Back with Gauguin and Caravaggio in 2022 | Culture


Details of the eccehomo that could be from Caravaggio.
Details of the eccehomo that could be from Caravaggio.

Two paintings by two completely different artists will mark 2022. Better not to set a date on when it will return to the Thyssen Museum in Madrid Mata Mua by Gauguin, which since June 2020 has been in a warehouse in Andorra, the place of residence of its owner, Carmen Cervera. And it is also not convenient to venture with the day when the scientific community will decide if the eccehomo that was going to be auctioned for 1,500 euros in Madrid in April 2021 is not a painting by Ribera but a lost canvas by Caravaggio. Times in the art world stretch beyond the calendar, as has been demonstrated in this last year independently and, at the same time, with the permission of the pandemic.

Mata Mua and the new Thyssen

Detail of the painting 'Mata Mua'.
Detail of the painting ‘Mata Mua’.

“There are a few fringes left” is the phrase that sources from Thyssen and the teams of José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, first, and Miquel Iceta, later, have repeated the most times in 2021, the two ministers of Culture with whom Baroness Thyssen has managed the rental of his collection for 15 years, for 6.5 million euros per year. Those “fringes” have to do with administrative rather than artistic matters. The collection of Cervera and his son Borja Thyssen is already on the ground floor of the museum. Finally, some 180 of the more than 400 works included in the agreement will be exhibited. There is a place of honor reserved for Mata Mua. According to Thyssen sources, the signing is expected to be resolved in early January. The painting will travel from Andorra to Madrid the day Iceta and Cervera formalize the agreement with the act that, this time, will put an end to this soap opera.

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For which there is still no date or a formal plan is the reorganization of the Thyssen museum discourse. Guillermo Solana, artistic director, and Paloma Alarcó, head of Modern Painting, announced at the beginning of December that there will be changes in the order of the baron’s collections, the deposits made by his relatives and that of Cervera. For now they do not specify a major reorganization similar to the one that the Reina Sofía Museum completed at the end of the year, but they do give some clues of what may come from the summer of 2022. The example is the last exhibition of 2021 on American art, which will be the protagonist until June. The curators opted for a thematic development, not a chronological one, in search of a transversality that, as announced, they want for the entire museum.

Could it be Caravaggio?

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The figure of Jesus Christ of the supposed Caravaggio.
The figure of Jesus Christ of the supposed Caravaggio.ANSORENA (THE COUNTRY)

In the case of the assumption caravaggio, the terms of the History of Art show from April 2021 that they can be extended more than those of the Administration. The painting is still in warehouses near the Madrid airport, where experts from all over the world have been attending since last summer, summoned by Jorge Coll, the gallery owner chosen by the Pérez de Castro family, owners of the work, as the representative and guardian of the piece. . A report will come out of these visits that will provide more clues about the eccehomo’s authorship. There is no exact date, family sources trust that it can be ready in the first quarter of the year. Then it will be known if there is unanimity in the community of experts, as it seems until now, and if it is a lost piece of the Baroque master.

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The Community of Madrid was the last to join the consensus on authorship by declaring the work as an asset of cultural interest (BIC) at the end of December. With this maximum protection and the impossibility of being exported, the painting will only have two destinations: to end up in a private collection in Spain (potential buyers can be counted on the fingers of one hand) or in an institution such as the Prado Museum. The State secured the right to purchase one day before the painting was to be auctioned at the Casa Ansorena in Madrid when the BIC file was initiated. The unknown is the price. The Administration will have to accept the offer received by the family. The bid has dropped from the 130 million that could have reached in the international market due to the expectation that caused the appearance of this sleeper to the 30 million in the local market. Will Culture have that purchasing power?

The new Prado Museum

Prado extension project in the Salón de Reinos, the work of Foster + Partners and Rubio Arquitectura.
Prado extension project in the Salón de Reinos, the work of Foster + Partners and Rubio Arquitectura.

In the Prado Museum they hope that the expansion of its facilities will begin in the spring of 2022. In September, after six years of waiting, the Government approved the credit line of 36 million euros for the so-called Prado Campus, which will connect the museum and the Salón de Reinos, facilitating the transit on foot of the visitors through Felipe IV street and uniting in the same complex the buildings of Villanueva, the Jerónimos, the Casón del Buen Retiro and the Salón de Reinos.

After a public competition in which the builders of the project devised by the studios of the British architect Norman Foster and the Spanish Carlos Rubio will be chosen, the works will begin that will win 2,500 square meters of exhibition space for the gallery. And they will transform this part of Madrid’s art triangle.

The exhibitions of the year

Detail from 'Blue Umbrella 2', by Alex Katz.
Detail from ‘Blue Umbrella 2’, by Alex Katz.

Alex Katz at the Thyssen Museum in Madrid from June 14 to September 11. Retrospective of the American artist forerunner of pop art. The other great exhibition in this center will be the one starring Picasso and Chanel from October 11 to January 15, 2023, prior to the great year of celebration of the Malaga artist, when five decades have passed since his death. The exhibition deals with the relationship of the designer Gabrielle Chanel with the painter.

―The Reina Sofía will dedicate two exhibitions to the evolution of graphic art from the first half of the 20th century to the present: From Posada to Isotype, from Kollwitz to Catlett Y Graphic twist: like the ivy on the wall, in March and May, respectively. Throughout the year, it will present monographic exhibitions dedicated to Spanish artists Nestor Sanmiguel Y Manolo moan. With special presence of women: Margarita Azurdia; the duo Pauline Boudry Y Renate Lorenz; Alejandra Riera Y Leonor Serrano Rivas.

The Venice Biennale, the oldest art fair, returns from April 23 after being postponed in 2021. The Spanish pavilion will be represented by the Catalan artist Ignasi Aballí, author of the project Correction.

―La Casa Encendida in Madrid bets on two women: the Italian artist Chiara Fumai, a retrospective three years after his death (from February 3 to May 1); and the french Laure Prouvost, winner of a Turner Prize (October 6 – January 8, 2023).

―The relationship between cinema and fashion through the eyes of Jean paul Gaultier, a review of the history of comics and discovering the mummification process with pieces from the British Museum are some of the bets of the CaixaForum network of centers.

―At the Madrid headquarters of the Mapfre Foundation the year opens with the exhibition French taste and its presence in Spain (17th-19th centuries) and one dedicated to Jorge Ribalta from February 11. On June 2 the photograph of Perez Siquier Y Paolo Gasparini. The year will end with Picasso and her relationship with Julio González. In Barcelona, ​​also in June, will be the samples about Maria Bleda Y Jose Maria Rosa.

―The Miró Foundation in Barcelona opens exhibitions based on collaboration and exchange with homologous museums dedicated to a single artist. The first guest will arrive next fall and will be Paul Klee.

—The IVAM of Valencia will host throughout the year exhibitions dedicated to creators such as Anna Boghiguian, Carmen Calvo, Teresa Lanceta or Zanele Muholi, among other.

―In spring, the Picasso Museum in Malaga will hold a retrospective of the Portuguese artist Paula Rego, with more than 80 works by the author.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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