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Spanish sculpture. 20th-21st centuries

  • Art
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The title of the exhibition says it all – or almost. We are talking about a grouping of Spanish sculpture from over the last 100 years. Curated by Kosme de Barañano, the exhibition includes pieces by some of the most important sculptors in Spain, but not all of them. 'This is a personal selection,' as De Barañano pre-emptively defends himself in the catalogue before any possible attacks. 'It is my thoughtful choice that starts with the best Basque sculptor, Paco Durrio, and ends with the work of a student from years ago, David Rodríguez.' And in between, a journey is plotted along the winding roads – by techniques, materials and concepts – of the art of sculpting and modelling. Twenty works that give a general idea of ​​what has been done and what is being done today.

Durrio's 'Gran medallón con figura o El sueño de Eva' (1908) starts things off. Next, it's two etchings by Picasso, part of the wonderful 'Vollard Suite' (1930-1937), attesting to the artist's interest in sculpture. It's a shame that it wasn't possible to include any sculpture by the Malagan artist, who, once again, took one of the leading arts to unsuspected limits. Back to the exhibition, you see it isn't necessarily in chronological order, with 'El Picador' (1925), by José de Creeft; two self-portraits by Julio González and his bronze 'Femme dite "Les trois plis"' (1931); and Chillida's wooden sculpture 'Ilarik II' (1954). The exhibition also unfolds with a roll call fairly predictable names (not to say they're any less worthy) – Gargallo, Miró, Clavé, Palazuelo, Tàpies, Plensa – until you get to the piece you can see from the door and that waits for you at the end, 'Blotter figure with shutter III' (1999), by Juan Muñoz.

It is interesting to find a show with these characteristics – some might say that are more in line with what you'd see in an art centre – where the majority of pieces are ceded by private foundations and museums. It's an ambitious exhibition that, ultimately, serves to highlight the work of the artists who are represented in the gallery: Blanca Muñoz, Manolo Valdés, Francisco Leiro, David Rodríguez, Martín Chirino and Antonio López.


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