Things to Do
Essential museums, monuments, festivals, walks and tours in Madrid
- Top Madrid attractions
- 20 great things to do in Madrid
- Outdoor swimming pools
- Things to do on a Sunday
- Free things to do
This week and beyond
La Casa del Lector in Matadero Madrid starts its cycle called 'Library: Geographical History of an Idea', devoting digital displays to the impressive archives kept at the National Library of Israel. This is an interactive exhibition in that through the use of tablets, mobile devices and QR codes you can access documents, maps, videos and audio files that reflect the history of the Jewish people throughout the centuries. Among the most interesting items of the collection are a letter written by Stefan Zweig dating back to 1933 that describes the anti-Semitism that reigned in Austria, as well as a diary written by the father of the Basch family, which chronicles the last days of their lives before they were deported to Auschwitz in May 1944 during the Jewish holiday, Shavuot (Pentecost).
This exhibition focuses on a space that's rarely the star of shows that fill up museums: the playground. With nearly 300 pieces spanning genres (photography, film, video, sculpture, installations...), 'Playgrounds' offers a journey through these play areas and their capacity to transform society with works by the likes of Goya, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Giacometti and Xabier Rivas. From the playground’s fun beginnings to when free time started being gobbled up by consumerism, the exhibition takes on the anti-productive attitude, the right to be lazy and not do anything in the face of the frenetic pace of modern life.
The magazine 'Ajoblanco' provided the best critical look at public live in Spain for more than 20 years. In the exhibition ‘Ajoblanco. Ruptura, contestación y vitalismo (1974-1999)’, you'll find some 180 magazines and 30 special editions that will help you take a closer look and learn about this libertarian way to enjoy culture, ideas and artistic collectives. The publication is divided into two different stages, from 1974 to 1980 and from 1987 to 1999, becoming part of the memory of four different generations of readers.
At the age of 77, Le Corbusier went for a swim in the Mediterranean and was swallowed by the sea. It was the summer of 1965, and he'd already spent more than six decades fighting with the landscape. Although he was born in Switzerland, or perhaps because he was born in the geographic centre of Swiss timing, he became a poetic machinist who produced housing accommodation (houses and flats), he conceived enormous cities redrawing the landscape from an airplane, and he transformed reinforced concrete into the dominant material of the modern age.You can see this, and much more, in the CaixaForum, itself a modernist building apparently far removed from the theories drawn by the man born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris (La Chaux-de-Fonds, 1887 – Roquebrune-Cap- Martin, 1965) and widely known by the pseudonym Le Corbusier. 'An Atlas of Modern Landscapes', the subtitle of the exhibition, is the most comprehensive ever seen, and will explain the intention of the curator, Jean-Louis Cohen: architecture, which was less appreciated when engineering got in touch with its creative side, searches for a new space in the urban universe and ends up rooting itself in line with the saying taken from the Goya painting, 'the sleep of reason produces monsters'.Le Corbusier, as can be seen through objects, models, photographs, drawings, installations and various documents, was a multifaceted creator. His ideology was above the mainstream: he worked for Soviet communists, Italian fascists, South Ameri
The best works of one of the pioneers of pop art finally arrive in Madrid in the form of a retrospective exhibition. Richard Hamilton (London, 1922-2011) was a British painter who left school to work in an advertising agency. There he started his artistic journey, which would end up making him the father of pop art, thanks to his unique interpretation of mass culture. This exhibition brings together more than 250 works produced between 1949 and 2010 and includes paintings, photographs, drawings and etchings, as well as works that resulted from Hamilton's experimentation with computer-generated images and collaborations with other artists. Pay special attention to the installations 'This Is Tomorrow', 'An Exhibit', 'Man, Machine and Motion' and 'Growth and Form', reconstructed for the first time for this show, which coincides with 'Mitos del Pop' at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Probably the most personal and autobiographical exhibitions of one of the key artists of 20th-century Spanish photography. 'Autorretrato' ('Self-Portrait') shows García-Alix's most self-referential works from the late '70s to the present. The artist has photographed big names in Spanish culture, such as Pedro Almodóvar, Emma Suárez and Camarón de la Isla. Why see it? García-Alix's portraits are singular and this exhibition shows us what he wants us to see about himself. It's our chance to navigate through his life from early self-portraits to photos of fragments of his body, and, bit by bit, we learn his true story.