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The Museo del Prado is producing a new documentary, on this occasion directed by Isabel Coixet, in conjunction with its next exhibition The Spirit of Painting. Cai Guo-Qiang at the Prado Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The exceptional nature of this exhibition, for which the creative phase will be completed by the artist himself during his time as artist in residence in the Hall of Realms, will be accompanied by the cinematic focus of filmmaker Isabel Coixet, winner of six Goya Awards and member of the Academy.

The Spirit of Painting will show spectators the artist’s creative journey and the magnetic production process of his works.

The documentary is being filmed in 4K in different locations in and around New York and Madrid.

The Museo del Prado is producing a new documentary, on this occasion directed by Isabel Coixet, in conjunction with its next exhibition The Spirit of Painting. Cai Guo-Qiang at the Prado

Isabel Coixet and Cai Guo-Qiang at the artist’s studio in New Jersey, USA. May 2017 ©Stephanie Yang Chen.

Cai Guo-Qiang (born Quanzhou, China, 1957), to become the first living artists to exhibit work at the Prado, at a date close to the celebration of the Museum’s bicentenary. This autumn Cai Guo-Qiang, will be presenting The Spirit of Painting. Cai Guo-Qiang at the Prado, an exhibition curated by Alejandro Vergara and sponsored by ACCIONA. . The exhibition originates from the artist’s longstanding dialogue with the spirit and spirituality of El Greco. It will take the form of a dialogue with the great masters in the Prado in which the It will take the form of a dialogue with the great past masters in the Prado in which the artist will break down the limits between East and West, making them converge in time in a spiritual exploration of painting.

The full-length, 60-minute documentary directed by Isabel Coixet, filmed in 4K and produced by Miss Wasabi Films for the Museo del Prado, will allow viewer to witness the creative process behind this project, offering us a privileged view through the personal gaze of one of Spain’s most renowned international film directors.

A 20-minute version of the documentary will be included in the exhibition, projected in Room D of the Jerónimos Building.

“I have admired Cai for a long time. The spectacular and magnificent beauty of his works leaves half the planet open-mouthed, me included, but his ability does not solely consist of using a technique closely associated with his cultural past. It goes far beyond that. It’s as if the flood that he creates in the sky of colours, fire and traces of gunpowder link him to something elevated, mystical and clearly unique. Accompanying Cai through his journey of as he researches the Old Masters in the Prado is really thrilling for me and is a challenge for both of us. During this process I want to depict the chance events of the creative process, to return to reference points, to continue learning, trying out and experimenting. It’s about risk, about artistic development in the end, and as such it has great emotional complexity. I would love to have the opportunity to be able to portray this process, to creep in unobserved to watch the private and inspirational moments of an artist whom I admire, and to be able to spy on Cai Guo-Qiang sitting at a table chatting with Velázquez, Rubens, El Greco and Goya.”

Isabel Coixet

“I came to the Prado in 2009 to see El Greco’s paintings. The museum’s collection made a profound impression on me and I was overwhelmed by the paintings by the great masters which I admired while I was growing up, including Velázquez. I returned to the Prado in 2014 and had the pleasure of seeing the exhibition ‘El Greco and Modern Painting’ that marked the 400th anniversary of his death. I was profoundly moved that day: the art of the past was not just limited to the textbooks. It can still form new relationships with contemporary artists and become a primary motor for encouraging the creation of culture in the present. So doing an exhibition at the Prado to establish dialogues with these masters became my dream.”

Cai Guo-Qiang

Premiere

  • 25 October 2017: 20 minute version of the documentary in Room D of the Jerónimos Building, Museo del Prado
  • Winter 2017: 60 minute feature film
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