MIAMI BEACH, FL.- The Bass Museum of Art presents today 20th Century Works on Paper from the Fundacion Mapfre Collection: Picasso, Tàpies, Miró and Others , on view through November 2, 2008. This extraordinary exhibition is comprised of approximately 80 works on paper by some of the 20th centurys most renowned Spanish artists, as well as artists from other countries whose careers were impacted by Spain. Rarely seen sketches and illustrations by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Sonia Delaunay, Juan Gris, Francis Picabia and Joaquín Torres-Garcia will be shown. These works on paper show how these artists first honed their talent in drawings and watercolors, and illustrate how the tension between figuration and abstraction dominated the course of art during this period. The exhibition will cover four movements: Pioneers of the Avant-Garde; The International Influence; Cubism and the School of Paris; and The Surrealist Movement.
The works from Pioneers of the Avant-Garde are figurative and highly expressive, and include illustrations of people and landscapes with a "purist" sensibility. Beginning in 1900 many artists, such as Juan Gris, Julio González, and Joaquím Sunyer, settled in Paris that quickly became the epicenter of the Spanish avant-garde. There, artists developed a new style of painting, using vivid colors for emotional and decorative effect. Realistic drawings of every-day people were also a favorite subject of artists during this time, as seen in Isidre Nonells Woman Seated, 1906 that illustrates clean formats and great expressive force.
Spanish artists during the first quarter of the 20th century were greatly influenced by Uruguayan artists Joanquín Torres Garcia, Rafael Pérez Giménez, Sonia Delaunay (French -Ukrainian), Russian artist Serge Charchoune, and French-Cuban artist Francis Picabia, who were part of The International Influence. Artists from outside Spain greatly contributed to the production of innovative and dynamic works with a futuristic vision. Experimentation with color in art and designsimultaníisme (simultaneous design where two designs placed next to another affects both) explored concepts and pushed boundaries of geometric abstraction. An example featured in the exhibition includes a stunning tempera on paper work, Disque Portugal (1915) by Delaunay that explores the tension between representation and abstraction through vibrant circles.
Boundaries between abstraction and figurative art were completely severed with the movement of Cubism and the School of Paris that is considered to be one of the great turning points in Western art. Artists such as Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso broke completely from the past by fully exploring optical and geometric abstraction, and creating three-dimensional representational forms in two-dimensional planes. A beautiful tempera on paper work by Picasso, Sin Título (Arlequín y Polichinela), 1924, is a prime example of this period that features Picassos signature harlequin figure.
Symbolism, the subconscious, "automatic" drawing, flattened planes, organic forms, unexpected juxtapositions, and humor were common elements of The Surrealistic Movement, that was led by artists such as Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and Antoni Tápies. This exhibition features a delicate ink on paper work Solitude Mentale (Mental Solitude), 1932 by Dalí, featuring his trademark "melting" pocket watch, expanding landscape, and bizarre forms, drawn with a sharp line.
This "must-see" exhibition explores the genesis of these great masters ideas through exquisite and rare sketches, oil and watercolors, and tempera works on paper that evolved into some of the most famous works of art in the world. 20th Century Works on Paper from the FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE Collection: Picasso, Tàpies, Miró and Others is on view in the Gertrude Silverstone Muss Gallery from August 23 through November 2, 2008.
Founded in 1975, Fundación Mapfre is one of the most prestigious cultural Spanish foundations that is supported by Mapfre, a Spanish insurance group that develops public programs in Spain and other countries.