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|Letter from Madrid
by Ysabel de la Rosa
|ARCO (Feb. 10-15, 2000) is Madrid's Wagnerian art event, an international art fair, epic in scope as well as square footage. This year, Madrid's museums, art institutes and galleries have created a rich adjunct to the fair, with a variety of exhibitions that are best described by the Spanish expression, "una delicia." They are each visually "delicious."
The Krugier-Poniatowski Collection
The couple's selection, informed by their own artistic training and gallery-ownership experience, results in a viewing experience that is warm, intimate and with many a graceful surprise. Says Krugier, "Art has a specific language and rhythm. More and more, we are losing these criteria. Art has rules." In "The Timeless Eye," those rules never become the end, only the means to it. Art from the past has never looked so new to me as it did in this visual "trans-historical" dialogue. The exhibition is on view through May 14, 2000.
Teresa Lanceta at the Reina Sofia
This absorbing show is divided into three distinct areas, one of which displays Moroccan floor coverings and cloths mounted in the floor beneath glass panels. A large portion of the Moroccan tapestries come from the collection of Bert Flint, who was present for the opening and played a significant role in the show's organization. The exhibition, on view here through May 3, 2000, was curated by Marie-France Vivier of Paris's Musée des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie.
Also at the Reina Sofía in Espacio Uno: An installation by Ana Laura Aláez called Dance & Disco. This could be interesting -- "an esthetically balanced disco space, where exhibition-goers can dance, have a drink or a good time."
"Water Spirits" at the Caixa Foundation
At the Museo de Américas
At the galleries
A show by Greek artist Dimitrios Dourdoumas, with paintings that explore "the marginalization that leads to insanity" is underway at Angeles Penché Gallery, Calle Esquinza, 11.
Prints by Spanish contemporary artists are up at Garage Regium Gallery, Calle Pradillo, 5. Soledad Lorenzo is showing José María Sicilia. Calle Orfila, 5. Through Feb. 17.
Just for fun
One of the cartoons is a direct take-off of a recent Spanish car commercial. In the TV spot, an art-dealer takes a client through an artist's retrospective. The paintings are quite grand, measuring about 18 feet high by 9 feet wide, and all are black on black.
The last painting in the show looks something like a Morris Louis gone amuck, and is "awash" with garish colors slipping over each other. The client asks, "What happened here?" The dealer shrugs and replies, "All I know is the artist changed cars."
In the cartoon done by Jordi Figueroa Serra of Valls, Spain, when the client looks at the final, colorful painting, the dealer says, "And here, all I know is that they changed the Minister of Culture."
With national elections scheduled for Mar. 12, the cartoon could prove to be prophetic, whomever wins the presidency. If Socialist Candidate Joaquín Almunia is elected, the Minister of Culture position is sure to be filled by someone other than the post's current occupant, Mariano Rajoy.
On the other hand, given that Rajoy also serves as incumbent President José María Aznar's campaign manager, Rajoy could well move to a different, but equally strategic position in the new cabinet, if Aznar remains for a second term.
See you in Madrid!
YSABEL DE LA ROSA is an art historian who writes on art from Spain.