Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth, and History

Guggenheim Museum to Present Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth, and History


Exhibition: Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth, and History
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street), New York City
November 17, 2006, through spring 2007

Overview: Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth, and History is an overview of Spanish painting focusing on the key artists of the last five centuries. Co-organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the State Corporation for Spanish Cultural Action Abroad (SEACEX), this exhibition will be the first to carry out a comprehensive overview of Spanish painting which focuses on themes that have been repeated over the course of history. Rather than emphasizing historical continuity in a chronological display, the exhibition will present works from different periods together in order to show their affinities and to challenge traditional readings of Spanish art, which separate modern art from its historical precedents. The fluid thematic organization will allow viewers to become familiar with distinctive Spanish treatments—both formal and cultural—of subject matter from history, religion, mythology, and everyday life.

Curated by Carmen Giménez, the Guggenheim’s Curator of Twentieth-Century Art, and Francisco Calvo Serraller, Professor Chair of Art History at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso will be the most historically comprehensive presentation of Spanish painting ever presented in the United States. The exhibition will feature approximately 135 paintings dating from the sixteenth century through the twentieth, and will fill the entire Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda and several of the museum’s tower galleries. In addition to loans from European and North American museums and private collections, the exhibition will include a significant number of important works from Museo Nacional del Prado and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.

Selected Highlights:

Salvador Dalí, The Madonna of Port Lligat, 1949, Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee

Francisco de Goya, The Duchess of Alba, 1797, Hispanic Society of America, New York

Francisco de Goya, Still Life with Sheep’s Head, ca. 1808–12, Musée du Louvre, Paris

El Greco, The Opening of the Fifth Seal (The Vision of Saint John), 1608–14, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Joan Miró, Painting (The Spanish Flag), 1925, Private collection

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Four Figures on a Step, ca. 1655–60, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth

Pablo Picasso, The Dead Birds, 1912, Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid

Pablo Picasso, Maternity, 1921, Private collection

Juan Sánchez Cotán, Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables, ca. 1602, Private collection

Diego Velázquez, The Needlewoman, 1635–43, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Diego Velázquez, Don Diego de Corral y Arellano, 1631–32, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Francisco de Zurbarán, Fray Pedro Machado, 1633, Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid

Publication: A fully illustrated catalogue, published by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and SEACEX, will accompany the show. The catalogue will feature an introduction to the exhibition written by the two curators discussing the main lines of the exhibition’s concept and organization, as well as a major essay by Calvo Serraller presenting a contextualized history of Spanish painting. The catalogue will also include full-color reproductions and a complete historical entry for each painting in the show, biographies of the artists, and a selected bibliography.

Curatorial Team: Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth, and History has been conceived by Carmen Giménez, Curator of Twentieth-Century Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, with Francisco Calvo Serraller, Professor Chair of Art History, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and former director of El Museo del Prado.

July 5, 2006

Betsy Ennis / Leily Soleimani
Guggenheim Public Affairs

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