international art fairs. All this generates information and training.”

Indeed, fairs have become a good place for discovery because they condense a wide offer and allow diverse and global contact in a concentrated way. For this reason, many new generation buyers start in the context of an event such as Art Madrid, whose closeness and quality constitute a unique opportunity to meet, soak up and feed the passion for art.

(*) quotes taken from various interviews published in public media between 2013 and 2019.