THE FACE OF CONTEMPORARY MODERNITY

Lyonel Feininger, Untitled (Crystals Broken), 1927. Oil on canvas, 72 x 70 cm. Particular collection. Courtesy Moeller Fine Art, New York © Moeller Fine Art, New York © VEGAP, Madrid, 2017. Image courtesy of Juan March Foundation.

 

 

Lyonel feininger (1971-1956) was an American artist of German ancestry who was an essential for the artistic panorama of the avant-gardes. He began his training in music, encouraged by his parents who also shared that passion. At the age of 16 his life took a turn and began to experiment with drawing and illustration, his main passion. He entered the world of comics and his cartoons soon dressed the covers of American and German magazines. After consolidating his career in that genre, he became more and more determined by painting and this allowed him to freely develop his creative capacity.

 

 

Children Kin-der: The famous German artist Feininger presents the characters he will create. In The Chicago Sunday Tribune, April 29, 1906. Photomechanical print, 58 x 89 cm. © Moeller Fine Art, New York. © VEGAP, Madrid, 2017.

 


At the beginning of the twentieth century, he adopted more abstract language by entering into the knowledge of straight lines and fragmented planes of color. As early as 1919, Walter Gropius himself encouraged him to teach engraving at the Bauhaus and this was his task until its closure in 1932 by the Nazis. After this historical event he decided to move to the United States where he would continue to create until his death. Here, it is where the Juan March Foundation (Madrid) enters, which takes time expressing figures and movements little explored.

 

 

Zirchow VII (1918). Oil on canvas, 80.7 x 100.6 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington. © VEGAP, Madrid, 2017.

 

 

With Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956), a retrospective of his entire career, he shows more than 400 works alternating techniques and styles that was adopted throughout his artistic life. Coming from public and private collections in Europe and the United States, they also deal with different topics such as caricature, satirical drawings, their fixation by bridges or the representation of such emblematic places as Paris or Manhattan. The exhibition is completed with a catalog that awaits inside the biography of the artist with essays and texts by well-known personalities such as Martin Faass or Sebastian Ehlert.

 

View of the exhibition

 

 

The director of the Foundation, Javier Gomá, along with the director of exhibitions Manuel Fontán assure that he is a figure that for many he fell into oblivion, and with this sample he wants to pay homage to what was a genius of his generation. The exhibition will run until May 28.

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.