Art and (Art) System. Artium Collection

From: Wednesday, 26 April 2017

To: Sunday, 01 October 2017

A view of contemporary art, with works and artists, and of the meaning of collecting and creating public cultural heritage as never seen before

Art and (Art) System. Artium Collection consists of two parts that present, on the one hand, the 44 most significant pieces of Artium’s extensive art collection and, on the other, a wide-ranging selection of information and documentation designed to set out, with reference to the specific case of this Collection, the processes, people and entities who contribute to the world of contemporary creative art.

The two closely-related sections of Art and (Art) System. Artium Collection are set out in the South Gallery (Art) and in the Lower East Gallery of the Museum (Art System). Overall, they offer a view of contemporary art that has never been seen before. Through art works and artists, the exhibition examines the importance of collecting art, of creating a public, cultural heritage, and what this means from multiple viewpoints. Thus, Art represents an intensely aesthetic doorway through which spectators are allowed to maintain/keep artistic references when they enter the Art System, while the second section represents the former in a rather unusual context.

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The Art section of the exhibition contains what are considered to be the 44 most significant pieces of the Artium Collection. In reality, the selection of these “significant” works would vary in accordance with the criteria used by the curator of the exhibition; in this case, Daniel Castillejo has used a criterion based on an indicator measurable in objective terms: these are the artworks requested on more occasions by other museums for exhibition on loan and the works that have formed part of shows more frequently both at Artium and other centres.

On this occasion, the aim of the exhibition is not, as may have been the case on other occasions, to demonstrate how art and artists have approached a subject matter of more or less contemporary interest, but to try to offer the public an unparalleled, fundamentally aesthetic experience. In this way, the South Gallery of Artium brings together the works of well-known artists from different moments in the history of the 20th and 21st centuries, such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Óscar Domínguez, Manuel Millares, Antoni Tápies, José Guerrero, Eduardo Chillida, Jorge Oteiza, Equipo Crónica, Joan Brossa, Darío Villalba, Luis Gordillo, Vicente Ameztoy, Antonio Saura, Miquel Barceló, Cristina Iglesias, Rogelio López Cuenca... There are works by artists who are playing a prominent role on the 21st century art scene, for example, by Simeón Sáiz Ruiz, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Cristina Lucas and El Perro.

Each of the works on show is accompanied by a text written for the exhibition by some of the most prestigious writers on art at this time, including among others, Fernando Castro Flórez, José Lebrero, Rosa Olivares, Estrella de Diego, Aimar Arriola, Carles Guerra, Gloria Picazo, Imma Prieto, Ismael Manterola, Francisco Javier San Martín, Laura Fernández Orgaz, Sara Gonzalez de Aspuru and Javier González de Durana.

Art system
On the other hand, the second section of the exhibition seeks to respond to many questions that an inexpert spectator might formulate about the how and why, among other questions, of a collection such as that of the Artium Museum, and based on that, figure out how the so-called “art system” works. This concept is not easy to define or get a grip of but it might be said that, apart from the artist and the work, it consists of a set of processes, people, entities and institutions that intervene so that a work of art can be considered as such and be given the respect it deserves.

The exhibition seeks to clarify matters such as the origins of the Artium Collection; explain the procedures followed once the work of art enters the Museum; reveal significant examples of the work of curators and restorers; highlight the importance of the precise work of registration and classification; reveal the difficulties that lie in mounting just one piece of work, let alone an entire exhibition; show on a world map the routes followed by the works of the Collection throughout the world; or tackle the thorny question of the economic value of a work of art, among other issues.

List of works  Artium Collection's facts  Acquisition criteria  Press release (pdf)

Art and (Art) System. Artium Collection

South Gallery/Lower East Gallery, from 2017 april 26 to october 1
Curators: Daniel Castillejo, Javier Iriarte, Enrique Martínez Goikoetxea
Art: Carlos Alcolea, Chema Alvargonzález, Vicente Ameztoy, Amable Arias, Ángel Bados, Miquel Barceló, Joan Brossa, Eduardo Chillida, Jordi Colomer, CVA, Salvador Dalí, Óscar Domínguez, El Perro, Equipo Crónica, Pepe Espaliú, Esther Ferrer, Dora García, Luis Gordillo, José Guerrero, Juan Hidalgo, Cristina Iglesias, Eva Lootz, Rogelio López Cuenca, Cristina Lucas, Juan Mieg, Manuel Millares, Joan Miró, Juan Muñoz, Andrés Nagel, Marina Núñez, Jorge Oteiza, Pablo Palazuelo, Perejaume, Guillermo Pérez Villalta, Pablo Picasso, Francisco Ruiz de Infante, Simeón Saiz Ruiz, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Antonio Saura, Fernando Sinaga, Antoni Tàpies, Francesc Torres, Darío Villalba, José Luis Zumeta
Art System: José Ramón Amondarain, Venancio Blanco, Cabello/Carceller, José Carrilero, Leopoldo Ferrán y Agustina Otero, Joaquín Fraile, Pablo Gargallo, Rafael Lafuente, Eva Lootz, Antonio López, César Montaña, Juan Luis Moraza, Antoni Muntadas, Benjamín Mustieles, Paloma Navares, Carmelo Ortiz de Elgea, Benjamín Palencia, Pablo Serrano, Santiago Sierra, Moisès Villèlia, Francisco Vizcarra
Art and (Art) System. Artium Collection is a production by Artium (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, Basque Country)


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