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Top art exhibitions in Madrid right now

These are the art exhibitions on in Madrid's museums and galleries that you won't want to miss

By Jan Fleischer and Time Out Madrid editors |
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Ceija Stojka

Calling all lovers of painting, photography, sculpture, and art in general: we know one of the biggest things to do in Madrid for you is to check out the best exhibitions on in the city right now. This is our selection of what you won't want to miss in Madrid's museums and galleries.

1
Diego Rivera. Artista universal
Art

Diego Rivera. Universal artist

Casa de México, Chamberí

The Casa de México in Madrid celebrates its first anniversary, and as part of that celebration the space hosts an exhibition centered on Diego Rivera, one of the biggest names in modern Mexican painting. The interactive exhibition brings together 20 works that reflect the stages of Rivera's life and work accompanied by a photographic exhibition and the installation of a didactic room based on the mural 'Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central'.

2
Atmosphere
Photograph: Dave Allocca/Starpix
Art

Game of Thrones. The official exhibition

IFEMA - Feria de Madrid, Campo de las Naciones

'Game of Thrones: The official exhibition' is the biggest show in the world about the HBO series: the interactive experience covers more than 1,000 square metres, is completely inspired by the show, and features fascinating objects, giant images, and pieces from wardrobe, decorations and props. You'll find never-before-seen immersive environments, several themed areas based on different locations featured in the series, and settings created for the occasion. Plus you get your chance to sit on the iron throne.

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3
Tutankhamon - La tumba y sus tesoros
Things to do, Exhibitions

Tutankhamun: The tomb and its treasures

IFEMA - Feria de Madrid, Campo de las Naciones

This exhibition reconstructs Tutankhamun's tomb and the treasures found inside it, with more than 1,000 pieces that transport you to the discovery of these funeral chambers by the English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter in 1922. It's a unique opportunity for those passionate about archaeology and Ancient Egypt to discover this funerary treasure in its original archaeological context. Learn all the details about the history of the young pharaoh as well as the excavation works carried out in the Valley of the kings by Carter and his team.

4
Ceija Stojka
Art

Ceija Stojka. This Has Happened

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Lavapiés

Austrian-Romani artist Ceija Stojka offers a testimony on the persecution and genocide of the gypsy community under the rule of Nazi Germany. Deported at age ten along with her family, Stojka survived three concentration camps during World War II, only to fully realize what she'd gone through some forty years later, between 1988 and 2012, when she embarked on an intense exercise of her memory through writing, drawing and painting.

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5
Jimmy Liao
Art

Jimmy Liao. The essential and the invisible

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Spain jointly organize this exhibition by Taiwanese illustrator Jimmy Liao, one of Asia's most well-known and widely published creators in the West. The exhibition is a journey through the universe created by an artist who, from the beginning of his career, decided that illustrated books should not be read only by children, but that they could also attract adults by addressing topics of general interest. With great sensitivity, Liao has been creating beautiful stories, full of feelings and colour but also of harsh reality.

6
El maestro de papel
Art

The Master of Paper

Museo del Prado, Retiro

'The Master of Paper. Drawing Books from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Centuries' offers a reflection on the use of drawing books as an essential teaching tool for learning to draw and their evolution in Europe, including Spain. Due to the facts that they're made of paper and they were constantly in use in artists’ studios, academies and private homes, few examples of these books have survived. Now you can appreciate pieces such as 'Treaty on the Passions of the Soul' by Charles Le Brun; drawings of faces that reflect anger, joy, laughter or tranquility; and those that the curator has deemed as the inspiration for modern-day emoticons.

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7
Goya. Dibujos. "Solo la voluntad me sobra"
Art

Goya. Drawings. 'Only my strength of will remains'

Museo del Prado, Retiro

This exhibition brings together, for the first time, more than 300 of Goya’s drawings from both the Prado’s own holdings and from private and public collections worldwide. The result is a chronological survey of the artist’s work that includes drawings from every period of his career, from the Italian Sketchbook to those created in Bordeaux. In addition, the exhibition offers a modern perspective on the ideas that recur throughout Goya’s work, revealing the ongoing relevance and modernity of his thinking.

8
El Roto. No se puede mirar
Art

El Roto. One Cannot Watch

Museo del Prado, Retiro

This collection of drawings by Andrés Rábago (Madrid, 1947), El Roto, has been gathered together specifically to be shown at the Prado, where it coincides with the Goya exhibition (see above). Both Goya's and El Roto's work are designed to make us think. They show us the dark and real side of human existence. Goya drew and etched with the intention of including society in his criticisms of human behaviour, just as El Roto has through his daily vignettes, in which he combines the image with a brief but expressive text, consistent with essential brevity of his style.

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9
Arte povera
Art

Mario Merz. Time is mute

Palacio de Velázquez, Retiro

The Reina Sofía Museum dedicates a retrospective to the late Italian artist Mario Merz. The exhibition takes viewers to the sociopolitical context of Italy in the 1960s and 1970s, when Merz, through his works made with found or crude materials, was already questioning the established system and the role of individuals as social agents in a predetermined structure. Merz went back to traditional, almost ancestral forms, including domestic objects, animals, and archaic constructions, and along with organic, everyday and symbolic materials, he sought to deepen the origin of society and the traces of these life models in current times.

10
Bailarina basculando. Edgar Degas
©Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza
Art

The Impressionists and Photography

More than 100 photographs and over 30 oil paintings make up this exhibition that looks at the relationship between Impressionist painting and photography. From the first daguerreotypes to the earliest prints on paper, photography soon intrigued the Impressionists because of its technical qualities. Monet, Pissarro and Degas showed interest in photography as a source of inspiration: light and space were trapped in the photos, so they could review the scene over and over again, without having to paint in a hurry, as when they worked outdoors. The exhibition is organised around nine blocks in which artists and photographers found points in common when creating.

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