Encounters with the 1930s

October 3, 2012 - January 7, 2013 /
Sabatini Building, first floor and Room 206 on the second floor

Encounters with the 1930s  looks at this decade of the 20th century as a turbulent period in which art and power joined forces and also confronted one another and which is, on many levels, key to understanding our present.

The exhibition suggests that the artistic production of this period - which was marked by both a growing climate of political violence and by the appearance of important technological innovations, especially in communications and transport - should not be conceived only as an inertial extension of the avant-gardes of the two preceding decades or in terms of its relationship, a particularly conflictive one, with the narratives of propaganda. The 1930s must be considered a time in which modernity is questioned and reformulated, a time that gave rise to ideas and objects that challenged the boundaries among disciplines, media and nations.

Looking at the notion of encounter from a thematic perspective, the exhibition analyses how artistic creation was influenced by the symbolic and geographical displacements made, either voluntarily or by force, by the period's artists. It tries to show how these displacements led to a rethinking of the aesthetic postulates inherited from the avant-gardes and also to discursive and narrative strategies that have survived to our days. At the same time, the exhibition puts forward a critical reflection on the use that these artists made of the mass media, while exploring the tensions and relationships they maintained with the contexts -political, cultural, institutional- in which they worked.

Encounters with the 1930s  is structured into six sections: realism; abstraction; international expositions; surrealism; photography, film and posters; and Spain: the Second Republic, the Civil War and exile. Without forgetting the impact of the political situation and the rivalry existing between (and within) the main art "isms" of the period, priority is given to the connections between artists and to the moments of fracture and stylistic eclecticism, underlining the diversity, audacity and complexity of the art created during that decade.

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Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Temporary exhibition: Jordana Mendelson as general curator along with a curating team comprised of Karen Fiss, Romy Golan, Javier Pérez Segura and Rocío Robles Tardío. Permanent Collection section: Jordana Mendelson, Manuel Borja-Villel and Rosario Peiró
Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Alberto (Alberto Sánchez), David Alfaro Siqueiros, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Ángeles Ortiz, Jean Arp, Aurelio Arteta, Helmer Bäckström, José Luis Bardasano, Willi Baumeister, Herbert Bayer, Lester Beall, Cecil Beaton, Max Beckmann, Hans Bellmer, Francis Bernard, Antonio Berni, George Besson, Achille Bologna, Ilya Bolotowsky, Margaret Bourke-White , Felix Boutron, Maurice Boutterin, Bill Brandt, Brassaï (Gyula Halász), Josef Breittenbach, André Breton, Luis Buñuel, Alexander Calder, Erskine Caldwell , Josep Cañas, Ernesto Canto da Maya, Jean Carlu, Henri Cartier-Bresson, M.A. Cassanyes, Pere Català Pic, Jean Charbonneaux, Clemente Cimorra, Émile Compard, Horacio Coppola, Alfred Courmes, Leandre Cristòfol, Imogen Cunningham, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Salvador Dalí, Jean David, Germain Debré, Robert Delaunay, Paul Delvaux, A. Demasoin, André Desligneres, Victor-Jean Desmeures, Burgoyne Diller, Nikolai Dolgorukov, Cesar Domela , Óscar Domínguez, Léon-Ernest Drivier, Marcello Dudovich, Paul Éluard, Walker Evans, Roger-Henri Expert, Emeric Féher, Andreas Feininger, Ángel Ferrant, Esteban Francés, Wilhelm Freddie, Gisèle Freund, Achille Funi, Naum Gabo , David Gascoyne, Julio González, Werner Gräff , André Granet, Jacques Gréber , Arthur Grimm, George Grosz (Georg Ehrenfried), Gustav Gustavovich Klucis, Philip Guston, Heinz Hajek-Halke , Alfred Hamilton Barr, Jean Hanau , John Heartfield , Jean Hélion, Florence Henri , Barbara Hepworth , Kati Horna, George Hoyningen-Huene, Robert Humblot, Elizabeta Ignatovich, Alfred Auguste Janniot, Agustín Jiménez Espinosa, Évariste Jonchère, Joan Junyer, Vassily Kandinsky, Gyorgy Kepes, André Kertész, Paul Klee, Antoni García Lamolla, Fernand Léger, Natham Lerner, Helmar Lerski, Henry M. Lester, Julien Levy, Alice Lex-Nerlinger, Seymour Lipton, Len Lye , George MacLaughan, René Magritte, Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky), Ramon Marinel·lo i Capdevila, Reginald Marsh, André Masson, Roberto Matta, Joan Miró, Lucia Moholy, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Piet Mondrian, Constancia de la Mora, Émile Mornier, Georges L.K. Morris, Beaumont Newhall, José Ortiz Echagüe, Wolfgang Paalen, Benjamín Palencia, Paris, Roger Parry, Josef Pécsi, Roland Penrose, Charlotte Perriand, Carl Petersen, Georgi Petrussov, Antoine Pevsner, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso (Pablo Ruiz Picasso), Ramón Puyol, Herbert Read, Ad Reinhardt, Josep Renau, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Ringl+Pit (Grete Stern y Ellen Auerbach), Aleksandr Ródchenko, Antonio Rodríguez Luna, Franz Roh , Jaroslav Rössler, Zdenek Rossmann, Theodore Roszak, Josep Sala, August Sander, Jaume Sans, Ángeles Santos, J. Saponnetto, Pierre Sardou, Eric Schaal, Georg Schrimpf , Kurt Schwitters, Ramón J. Sender, Michel Seuphor, Gino Severini, Ben Shahn, Charles Shaw, Glenn C. Sheffer, Shigemaru Shimoyama, Louis Siegriest, Jacques-Roger Simon, Mario Sironi, Augustin Škarda, David Smith, Emmanuel Sougez, Stanley Spencer, Albert Staehle, Paul Strand, Wladyslaw Strzeminski, Jindřich Štyrský, Soichi Sunami, Ladislav Sutnar, Maurice Tabard, Sophie Taeuber-Arp , Yves Tanguy, Josep de Togores, Joaquín Torres García, Toyen (Marie Čermínová), Raoul Ubac, Pierre Unik, Remedios Varo, José Viola Gamón, Eduardo Westerdahl, Edward Weston, Tiroux Yamanaka View more
In collaboration with: 

AC/E Acción Cultural Española