With Amazons of New Art, Fundación MAPFRE continued its strategy, which started in 1999 with Out of Order, to champion the role played by women in the development of modern art. On this occasion the exhibition examined the issue from outside our borders through the creations of forty-one artists representing different movements and styles between 1880 and 1950.
In Autumn 2008, with the opening of the new exhibition gallery in an original building on Madrid's Paseo de Recoletos, our exhibition-related activities were given a huge boost, with the Sala Recoletos becoming the central hub for new pictorial exhibitions while the Sala Azca gallery was designated for regular photography programs.
To coincide with the change of venue, we kicked off a new phase in our exhibition programing, turning our gaze toward 20th century events both within and outside our borders, especially in Europe and North America. With the exhibition Between two centuries. Spain 1900, we revisited the turn of the century between the 19th and 20th centuries, the period to which Fundación MAPFRE had devoted most of its programing thus far.
The year was rounded off with exhibitions on Degas and Rodin, following on from Amazons of New Art which highlighted the role of women in the development of modern art. We also put a significant part of our photography collection on view to the general public that same year under the title of Collecting the World. Six North American photographers.
Fundación MAPFRE presented a major exhibition dedicated to Auguste Rodin for the first time, comprising 33 sculptures and 90 drawings. The exhibition focused on the relationship that developed between the sculptor and the naked body, examining the bonds between art, eroticism and nudity. It featured two parallel narratives on nudity: one based on sculptures and the other on drawings.
Junto a Entre dos siglos. España 1900 esta exposición abre las puertas de nuestro nuevo espacio en Paseo de Recoletos. La muestra presentó, por primera vez en España, la colección completa de los 73 bronces de Degas, procedentes del Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo. Junto a ellos se expusieron 6 óleos, 16 pasteles, 13 dibujos y 13 grabados procedentes del Musée d´Orsay, el Louvre, la Bibliothèque Nationale de France, la Phillips Collection de Washington y de la Kunsthalle de Hamburgo, entre otras colecciones
The exhibition “Between two centuries. Spain 1900” was planned as a major showcase of the period of change between the 19th and 20th centuries, to which Fundación MAPFRE has devoted a large part of its program for the last two decades.
Conceived to a certain extent as the culmination of this program, and coinciding with incursions into new projects by Fundación MAPFRE's, “Between two centuries. Spain 1900” put forward a panoramic view of the many movements and possibilities in the plastic arts that converged at a key historical moment: the turn of the century, from nineteenth to twentieth.
In this exhibition, Fundación MAPFRE presented a large proportion of its photography acquisitions in 2008. It provided a testimonial of how important photography has become to the collections, which are primarily devoted to work on paper.
Diane Arbus, Harry Callahan, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Helen Levitt and Garry Winogrand were the stars of this particular exhibition. Collecting the World made a nod to Susan Sontag's observation that “collecting photographs is collecting the world” and the idea of being able to analyze and understand reality through these works.