A little more than a century ago, Russian artist Kazmir Malevich's most abstract work, 'Black Square', opened a Pandora's box, and since then, throughout the 20th century, the death or disappearance of painting has been announced repeatedly.
When we awoke from the litany of bad omens, however, painting was still around and didn't seem to be on its way out at all. Starting in the '80s, it began rising from its ashes to redeem itself as a medium capable of self-renewal and of fusing with other disciplines: it metamorphosed and took new forms beyond the canvas, surpassing the geometry of the frame.
The CaixaForum has dived into the archives of its collection, made up of more than a thousand pieces, of which almost half are paintings, to celebrate the validity and evolution of contemporary painting over the past 30 years with this exhibition. 'The painting. A permanent challenge' goes through the different mutations of this artistic expression, placing special emphasis on abstraction, materials and expanded painting. You'll see Robert Mangold's imposing 'Curved Plane', the folded canvases by Ángela de la Cruz, the monochromes made of crushed banknotes by Ignasi Aballí, and the big installation that employs all kinds of materials and textures by Jessica Stockholder, among others. The projection 'Au revoir', by Michael Snow, will have you glued to your seat.
Whether it's on canvas, sculpture, photography, collage, video or performance, painting is very much alive and well.