Exhibitions in 2009

Collage, iconic travels, portraiture and photography

From 2009 we put a bigger emphasis on the international arena, supported by a program of photography exhibitions. The Walker Evans exhibition kicked off a series of photography retrospectives, aimed at giving Spanish audiences the opportunity to see the work of great photographers, iconic names in the history of this discipline, as well as more contemporary names of international prestige who were less well-known in our country. The work of Lisette Model, Fazal Sheikh and Gabriela Iturbide were all shown in our Azca gallery and we started work on positioning the Foundation as an international point of reference for photography.

Always trying to keep the spotlight on the early days of modern art, as reflected in the exhibition of collages in Une semaine de bonté by Max Ernst, and adopting an original perspective in terms of theming, we implemented a systematic collaboration with major museums all over the world with a view to consolidating our prestige as one of the major players on the international museum scene.

Our collaborations with the Musée d’Orsay, the Museum of Art of São Paulo and the Hamburger Kunsthalle enabled us to put on some fascinating exhibitions in 2009 on sculpture in Paris between 1905 and 1914, in the Grand Tour, the essential European finishing tour for aspiring artists, and on master portrait artists.

Walker Evans Walker Evans

Walker Evans

An ambitious retrospective of the North American photographer Walker Evans (1903-1975), regarded as one of the key figures in the history of photography, the instigator of direct photography in the 1950s, and the godfather of the generation that produced Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Gary Winogrand and Diane Arbus.

The exhibition consisted of over one hundred vintage photographs, some extraordinary originals on silver gel, either by the artist himself or an assistant under his direct supervision. The show featured exceptional photographs from every decade that Evans was behind a camera, from the late 1920s through to the early 1970s.

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Max Ernst Max Ernst

Max Ernst

The original collages of Une semaine de bonté, created by surrealist Max Ernst in 1933, were exhibited three years after their creation in Madrid, in March and April 1936, in the National Library. Since then they have been one of the best-kept secrets in the history of art, and were presented in the Recoletos gallery in Madrid before traveling to the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the Musée d'Orsay.

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Fazal Sheikh Fazal Sheikh

Fazal Sheikh

Fundación MAPFRE presented the work of the North American photographer Fazal Sheikh (New York, 1965) for the first time in Spain, in what was the biggest and most important retrospective to date of his work.

Fazal Sheikh is a documentary photographer who seeks to reflect reality as experienced and suffered by the most underprivileged communities of the Third World. He first focused his attention on refugees from different parts of the world; people who had been forced to abandon their homes to escape war and death. Over time his field of interest changed, and in recent years he has been more concerned with the discrimination suffered by women in India who have been deprived of all their rights.

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Graciela Iturbide Graciela Iturbide

Graciela Iturbide

This was one of the most comprehensive exhibitions ever held on the Mexican photographer and took place at a key point in her career, after winning the Hasselblad award, the most important distinction awarded to a photographer. The objective of this retrospective was to revisit her prolific and fruitful career, paying particular attention to her recent work which was practically unknown in Spain.

Graciela Iturbide (Mexico City, 1942) is one of the most outstanding Mexican photographers on today's contemporary international scene. Over four decades she has built up a powerful and profoundly singular body of work that is essential to understanding the evolution of photography in Mexico and Latin America. Fundación MAPFRE has a large number of her works in its collection.

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Forgetting Rodin Forgetting Rodin

Forgetting Rodin

The exhibition “Forgetting Rodin? Sculpture in Paris, 1905-1914” examined the birth of modern sculpture, bringing together some of the finest pieces from the early 20th century. The exhibition provided a novel interpretation of modern sculpture during the early years of the last century. Through the works of some of the major artists from this period such as Maillol, Bernard, Bourdelle, Brancusi, Epstein, Duchamp-Villon, Zadkine, Julio González, Picasso, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Archipenko and Rodin himself, it analyzed the work of those artists from the generation immediately before Rodin, his influence on them, and how they constructed the new language of modernity.

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See and be seen See and be seen

See and be seen

The exhibition presented a wonderful series of thirty-three masterpieces from the history of European portraiture, from the 16th to the 20th centuries, all belonging to the Museum of Art of São Paulo.

Portraiture is one of the most highly-developed genres of the visual arts; since its origins in ancient times it has followed its own evolutionary path and has exerted a constant influence in the history of art.

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See Italy and Die See Italy and Die

See Italy and Die

This exhibition invited visitors on a journey of discovery of all the treasures in a country which, at that time, was the very embodiment of beauty. Based on an idea from Guy Cogeval and Ulrich Pohlmann, the exhibition portrayed Italy through the eyes of artists from a multiple and contrasting perspective.

In the times of the Grand Tour, any creator who aspired to the name was obliged to embark on the ritual of traveling to Italy and experiencing the transformation that its landscapes, its people and its way of life exerted on visitors. Writers, intellectuals, bohemians and aristocrats embarked on a trip that took them from Venice to Sicily – the latter only for the most adventurous - and renewed them with a different outlook, both more profound and more alert.

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The Dance of Colors The Dance of Colors

The Dance of Colors

This exhibition presented a practically unknown collection of drawings by Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950) in the context of the visual modernity of his time, thereby taking part in the events that were being held all over the world to commemorate the centenary of the first performance by the Ballets Russes in Paris.

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Lisette Model Lisette Model

Lisette Model

This exhibition featured the life and work of Lisette Model, the Vienna-born US photographer, embodying her somber view of city streets and people in a pretension-free examination of human life that arose from simply observing and acknowledging.

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