Skip to main content

Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, Cuenca

"What you have done in Cuenca is surely one of the most admirable, indeed brilliant, works of art.... a remarkable balance of painting, sculpture, and architecture." Alfred H. Barr in a letter to Fernando bel

Jardin Seco, Fernando Zóbel, 1969

Manila born Fernando Zóbel conceived the idea of a museum for abstract art in Spain while contemplating on a proper home for his significant collection of Spanish contemporary art from the 1950s to the 1960s. Together with Gustavo Torner, they found a venue in the Casas Colgadas (Hanging Houses) in Cuenca. The Museum of Spanish Abstract Art opened in 1966 with forty works of art on display from Zóbel's collection. His fellow artists and friends -- Torner, Gerardo Rueda, Antonio Lorenzo and Eusebio Sempere assisted him in various capacities as co-director and curators of the museum. 

Zóbel became concerned with how best to insure the survival of the museum beyond his lifetime. He decided to donate his collection to the Fundación Juan March in 1980. He believed that the Fundación would "preserve and expand" the collection following the fundamental idea on which the museum was founded. The Fundación incorporated the donated works with its own. There are 127 paintings and sculptures on permanent display at the museum from the Abstract Generation.

Ornitóptero numero 545, Fernando Zóbel, 1962

"In art, things are either necessary or superfluous", wrote Fernando Zóbel in an article published by the Christian Science Monitor in April 1984. Ornitóptero 545 is part of Zóbel's Serie Negra, Black Series where he has let go of the superfluous, in this case, color. (The late paintings in this series though treats black as a color.) He painted lines on the canvas using a hypodermic syringe needle which technique he perfected when working with his Saeta (arrow or improvised Flamenco song) series of paintings. These lines create movement which is the subject of the painting and which an ornithopter (an aircraft with flapping wings) is meant to convey. 

Zóbel was bestowed the Medalla de Oro al Merito de Bellas Artes in 1983 by King Juan Carlos of Spain. He died in Rome in 1984.

Brigette Bardot, Antonio Saura, 1959
Bóveda para el hombre, Bronze Sculpture by Pablo Serrano, 1962

Saura has said of this portrait of Brigitte Bardot that "the presence of the model is less important than the illusion created".* 

Pablo Serrano has this to say of his sculpture Bóveda para el hombre (Cave for the man): "deep down a man is nothing other than an animal searching for a cave in which to take refuge".*

Untitled, Gustavo Torner, 1978

Torner is both a painter and sculptor. He lives in Cuenca and has just celebrated his 90th birthday. He was one of the instrumental people in the establishment of the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art in Cuenca where he was born. In an interview with Angeles Garcia of the newspaper, El País, Torner said, "El hombre no puede vivir sin belleza" (Man cannot live without beauty). 

Max Bill, A Temporary Exhibition 

Max Bill: Obras Multiplicadas Como Originales (1938-1994) is a temporary exhibition of the graphic works of Swiss artist, Max Bill. It runs through September 18, 2015.

The Museo de Arte Abstracto Español has received numerous awards including the Medal of Honor for Merit in the Fine Arts in 1980, the European Museum of the Year Award by the European Council in 1981 and the Tourism Award of Castilla-La Mancha in 1997.

Alfred H. Barr, Jr., the first director and founder of MoMA in New York wrote a letter to Fernando Zóbel in 1970:  "What you have done in Cuenca is surely one of the most admirable, indeed brilliant, works of art.... a remarkable balance of painting, sculpture, and architecture."*

*from the Catalogo de Museo de Arte Abstracto Español (Fundación Juan March), Cuenca

Museo de Arte Abstracto Español
Casas Colgadas, Cuenca
http://www.march.es/arte/cuenca/?l=2

*****

Images by TravelswithCharie



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Carlos "Botong" Francisco, A Nation Imagined

Carlos "Botong" Francisco, FILIPINO STRUGGLES THROUGH HISTORY Oil on canvas, 1964, (located at ManilaCity Hall) A National Cultural Treasure owned by the City of Manila
Carlos Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined is the latest art installation at the AyalaMuseum in Makati to celebrate the 100th birthday anniversary of Carlos “Botong” Francisco (1912-1969), a Philippine National Artist. Forty paintings and lithographs were culled from various private collections to form this exhibition. Of the large scale paintings on display, Maria Makiling and Fiesta, both oil on canvas, are representative of the indigenous genre which Botong loved to portray. In Maria Makiling, Botong reveals a relaxed and recumbent woman with her legs dangling in the cool waters of the stream and playing with an exotic deer by her side. Fiesta is about how the Filipino people gather to celebrate an important occasion, be that a religious feast or a wedding. The central figures are dancing the tinikling, a po…

See Sicogon Now

Buaya Beach
It was summer in the Philippines and we really wanted to go to the Gigantes group of islands. But we had no desire to join the throng of beach pilgrims who wanted to take the iconic selfie from the hill above the white sand beach of Cabugao Gamay. So here we were on Buaya (crocodile) beach in Sicogon, waiting for our lunch to be served, enjoying a cool drink under the shade of this old Talisay tree and looking at the Gigantes islands from our comfortable roost.

Greenhills Shopping Center Revisited

Religious articles
It's been years since my last shopping trip to Greenhills Shopping Center. We were looking for some giveaways for a big meeting and Greenhills has an incalculable array of gift ideas. We started in the jewelry section and found a fresh pearl bracelet with an attractive and colorful accent stone for P95.00. We were able to bargain with the vendor since we were buying 50 pieces. She marked down the price to P70.00 for each bracelet.
Souvenirs
Greenhills is divided into sections - handbags and accessories, clothing (separate sections for men and women), jewelry, home decor, souvenirs, Filipiniana arts and crafts, shoes and knick knacks. It's especially fun to shop here in November for Christmas decorations and gifts though the crowd might be unabearable. 
Knock-offs
Many shoppers come to Greenhills to buy knock-offs. And there are gobs to choose from. Be careful though if you are bringing this to another country because Customs at your destination may fine you…