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Spanish contemporary art worldwide


LONDON. Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy. Tate Modern

8 march - 9 september 2018

The Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy  will be one of the most significant shows the gallery has ever staged. It will take visitors on a month-by-month journey through 1932, a time so pivotal in Picasso’s life and work that it has been called his ‘year of wonders’. More than 100 outstanding paintings, sculptures and works on paper will demonstrate his prolific and restlessly inventive character. They will strip away common myths to reveal the man and the artist in his full complexity and richness.  

1932was an extraordinary year for Picasso, even by his own standards. His paintings reached a new level of sensuality and he cemented his celebrity status as the most influential artist of the early 20th century. Over the course of this year he created some of his best loved works, from confident colour-saturated portraits to surrealist drawings, developing ideas from the voluptuous sculptures he had made at his newly acquired country estate. 

In his personal life, throughout 1932, Picasso kept a delicate balance between tending to his wife Olga Khokhlova and their 11-year-old son Paulo, and his passionate love affair with Marie-Thérèse Walter, 28 years his junior. The exhibition will bring these complex artistic and personal dynamics to life with an unprecedented range of loans from collections around the world, including many record-breaking works held in private hands. Highlights will include Jeune fille devant un miroir (Girl before a Mirror), a signature painting that rarely leaves The Museum of Modern Art, and the legendary Le rêve (The Dream), a virtuoso masterpiece depicting the artist’s muse in ecstatic reverie, which has never been exhibited in the UK before.  

1932 was a time of invention and reflection. Having recently turned 50, in collaboration with Christian Zervos, Picasso embarked on the first volume of what remains the most ambitious catalogue of an artist’s work ever made, listing more than 16,000 paintings and drawings. Meanwhile, a group of Paris dealers beat international competition to stage the first ever retrospective of his work, a show that featured new paintings alongside earlier works in a range of different styles. Realist portraits of Olga and Paulo revealed Picasso’s feelings of pride and tenderness for his family, while his sexually charged new paintings revealed for the first time the presence of the secret woman in his life.  

Picasso’s journeys between his homes in Boisgeloup and Paris capture the contradictions of his existence at this pivotal moment: a life divided between countryside retreat and urban bustle, established wife and recent lover, painting and sculpture, sensuality and darkness. The year ended traumatically when Marie-Thérèse fell seriously ill after swimming in the river Marne, losing most of her iconic blonde hair. In his final works of the year, Picasso transformed the event into scenes of rescue and rape, a dramatic finale to a year of love, fame and tragedy that pushed Picasso to the height of his creative powers.  

Achim Borchardt-Hume, Director of Exhibitions, Tate Modern and co-curator of the exhibition said: 
Picasso famously described painting as “just another form of keeping a diary”. This exhibition will invite you to get close to the artist, to his ways of thinking and working, and to the tribulations of his personal life at a pivotal moment in his career. By showing stellar loans from public and private collections in the order in which they were made, this exhibition will allow a new generation to discover Picasso’s explosive energy, while surprising those who think they already know the artist.’ 
Achim Borchardt-Hume

Curated by Achim Borchardt-Hume, Director of Exhibitions, Tate Modern and Nancy Ireson, Curator, International Art, with Juliette Rizzi and Laura Bruni, Assistant Curators. The exhibition is organised in collaboration with the Musée National-Picasso, Paris (Tate press-release)


Tate Modern, the Eyal Ofer Galleries. Bankside. London SE1 9TG

Image: Pablo Picasso. Le Rêve (The Dream)1932. Private collection© Succession Picasso/DACS 2017

LONDON. Juan Muñoz “Arenas” Skarstedt Gallery

19 january – 22 february, 2018

For Muñoz, the space in which the figures are positioned and the architecture of that space plays a crucial role in how they are perceived and how we respond to them. Positioned high on the wall, the mounted figurative ensembles disrupt the normal angles of vision, heightening the dramatic effect of their presence. Looking up to view Hombre Colgado Boca, 2001, influenced by Degas’s Miss Lala at the Cirque Fernando, 1879, or engaging with the smaller than life-size figures in Piggyback (Chinese Down), the viewer experiences the works bodily as well as visually. Playing with the notion of spectatorship, the interior space of the gallery becomes an arena in which the figures are simultaneously watching and being watched.
This idea of the spectacle being reversed onto the viewer is heightened in the main room of the gallery by the chattering and laughing figures coming alive on all sides and centre. Entering this charged environment, the viewer is excluded from their private narratives. Unlike traditional forms of figurative sculpture, Muñoz’s figures don’t perform, instead they are immersed in their own worlds and conversations. 
Further distancing the figures from the viewer, Muñoz draws on their otherness, playing with our sense of scale and traditional notions of exoticism. The smiling Chinese figure in Piggyback (Chinese Down) belongs to a repertoire of characters that Muñoz created including the dwarf, ballerina and ventriloquist dummy, all of whom appear to us as both familiar and strange:
‘There is something about their appearance that makes them different, and this difference in effect excludes the spectator from the room they are occupying ... The spectator becomes very much like the object to be looked at, and perhaps the viewer has become the one who is on view’. (Juan Muñoz)
A self-described storyteller, Muñoz’s works function like story tales in which the movements of the spectator are deliberately set out by him. Encouraging the viewer to wander in and among the sculptures, he choreographs their participation within the interior landscape of the gallery. Caught in a freeze-frame moment, the three-dimensional tableaux in bronze and resin both invite and reject attention, all the while raising questions about the nature of looking and our way of being:
‘My characters sometimes behave as a mirror that cannot reflect. They are there to tell you something about your looking, but they cannot, because they don't let you see yourself.’ 
One of the most significant sculptors of his generation, Juan Muñoz (1953 -2001) rose to international prominence in the mid-1980s for his return to the human form and his emphasis on the relationship of sculpture, architecture and the viewer. His work was recently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Hangar Bicocca, Milan in 2015, curated by Vicente Todolí. 
Most recently in the UK, one of Muñoz’s ‘Conversation’ pieces was shown at Turner Contemporary, Kent in 2013. Important retrospectives of his work include those at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2009), Tate Modern, London and the Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (2008), the Musée de Grenoble Grenoble (2007), K21 Kunstsammlung, Dusseldorf (2006-2007); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2003), The Art Institute of Chicago (2002), the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston(2003). (Skarstedt press-release)

Skarstedt, London. 8 Bennet Street. London SW1A 1RP, UK

Image: Hombre colgado boca 2001

LONDON. Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Sam Laughlin and Lua Ribeira “Jerwood/Photoworks Awards” Jerwood Space

17 january - 11 march 2018 

New work by Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Sam Laughlin and Lua Ribeira shows at Jerwood Space, London in the second Jerwood/Photoworks Awards exhibition. The exhibition explores themes of such as death, belonging and the fragility of the natural world. Following its London premiere, the show will tour across the UK to venues including Impressions Gallery, Bradford and Belfast Exposed. Spectrum Photographic is the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards official print partner.

Alejandra Carles-Tolra is interested in the relationship between individual and group identity and how one identity influences the other. In Where We Belong she explores themes of belonging, femininity and escapism by following a group of Jane Austen devotees.

We are delighted to be presenting this, the second edition of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, a unique opportunity, recognising and supporting potential with a distinctive combination of mentoring, production resources, and a national exhibition tour. It has been an incredible year of dialogue and development for the Awardees who have each received support from the team at Photoworks and Jerwood Charitable Foundation and insights from our brilliant mentors. It’s been a privilege to see their ideas develop and this year’s exhibition is truly diverse, both in the subjects explored and the artists’ individual approaches to image-making. The Awards have already proved to be an important platform for artists and we look forward to seeing Alejandra, Lua and Sam’s careers continue to flourish. Celia Davies, Director of Photoworks and Sarah Williams, Head of Programme, Jerwood Visual Arts

Jerwood Space, 171 Union Street, London SE1 0LN

Image: “The Bears” Alejandra Carles Torla