The acquisition of most works in this exhibition by Fundación Botín started out in the beginning of the twenty-first century. The show offers visitors a historical perspective of the involvement of Fundación Botín in the field of the visual arts for more than twenty-five years. The exhibition includes works by the great contemporary artists who conducted the Villa Iris Visual Arts Workshops in Santander in the past twenty years, plus works by a number of other key artists who have been awarded the Visual Arts Scholarship since it was first established in 1993.
On display in the exhibition are works by Carlos Bunga, Carlos Garaicoa, Nuria Fuster, Mona Hatoum, Jannis Kounellis, Asier Mendizabal, Antoni Muntadas, Julião Sarmento and Juan Uslé, offering an overview of the contemporary art scene and, at the same time, exploring the array of new narratives and contemporary approaches to a cultural milieu that encompasses both local and global elements.
All the featured works invite reflection on a complex world marked by mutation, instability, social conflict, political tension and environmental danger, as well as by an unceasing haste that has led to a fragmented perception of reality where the real and the imaginary come increasingly closer together. Art and exhibition spaces are some of the fewer and fewer shelters for the observation and contemplation which critical thinking and understanding are based on.