Exhibition Le Corbusier, an atlas of modern landscape in Caixa Forum Madrid.

CaixaForum Madrid hosts until October 12 a special exhibition devoted to this creative, organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and in collaboration with the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris. 
 
The exhibition offers a truly vital tour through Charles-Édouard Jeanneret's life with his early influences at his birthplace, in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Jura, Switzerland., 1887), and tracking of all his movements at the planet, which had a great influence on his work and his concept of architectura and urbanism. 
Jeanneret was more than an architect and furniture designer, was also a painter, writer and photographer, and, moreover, was a visionary, critic and ambitious, whose revolutionary projects were breathtaking for everyone. But what it was most fascinating in his works was the idea of questioning the status quo and ambition as a radical change in concepts, starting with the material used itself and following the organic character of the buildings. In 1920, already established in Paris, founded with poet Paul Dermée magazine of art and avant-garde culture L'Esprit nouveau, where he began signing his articles with the pseudonym Le Corbusier, not to link your real name to provocations contained in his writings. 
Its buildings are the aesthetic lines of the 50s, however, the zenith of his creations blossoms between 1920 and 1930 never would have said that some of their best ideas are from this period, but it is. The commitment reinforced concrete housing construction modular and expandable and movable plates, the vast redevelopment projects of European capitals ... The ideas of Le Corbusier soaked all their architectural conceptions and in them was always the deseeo of espetar dialogue with the landscape and the environment, and create a magnificent work which incorporate all the good that had been collecting throughout his many travels abroad. From this period are the groundbreaking proposals for redevelopment of the center of Paris or Moscow Kremlin, projects that never saw the light. 
 
The insatiable ambition of Le Corbusier not always (or rather never) coincided with the desire for change or reform who had to approve their projects. Le Corbusier was busy, tireless in attack the obsolescence of these thoughts and the obtuse and limited character who cercenaban, again and again, his view of revolution and urban transformation. Few of his extraordinary complete renovation projects were carried out, and that fruited did outside Europe. Indeed, Le Corbusier was almost bound to an intellectual exile. In his many lectures, in which he drew while setting out his ideas, to the amazement of the audience, did not hide his disappointment with the impositions of power and constant denials that he was a victim. 
Le Corbusier did not hesitate to go to South America, Africa and Asia. However always dreamed of returning to Europe. And he did, accepting projects 
lesser importance in which he could also implement some of his ideas, such as building known unités d'habitation, modular homes designed to facilitate the building and be functional, or designs in harmony with the landscape, such as the well-known chapel of Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp. 
 
In recent time, Le Corbusier became melancholic and nostalgic, and drastically reduced its activity, taking refuge in his painting studio at the foot of the Mediterranean, to live with what he called "my island".

 

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.