Exhibition:Encounter between Two Collections
Salamanca, 30 October 2003
Providing a meeting point in which the 1990s artistic production of young Portuguese and Spanish creators could come face-to-face and relate to each other is the main objective of this exhibition that arises out of close collaboration between Fundaçao de Serralves and ”la Caixa” Foundation. The exhibition is made up of works from the two institutions’ contemporary art collections, works of Portuguese and Spanish art of recent years that show the differences but also the similarities between the artistic creation of the two countries. The works in the exhibition set out to show the spirit of risk and commitment to contemporary creation characteristic of both Fundaçao de Serralves and ”la Caixa” Foundation, two of the most prominent foundations devoted to contemporary art in Portugal and Spain.
Encounter between Two Collections has been organised by the head of the Contemporary Art Collection of ”la Caixa” Foundation, Nimfa Bisbe, and the director of Fundaçao de Serralves, Jo”o Fernandes. The exhibition, in which the University of Salamanca has also collaborated, can be seen at Centro Cultural Fonseca and in the Chapel of Colegio Mayor Fonseca in this city, from 30 October to 14 December 2003.
The exhibition Encounter between Two Collections offers an exchange of gazes between Spanish and Portuguese art based on a selection of works from both collections. This has resulted in an exhibition made up of creations by some twenty artists, many of whom first became known in the 1990s and went on to become prominent internationally.
Although the selected works show a considerable variety of artistic proposals, they all have in common a clear relationship with present-day society. Indeed, the selection of works highlights some of the interests that have concerned creators from that decade, such as a desire to bring art closer to contemporary life, whether through exploration of personal experience or an active attitude of participation in social, political and cultural discussion. Issues such as globalisation, the impact of immigration, the problem of identity and a demand for recognition of difference, interaction between the public and private domains, and the social problems of isolation and alienation, have thrown up a major debate in society from which artists have not wished to remain aloof. Their works are therefore based on the language of the day-to-day life of urban culture rather than the language of the art tradition.
The exhibition also brings together a broad sample of various artistic procedures, though with a marked predominance of image (video and photographic) in both Portuguese and Spanish art. Artists have in recent years recorded and explored the influence of image on perception of the world, an image that has notably altered the sense of space and time and, therefore, the sense of reality. Through image, society has created a fictional space that has destabilised the very notion of reality. Current artists have formalised an aesthetic vision that is based not on the real but on representation of the real, and in this interplay they put their questions or seek answers in present-day society so as to manage to create art that finds its raison d’être.
The Spanish artists chosen are: Ana Laura Aláez, Txomin Badiola, Helena Cabello / Ana Carceller, Daniel Chust Peters, R.G. Bianchi, Susy Gómez, Rogelio López Cuenca, Pedro Mora, Javier Peñafiel, Juan Ugalde. The Portuguese artists are: Augusto Alves da Silva, Rui Chafes, Miguel Leal, Joao Louro, Cristina Mateus, João Onofre, Fernando José Pereira, Francisco Queirós, João Tabarra, João Pedro Vale, Joana Vasconcelos.
The Contemporary Art Collection of ”la Caixa” Foundation
The Contemporary Art Collection of ”la Caixa” Foundation is among Spain’s largest within its genre, as well as being an artistic reference-point in international terms. The collection was started in the mid-1980s and currently contains 827 works by 321 artists who provide a good overview of the evolution of international contemporary art. Despite the diversity of artists of different generations and origin, the collection reveals a number of visual and conceptual themes that link the works together and relate them to each other. It is precisely this conceptual relationship between the works which lends the collection a personality of its own and makes it a bold and unusual project.
The Contemporary Art Collection of ”la Caixa” Foundation has since the beginning of 2002 been accorded a fixed exhibition area at CaixaForum, ”la Caixa” Foundation’s new social and cultural centre in Barcelona. One of its exhibition halls has been dedicated to showing the collection, for the aim is to present different thematic shows in order to make the collection as a whole known to the public. The works had previously been shown in various theme-based exhibitions in several Spanish cities.
In 1999, the Palazzo Forti of Verona awarded ”la Caixa” Foundation the Koiné per l’Arte Prize for the best collection of contemporary European art.
The Contemporary Art Collection of Fundaçao de Serralves
Fundaçao de Serralves is a European-oriented Portuguese cultural institution which aims to acquaint the public with the art produced over the last few decades, through the Contemporary Art Museum in Oporto, considered Portugal’s foremost centre within its genre. This museum is the headquarters of the Contemporary Art Collection of Fundaçao de Serralves, made up of works by Portuguese and foreign artists which are shown in temporary group and solo exhibitions.
The Contemporary Art Collection of Fundaçao de Serralves takes as its point of departure the change that took place in the art world in the 1970s and produced many new artistic manifestations. In this respect, the collection was started with an acquisitions cycle in response to the priority of forming a historical core based around works created over the course of the sixties and seventies. The works in the collection show how Portuguese art has evolved in recent years, though without neglecting artistic proposals from abroad. In this respect, the collection aims to contrast Portuguese art with that produced outside the country’s frontiers.
Encounter between Two Collections
Fundaçao de Serralves – ”la Caixa” Foundation
From 30 October to 14 December 2003
Centro Cultural Fonseca and Capilla del Colegio Mayor Fonseca
C/ Fonseca, s/n
Tuesdays to Saturdays, 12 noon to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m to 9 p.m
Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Entry free of charge