Exhibition Josef Albers in Fundación Juan March Madrid

The first retrospective dedicated to Josef Albers (1888-1976) in Spain it is here thanks to Juan March Foundation. However, it does not pretend to be a common retrospective, with a chronological ordered exhibition of the artist´s works, no, this exhibition has the vocation to let the pieces speak themselves, to make transcend the intrinsic coherence of an irrefutable artistic trajectory, whose main pillars are simplicity, minimalism and, up to a certain point, the craftsmanship in the execution. 

Albers is known as an abstract painter. His inclination for this tendency was shown in his academic beginnings and it can be recognized the influence of artists as Matisse or Mondrian. Nevertheless, in its work's abstraction we can appreciate a clear sense of search the equilibrium, the compositive correction and precision in the facture. It seems that, as Juan Ramón Jiménez did,  who searched for pure poetry into the own potentiality of each absolute word, Albers explores the total capability of colors, the bare form, but expressive, the flat geometry that creates volumes, the unreal deepness projected by the cleanliness of lines and the superposition of structures.

It is advisable to underline the teaching trajectory of Albers. He started its academic career in Germany, in Bauhaus design school, and then he went to Dessau as professor. With the nazi uprising in 1933, he continued this labour in EE.UU., where he joined the Black Mountain College (North Carolina) till 1949, moment when he started to manage the Design Department of Yale University till 1958. These trips left a mark into his work, a clear example of transition art between artistic European tradition and the North-American one, and he had a great influence over North-American artists of 50's decade, as Richard Serra or Eva Hesse, through "Hard Edge" movement, expression coined by the curator and art critical Jules Langsner in 1959 to identify the painting movement followed by Californian artists whose main characteristic is the abstraction based on geometric outlines and defined color areas.

We recommend you to visit this exhibition that shows a hundred works never seen before in our country, and knowing Josef Albers, who was, in addition, a writer and art critical of recognized prestige.
 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
From 28th March to 6th July, 2014.
Fundación Juan March (Castelló, 77. Madrid)
Opening times: M-S from 11 to 20 h. | Sunday and fair days: from 11 to 14 h.

 

Among the specialised professional profiles that we find in the cultural sector, and more specifically, in the field of visual arts, one of the most recent occupations is that of the curator. The ‘80s put attention on the role of the artist, with its innovative character and the enhancement of its figure as an essential articulator of creative proposals, while the end of the century moved the interest towards the exhibition centres themselves and their work as custodians of current production and as spaces to accommodate all proposals. The change of millennium strongly introduced in this panorama the role of the curator. Perhaps together with a social identity crisis, perhaps with the complexity that contemporary projects are currently acquiring, the need for building, articulating and delving into artistic discourses became evident.

Although the functions entrusted to this profession are not entirely new, since previously they belonged to conservatives, critics or experts according to the themes, the role has gained solidity because it combines all these purposes while allowing the specialisation of other professionals in their fields of competence. Now, as some curators themselves point out, the genuine spirit of this figure, who was born to facilitate the understanding of the discourse, create narratives within a sometimes chaotic and scattered context, mediate between the works and the spectator and create bridges between contemporary art and society.

The art of our day raises a multitude of unknowns for the visitor who must face proposals many times away from the aesthetic standards, which gives way to uncertainty and confusion; but, in turn, these works employ a closer language, materials and even compositions detached from the sophistication and the technical display of yesteryear, something that, far from favouring proximity to the message, generates some distancing. What we have just described is part of the very essence of current art. The questioning of the formalist guidelines and the recourse to tangible elements that are more utilitarian than embellishing are the new criteria of creation, where, above all, the message to be conveyed stands out.

Likewise, another inherent characteristic of the work of our time is the artists' concern for more immediate themes, for social, political and economic issues that seek to create a narrative and conceptual revulsion, leaving behind the aesthetic priority or, rather, making of the message its own aesthetic. In this context, strange as it may seem, contemporary creation encounters a linguistic barrier hindering the viewer's understanding. And to this circumstance, the abundant current production is added, covering a wide range of themes that are nothing more than a transcript of our diverse and globalised society.

The curator helps to facilitate this understanding by articulating a coherent discourse that allows the grouping of related ideas to set up the message. This requires to have an in-depth knowledge of the current state of the art, the lines of work of the creators, the most recent aesthetic proposals and the real demands of society to bridge the dialogue and allow the approach to art. If art deals with the same issues that concern us all, how can we not share its postulates? Cultural mediation requires the work of the curators to open a small window for reflection and to enable a space for exchange and idea generation. We share the thought that José Guirao expressed in a recent interview: "The curator is someone who reveals something new, and it would be a mistake for curators to become managers."

Understood this way curator’s role, many institutions have joined the trend of creating specific calls for new professionals to give light to their proposals. Let us remember, as an example, the call "Unpublished" of La Casa Encendida, or "Curator wanted", of the Community of Madrid or the call of Curating of La Caixa.