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Twelve Photographers

Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid 9/21/2018 - 1/13/2019

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Throughout history, museums have provided inspiration for artists who have gone to contemplate and study the works of their predecessors on display, sometimes to follow their teachings and occasionally to challenge them. In both cases, the dialogue between the artists of the past and the present proved enormously fertile.

On the occasion of the Bicentennial of the Museo del Prado, the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado has invited twelve contemporary photographers to work with the pieces held by the Museum. The result is a collection of twenty-four photographs that reflect upon the artistic wealth and historical significance of the Prado while demonstrating that two centuries after its opening, the Museum remains as inspirational as ever.

The artists who have contributed to this exhibition belong to three different generations with widely divergent ways of understanding and using photography. They have drawn inspiration no only from the works of the great masters in the Museum but also from the building that houses their art and the people who visit it. All these photographers have converted their thoughts and reflections into gazes that materialise on paper, bearing witness both to the Prado's evocative power and to the creative capacity of those who have produced this collection of photographs.

Access

Room North Gallery, ground floor. Villanueva Building

Co-organized by:
Fundación de Amigos del Museo del Prado
In collaboration with:

Japan Tobacco International

Multimedia

Exhibition

José Manuel Ballester

José Manuel Ballester
Main room, 2018      
José Manuel Ballester
© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

The photographer counterposes the room containing Las Meninas, the heart of the Villanueva Building, with a view of the building work on the Hall of Realms, the Prado's future extension. In the first photograph, he empties the room and leaves only Velázquez's masterpiece, from wich he also removes the figures in order to open up the space to new interpretations.

Bleda y Rosa

Bleda y Rosa
Bank of the Elbe, 2018
Bleda y Rosa  
© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Bleda y Rosa create a palatial image of the Museum by using doors to frame the equestrian portraits of Emperor Charles V by Titian and of Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria by Rubens. In a sidelong glance at history, the titles of the two photographs refer to the places where the military victories shown in the pictures ocurred.

Javier Campano

Javier Campano
Mullet, 2018
Javier Campano
© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

In these two old-style still lifes of fish and game, there are not only references to the Museo del Prado, whose collection includes the partridge painted by Juan Sánchez Cotán and the sea-bream of Bartolomé Montalvo, but also an intimate, tender and melancholic evocation of memories of the family kitchen of the photographer's childhood.

Joan Foncuberta

Joan Foncuberta
Graphoscope #2, 2018
Joan Fontcuberta     
© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

The artist photographs two fragments from the continuous panoramic view of the Central Gallery of the Museo del Prado taken by Jean Laurent in 1882 and 1883. He thus retrieves the vestiges of that material image in a digital world, focusing his attention on the deterioration that reveals the passage of time and refers us to memory and history.

Alberto García-Alix

Alberto García-Alix
Untitled, 2018
Alberto García-Alix  
© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Using analog photography with double exposures of parts of the same painting on a single negative, García-Alix constructs new worlds within the picture itself. Thanks to his careful choice of framing, the superimpositions do not betray the artist's style but intensify the essence and character of his work.

Pierre Gonnord

Pierre Gonnord
Christopher, 2018 
Pierre Gonnord
© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Gonnord confronts two portraits. One shows a stuffed crow from the Museum of Natural Sciences, and the other a young visitor to the Prado whose appearance and close observation of the pictures drew the photographer's attention. The result is a reflection on what remains of a living essence when it is recorded photographically or has passed through the hands of the taxidermist.

Chema Madoz

Chema Madoz
Untitled, 2018
Chema Madoz
© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Madoz contructs a poetic reflection on the concept of the museum as a container of artworks. In the first photograph, the frames act as a metaphor for the museum by becoming part of the building. In the second they acquire the form of a pair of set squares, perhaps as a meditation on the Prado's status as a guardian of canonical norms.

Cristina de Middel

Cristina de Middel
Endogamy 01, 2018
Cristina de Middel
© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

The superimposition of the artist's portraits of members of the same dynasty results in a kind of monster, an abstract image that highlights the characteristic features of the family. Emerging from this is a reference to endogamy and the perpetuation of power in the same hands over the course of time.

Isabel Muñoz

Isabel Muñoz
St Hermenegild, 2018
Isabel Muñoz
© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Isabel Muñoz dives beneath the water to photograph dancers who appear in their suspended motion to be rising weightlessly through the void rather than sinking. Their postures and the undulations of the fabrics recall the ascensions of saints to Heaven and the bursts of glory of Baroque painting.

Aitor Ortiz

Aitor Ortiz
Temporary Exhibition 001, 2018
Aitor Ortiz
© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

The photographs show us prefabricated space as a container for artworks and reminiscences of the display in its absence, encouraging us to reflect upon the timelessness of the ephemeral. The light and the proportions define the quality of the space, and the architecture is presented as decontextualised and unserviced, completely lacking in attributes or ornaments.

Pilar Pequeño

Pilar Pequeño
Cup of Water and a Carnation, 2018
Pilar Pequeño
© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Inspired by the works of Juan van der Hamen, Luis Egidio Meléndez and Francisco de Zurbarán, the artist carefully selects the elements that form part of her still lifes, showing her mastery at creating relations between them and, above all, at illuminating them in such a way as to transform the scene with light.

Javier Vallhonrat

Javier Vallhonrat
Goya, 2018
Javier Vallhonrat
© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

The artist places the camera at ground level to photograph a natural environment where he inserts fragments of landscapes from the Prado. The vegetable elements generate a series of interferences and deeper planes where the pictorial elements become integrated, creating a new interwoven space that forms an organic whole.

Artworks

Sala principal
1

Sala principal

José Manuel Ballester  

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

2

Interior 1. Salón de Reinos

José Manuel Ballester

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Ribera del Elba
3

Ribera del Elba

Bleda y Rosa     

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

4

Colina de Albuch

Bleda y Rosa

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Salmonetes
5

Salmonetes

Javier Campano              

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

6

Perdices

Javier Campano

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Grafoscopio #1
7

Grafoscopio #1

Joan Fontcuberta           

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

8

Grafoscopio #2

Joan Fontcuberta

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Sin título
9

Sin título

Alberto García-Alix        

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

10

Sin título

Alberto García-Alix

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Christopher
11

Christopher

Pierre Gonnord

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

12

Carlos

Pierre Gonnord

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Sin título
13

Sin título

Chema Madoz  

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

14

Sin título

Chema Madoz  

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Endogamia 01
15

Endogamia 01

Cristina de Middel         

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

16

Endogamia 02

Cristina de Middel

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

San Hermenegildo
17

San Hermenegildo

Isabel Muñoz   

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

18

La Ascensión

Isabel Muñoz

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Exposición temporal 001
19

Exposición temporal 001

Aitor Ortiz         

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

20

Exposición temporal 002

Aitor Ortiz         

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Copa de agua y un clavel
21

Copa de agua y un clavel

Pilar Pequeño   

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

22

Plato de estaño y ajos

Pilar Pequeño

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

Goya
23

Goya

Javier Vallhonrat           

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

24

Patinir

Javier Vallhonrat

© Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2018

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