Exhibition: A multiple look - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum


2006-06-30 • 2006-09-24

A multiple look

BBK Room

A Multiple Look is an exhibition which will be held with works from the Museum's own collection and those in deposit. It includes international works -none of which are Spanish or Basque- from the second half of the 20th century and its title alludes to the wide variety of artistic movements arising once the Second World War had ended.

This exhibition has made it possible to display artistic material -specially works on paper which is not normally found on show and at the same time demonstrates what a rich collection the museum possesses. The exhibition will be complemented with some works which may normally be found in the contemporary art room.

Thus, the visitor will be able to embark on an attractive journey through the fertile and varied artistic period that came to an end at the turn of the century and during which abstraction and realism co-existed as did geometry and the informalist art of material and gestural calligraphy.

The works selected are of different characteristics -there are oil paintings, sculptures, drawings and engravings- and this enables us to become familiar with the most important movements arising between 1945 and 2000 so, clearly, the exhibition is a compilation and didactic in nature.



The works may be seen in eight rooms and the exhibition begins with works produced during the aforementioned period by two historic figures from the first half of the century connected with surrealism and cubism respectively, Man Ray and Jacques Lipchitz, who, as a result of his later expressionism which centred on the human figure, has been compared with Francis Bacon, the most influential figurative artist of the period.


The late surrealism of Matta links up with the abstract expressionists of the CoBrA group (Appel y Alechinsky) and their visionary and irrationalist images. The lyrical abstraction or the gestural informalism of European artists such as Hartung, Vieira da Silva, Bram van Velde, Manessier and Vedova, come face to face with the painting of the American, Motherwell, one of the most refined abstract expressionists.


All of this forms a contrast with geometrical abstraction (Bill, Munari) and its kinetic derivation (Vassarely, Le Parc), which are concerned about the creation of universal and objective structures or about the influence of the work of art within its physical surroundings and the problems concerning its perception.


Both British and American pop-art, (Hockney, Kitaj, Blake, Dine, Rosenquist, Rivers, Segal) paying attention as it does to popular and consumer iconography, Christo's outstanding work, which is between pop-art and conceptual art, the influential figure of Beuys, greater reference of the conceptual art  and the penetrating lyricism of Twombly.


The selection gives way to the neo-expressionist figuration of the Germans and Austrians (Baselitz, Penck, Lüpertz, Immendorf), full of allusions to their immediate history and full of expressive emphasis


The last rooms display contemporary and poetic Italian transavantgardist proposals (Cucchi, Paladino, Merlino), distilled from their complex cultural world, not without stopping before three important American figures more or less close to geometric abstraction and to the world of minimal-art in different stages of development (Noland, Stella, Serra), and before the realism of the Englishman, John Davies, the inheritor of the peculiar British humanism on the one hand and, on the other, a follower of the hyperrealist movement.