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Madrid's must-see art exhibitions

Paintings, photography, sculpture... these are the art exhibitions you won't want to miss in Madrid's museums and galleries

Calling all lovers of painting, photography, sculpture, and art in general: this is your selection of art collections, exhibitions and shows on in Madrid's museums, galleries and cultural centres. Whether they're on for just a few weeks or you have months to check them out, don't miss these top art exhibitions in the city.

Pity and Terror: Picasso’s Path to 'Guernica'

This could well be the biggest exhibition of the year. Coinciding with the 80th anniversary of 'Guernica', the Reina Sofía presents this exhibition that looks into Picasso's vision of modern warfare, whose objective was destruction of entire populations, and focuses on the imaginary roots of the imposing painting in works created after 1925, where you could already see scenes showing explicitly violent situations. Picasso took on this theme on various occasions and linked it directly and indirectly to sexuality. 'Pity and Terror...' poses a thorough analysis of what this painting represents: the interior of a room that collapses and breaks into a thousand pieces because of a bomb, and about the path it had to take artistically speaking in order to become the masterpiece it is.

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Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía , Lavapiés Until Monday September 4 2017

Elliot Erwitt. Cuba

As part of the official section of PhotoEspaña 2017 and commissioned by Roderick Van der Lee, you can enjoy this show of the legendary photographer Elliot Erwitt, who travelled to Cuba for the first time in 1964, accompanied by Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, on behalf of 'Newsweek'.

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Real Jardín Botánico , Centro Until Monday July 31 2017

Arte y Cine. 120 años de intercambios

The La Caixa social programme, in collaboration with the Cinémathèque Française, brings to Madrid this exhibition that talks about the exchanges and mutual influences between cinema and the rest of the arts throughout history. Another aim is to show that cinema can be part of an exhibition as well. At last we can compare films on the walls of a museum like we compare works of art in other disciplines. In addition to showing the aesthetic benefit that all areas of art have got from cinema, especially as a promoter of the avant-gardes, this exhibition aims to illustrate cinema's continuing vitality during the most recent contemporary stage, which started in the 1980s and carries on to today.

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CaixaForum , Barrio de las Letras Until Sunday August 20 2017

La mirada del otro. Escenarios para la diferencia

With an inauguration coinciding with World Pride, the Museo del Prado has organised the exhibition 'The Other's Gaze. Spaces of difference', a new journey through a selection of works from its permanent collection that invite us to contemplate and reflect on the historical realities of love between people of the same sex and non-normative sexual identities. From Antínoo to Caravaggio, the Prado looks at art and society at the time of the featured artists, models and collectors, whose memory has been marked forever by their sexual identity. 

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Museo del Prado , Retiro Until Sunday September 10 2017

Albert Renger-Patzsch. La perspectiva de las cosas

Albert Renger-Patzsch (Würzburg, 1897-Wamel, 1966) is regarded as one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. He was one of the key exponents of German New Objectivity, an artistic movement that arose after the First World War that, in general terms and as a reaction to the preceding wave of Expressionism, aimed to achieve the most objective representation of the world possible. This exhibition, one of the biggest Renger-Patzsch retrospectives to date, includes 185 photographs and a variety of documents. In the artwork, it's possible to appreciate the extreme originality of the photographer, with his sober images and rigorously technical and formal approach where the camera is used to intensify our conscience and perspective on things. 

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Fundación Mapfre , Chueca Until Sunday September 10 2017

El derecho a amar

This photographic project is the brainchild of photographer Isabel Muñoz, and curated by Christian Caujolle; it was created exclusively to coincide with this year's World Pride Madrid although you can see it until the autumn. The artist, winner of Spain's 2016 National Photography Award, has captured a gallery of portraits featuring some of the leading figures on the current Spanish LGBTI scene, accompanied by an illustrated document about the different lifestyles encompassed by the LGBTI community. The protagonists interact with the observer through the camera and story of their personal experiences. 

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CentroCentro , Centro Until Sunday October 1 2017

Viñetas. Conxita Herrero

The series 'The city in vignettes', which every three months features a writer who uses their own particular style and graphic narrative to explore the buildings, people and stories that inhabit Madrid, currently has its spotlight on Barcelona creative Conxita Herrero. She draws, makes fanzines and writes poems and songs. She's worked for 'VICE' and 'El País Tentaciones', and was a team member on the CITI project (2015) of the Sala de Arte Joven de Madrid, where she created three murals. Last April, the publisher Apa-Apa cómics released 'Gran bola de helado' ('Big scoop of ice cream'), her first graphic novel.  

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CentroCentro , Centro Until Sunday October 1 2017

Brujas. Metamorfosis de Goya

This is the second part of the project 'Angels and Witches. Metamorphosis of Goya' in which the Mexican artist Denise de la Rua approaches the work of Francisco de Goya from a contemporary perspective; in this case she took a collection of six works entitled 'Asuntos de brujas' ('Witch matters'), that the Aragon artist completed for the Capricho palace of the Dukes of Osuna. De la Rue has created large-scale photos that bring together the original artworks and six iconic Spanish actresses: Maribel Verdú, Bárbara Lennie, Inma Cuesta, Macarena García, Verónica Echegui and Adriana Ugarte. The results are pieces with a notable visual power, which is strengthened by the artist's interest in investigating the capacity of women to reinvent and empower themselves. 

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Museo Lázaro Galdiano , Barrio de Salamanca Until Tuesday October 31 2017

El Renacimiento en Venecia

This summer the Museo Thyssen presents an exhibition dedicated to 16th-century Venetian painting, with masterpieces by artists like Tiziano, Tintoretto, Veronés and Lotto, all brought from important collections and museums around the world. With a subtitle of 'The Triumph of Beauty and the Destruction of Painting', the show focuses on the most characteristic aspects of that period, from the importance of colour and the observation of real life through images of power and beauty, to the destruction of the brushstroke and colour in works during the latter years of this creative era. 

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Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza , Centro Until Sunday September 24 2017

Sonia Delaunay-Terk. Arte, diseño y moda

'Sonia Delaunay-Terk. Art, design and fashion' is the first solo show for the artist in Spain, and it's a demonstration of her wide-ranging creativity. Don't miss your opportunity to see her paintings, fashion designs and textiles, which are shown alongside her innovative collaborations with poets and stage designers. The show focuses on the period that the artist and her family lived in Madrid; it's exactly 100 years since they arrived in the city. Delaunay-Terk, who was born in Russia, became a key figure in the first Parisian vanguard movement and, together with her husband, painter Robert Delaunay, she embarked on an artistic adventure based on contrasts of colour and reworking shapes through the use of light. Experience abstract art, design and fashion intertwined.   

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Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza , Centro Until Sunday October 15 2017