• Ellen Gallagher is to have her first major exhibition in Spain in tandem with the Dutch artist Edgar Cleijne, co-creator of many of her works. They will share the exhibition calendar with the constructions of Damián Ortega and the drawings of Juan Muñoz, among other exceptional shows scheduled for the coming year.

• Vicente Todolí, Chair of the Fundación Botín’s Visual Arts Advisory Committee, will curate the Damián Ortega exhibition. The Juan Muñoz exhibition, curated by Dieter Schwarz, author and leading specialist in modern and contemporary art, will present for the first time an overview of the artist’s graphic work.

• In February, the Fundación Botín will launch a new call for its Visual Arts Grants and its Museum Management and Exhibition Curation Grants, further extending its support for the most contemporary creative work.

• Rounding off the exhibition programme are Thomas Demand: World of Paper, which is scheduled to run until 6 March; Outlooks on Art. Painting; Portraits: Essence and Expression, and two Itinerarios, both the recently inaugurated 26th iteration and the 27th, which is due to open on 18 November 2022.

The Centro Botín is resuming in 2022 the presentation of recent work by the internationally acclaimed Ellen Gallagher, originally planned for the 2020 exhibition calendar but postponed by the pandemic. Ellen Gallagher’s first exhibition in Spain will span two decades including paintings, works on paper as well as three film installations produced together with Dutch artist Edgar Cleijne. The exhibition will be curated by Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz, the Centro Botín’s Director of Exhibitions and the Collection, and Benjamin Weil, Director of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian’s centre for modern art.

Ellen Gallagher will be followed in October by Mexican artist Damián Ortega, in a show curated by Vicente Todolí, Chair of the Fundación Botín’s Visual Arts Advisory Committee, that promises to activate in the visitor a new and transcendent way of looking at commonplace objects and routine, everyday interactions, as is usual in the artist’s practice.

The Centro Botín will also shed light on Juan Muñoz’s career as a draftsman, in an exhibition that will bring together an unprecedented number of the artist’s works, to present for the first time an overview of his drawings with more than two hundredworks specially loaned by institutions and private collections in Europe and the United States and notably by the lateartist’sEstate. Curated by Dieter Schwarz, author and specialist in modern and contemporary art, the show will open to the public on 25 June, giving a warm welcome to the summer visitor.

Completing the 2022 exhibition programme are the Itinerarios series – the recently inaugurated Itinerarios XXVI can be enjoyed until 15 May, and Itinerarios XXVII from 19 November – and the exhibition Thomas Demand: World of Paper, which can be visited until 6 March in Room 2. In addition, the permanent exhibition rooms host Portraits: Essence and Expression, with works generously ceded by Jaime Botín, patron of the Fundación Botín, and Sculptures of Joan Miró, with pieces on extended loan from Successió Miró.

February will see the calls open for the 19th Visual Arts Grants and the 26th Museum Management and Exhibition Curating Grants. In addition, over the course of the year two visual arts workshops will be held, the first run by Thomas Demand and the second by Ellen Gallagher and Edgar Cleijne, continuing the Fundación Botín’s commitment to fostering fruitful exchange between artists of the highest international and upcoming creative talents.

In the words of Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz, Director of Exhibitions and the Collection, next year ‘we will continue to offer the people of Santander and Cantabria, and our visitors from other parts of the country and the world, a diverse and innovative exhibition programme that connects audiences not only with the most contemporary artistic debates, through unique interventions in the exhibition spaces designed by Renzo Piano, but also with the great masters from a new perspective.’



From April 14 to September 11, 2022. Room 2 

Curators: Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz, Director of Exhibitions and the Collection of the Centro Botín; Benjamin Weil, Director of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkians Centro de Arte Moderna José de Azeredo Perdigão. 

The first exhibition in Spain by Ellen Gallagher (Providence, Rhode Island, USA, 1965) will span two decades and feature three of the collaborative film installations she has made with Dutch artist Edgar Cleijne (Eindhoven, Netherlands, 1963).  An immersive itinerary that recalibrates the tensions between fiction and reality, it will explore issues of race, identity, and transformation, with reference to historical and contemporary themes that include Modernist abstraction, marine biology, and Black popular culture. The exhibition will include a selection of Gallagher’s glistening Black Paintings, a sequence of monochrome works begun in 1998 who’s layered, keloid surfaces are suffused with the brute realities of colonial extraction and through which the artist sets to convey how the psychotic state of race and ethnic relations is deeply rooted in the history of Western abstraction. 

In her ongoing series of works on paper she started in 2001 entitled Watery Ecstatic, Gallagher creates a new natural history of complex biomorphic forms associated with Drexciya, a mythical underwater realm engaging with the afterlife of the Atlantic slave trade. Completing the exhibition are three film installations produced by the two artists, including their most recent collaboration: Highway Gothic, an immersive meditation on the ecological and cultural implications of Interstate 10, which crosses the Mississippi Delta and skirts New Orleans, composed of 16mm film projections and cyanotype images printed on fabric and 70mm film stock.  Exhibited outside the exhibition hall, under the building and therefore in direct connection with the sea, will be Osedax, a celluloid narrative centred on whale fall, a scientific term for cetacean carcasses that have descended to the abyssal zones, where they are consumed by scavengers; hence the title of the work, Osedax being a genus of bone-eating annelid worms. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication, which includes an essay by the celebrated English writer Philip Hoare, known for his trilogy Leviathan or, The Whale (2008), The Sea Inside (2013), RisingTideFallingStar (2017) and Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World (2021). 


From October 8, 2022 to March 5, 2023. Room 2

Curator: Vicente Todolí, Chair of the Fundación Botín’s Visual Arts Advisory Committee.

With wit and humour, Damián Ortega (Mexico City, 1967) deconstructs familiar objects and processes by altering their functions and transforming them into novel experiences and hypothetical situations. His work applies the concepts of physics to human interactions, with chaos, accidents and instability producing a system of relationships in continual flux. The artist explores the tension that exists inside each object, focusing on it, rearranging it, scrutinising it and inverting its logic to bring out an infinite inner world. The result of this research reveals the interdependence of various sets of components, be it within a social system or a complex machine.

Although his projects, conceived on the basis of drawings, materialise as sculptures, installations, performances, videos and photographs, for Ortega the work of art is always an action – an event. His experiments exist in a space where the possible and the everyday converge to activate a new and transcendent way of looking at everyday objects and routine interactions, something they will no doubt succeed in doing at the Centro Botín.


From October 9, 2021 to March 6, 2022. Room 2

Curator: Udo Kittelmann, Artistic Director of the Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden and member of the Fundación Botín’s Visual Arts Advisory Committee.

Thomas Demand (Munich, Germany, 1964) is known for his large photographs of hyper-realistic models of interiors or landscapes, made from paper and cardboard. Although at first sight the images seem to be of real spaces, when we get closer we see that they are artificially created scenes. His most outstanding works are those based on pictures taken from the news media, representing events charged with social or political relevance. In works in which human presence is only suggested, realistic in their artificiality and provocative in theme, Demand draws the viewer towards an illusion while drawing attention to the role of photography in the cultivation of that illusion. What is more, to reinforce this illusory condition, once he has photographed his paper and cardboard models, Demand destroys them.

This is the artist’s first major exhibition in Spain and is made up of a selection of works in an original mise en scène, which simulates an urban landscape. Conceived especially for the Centro Botín, the show is made up of eight hanging pavilions whose walls act as supports for the photographs, many of them seen here for the first time, and video works. In addition, the catalogue has a text by Mario Vargas Llosa.


From June 25 to October 16, 2022. Room 1

Curator: Dieter Schwarz, author and specialist in modern and contemporary art.

In the context of the European art of the 1980s and 1990s, Juan Muñoz produced an exceptional body of work as a draftsman during his brief career. Although his output in this medium was extensive, drawing was not an activity to which he constantly dedicated himself; rather, he used it for certain purposes and moments of his work. This being so, his style changed quite radically, from simple sketches to meticulously executed plates, from freehand drawings to works based on images projected on paper. Some of his drawings would become part of a sculptural work, while others were conceived as literary illustrations, but they could also take the form of autonomous creations with which he created highly metaphorical images.

In this exhibition, the Centro Botín will bring together more than two hundred works by Juan Muñoz, presenting for the first time an overview of his graphic production thanks to loans from institutions and collections in Europe and the United States and, above all, from the Estate of Juan Muñoz. The set-up, which will take into account the various aspects of his work and the changes it underwent over the course of some twenty years of activity, will underpin a narrative that respects and enhances these considerations to present a sequence of sections, organised more or less chronologically, each addressing a different theme. Of note among the works in the show will be the Raincoat Drawings, a series of remarkably intimate sketches of living rooms and other interior spaces, and the Back Drawings, in which the artist reproduced the naked torsos of male figures seen from behind, both of these series dating from a very early stage in his career.


Itinerarios is the annual exhibition of the work of the artists who received one of the previous year’s Fundación Botín Visual Arts Grants, a programme launched in 1993 with the aim of supporting upcoming artists to realise and make known their most ambitious projects, in which research and production merge, and at the same time to give them the opportunity to complete and deepen their training. This series of exhibitionsis a unique platform for these creators to present their work to the world in an institutional context and an exceptional opportunity for the public to get to know and to appreciate the most innovative developments in contemporary art. The works on show, created in a variety of locations and in a range of disciplines, are also featured in a cataloguepublished by the Fundación Botín.

Itinerarios XXVII

From 19 November 2022 through the first semester of 2023. Room 1

Itinerarios XXVII will bring together the projects by the recipients of the 27th Fundación Botín Visual Arts Grants: Armando Andrade Tudela (Lima, Peru, 1975), Gruber Assaf (Jerusalem, Israel, 1980), Lucía Bayón (Madrid, 1994), Alfonso Borragán (Santander, 1983), Gonzalo Elvira (Neuquén, Patagonia Argentina, 1971), Seila Fernández Arconada (Santander, 1986), Joan Morey (Balearic Islands, 1972) and Ana Santos (Espinho, Portugal, 1982).

Itinerarios XXVI

From November 13, 2021 to May 15, 2022. Room 1

Itinerarios XXVI, which opened to the public on 13 November, represents a unique opportunity to engage with the most current artistic debates through the work of Olga Balema (Lviv, Ukraine, 1984), Eli Cortiñas (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 1976), June Crespo (Pamplona, ​​Spain, 1982 ), Mario Espliego (Guadalajara, Spain, 1983), Antoni Hervàs (Barcelona, ​​Spain, 1981), Salomé Lamas (Lisbon, Portugal, 19874), Anna Moreno (Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Barcelona, ​​Spain, 1984) and Bruno Pacheco (Lisbon, Portugal, 1974). The exhibition as a whole affords a fascinating and challenging vision of the concerns and the investigations of form being carried out by a generation of artists whose works generate subtle connections, inviting us to reimagine the links of interdependence that exist between us and a wide range of other entities, political, social and organic.


From November 14 November 2020 to May 15, 2022. Room 1

Curator: Benjamin Weil, Director of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian’s Centro de Arte Moderna José de Azeredo Perdigão.

This select group of works from the Fundación Botín collection takes a thought-provoking look at painting, from the markedly conceptual practice Sol LeWitt, by way of the more material concrete approaches of artists such as Joan Hernández Pijuan, to the performativity of Juan Uslé’s work. The room is completed with works by Jannis Kounellis, Rogelio López-Cuenca, Julião Sarmento and Juan Ugalde, and the close proximity of this selection to the exhibition Portraits: Essence and Expression affords an interesting opportunity to appreciate painting from a different and complementary perspective.


Permanent exhibition. Room 1.

A selection of eight artworks from the personal collection of Jaime Botín, patron of the Fundación Botín, are on permanent exhibition in the Centro Botín in Santander. Chronologically, they cover almost the entire history of twentieth-century art, beginning with Half-length Figure by Isidre Nonell, from 1907, and ending with Self-Portrait with Injured Eye, painted by Francis Bacon in 1972. The other works on show in this room are Femme espagnole (1917) by Henri Matisse; Harlequin (1918) by Juan Gris; Beach at Valencia (1908) by Joaquín Sorolla; Woman in Red (1931) by Daniel Vázquez Díaz; The Constructor of Masks (1944) by José Gutiérrez Solana, and Portrait of My Mother (1942) by Pancho Cossío.


Permanent exhibition. Gallery E, Room 1. (Visible from outside the building)

Following the success of the exhibition Joan Miró: Sculptures 1928-1982, which the Centro Botín hosted in 2018, the renowned artist is a continuing presence at the art centre thanks to the long-term loan by Successió Miró of two of his sculptures: Femme Monument (1970) and Souvenir de la Tour Eiffel (1977). Both pieces, installed in Gallery E on the first floor, can be enjoyed from the exterior catwalks, thus honouring the artist’s wish that his large-format works should be displayed in busy public spaces and be accessible to as many people as possible.


For all press enquires please contact Rebecca Butler at Sutton at rebecca@suttoncomms.com | +44(0) 20 7183 3577


LISTINGS – Centro Botin, Muelle de Albareda s/n, Jardines de Pereda, 39004 Santander, Spain

Opening Times: Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 2pm and 4pm to 8pm. Weekends and holidays, 10am to 8pm.

General admission: €8 (€9 box office). Concession €4(€4,5 box office)

Free Entrance: 18 May (Museum Day) & 12 October (Hispanic Day)


About Centro Botín

The Centro Botín, designed by the architect Renzo Piano, is the most important project of the Fundación Botín. As one of Spain’s outstanding private art centres and a high point on the international art circuit, it contributes by way of the arts to the generation of economic and social wealth in Santander. It is also a world pioneer in the development of creativity, making full use of the potential of the arts in the fostering of our emotional intelligence and our creative capacity. In addition, the Centro Botín is a new place of encounter, a privileged enclave in the heart of the city and the new cornerstone of the cultural arc of the Cantabrian coast, making a major contribution to the national and international promotion of the city and the region.



Related press notes

Centro Botín

Albareda Dock no/d,

Peredas gardens

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