Most of the works in this exhibition were acquired by Fundación Botín since the beginning of the 21st Century. The selection features art by contemporary masters as well as by younger artists who are emerging – or have emerged – as key figures in their generation. It aims at providing a perspective on the current state of artistic practice, both in terms of its form and content; at reflecting upon how classic art forms have evolved, how new narratives have been unfolding, and how contemporary artists address a cultural context that is informed by both local and global circumstances. All the selected works ponder the complexity of a world characterized by large mutations, social instability – conflicts and tensions of all kinds, as well as the acceleration of time. This affects the way one may perceive a reality that tends to be increasingly fragmented, as fact and fiction mingle in an ever more intricate fashion. Art and the exhibition space remain as one of the few bastions of slowed-down time, one made for observation and contemplation, which, in turn, foster critical thinking and comprehension.
In a way, these works also provide a historical perspective on the work of Fundación Botín in the field of visual arts, informed primarily by the sharing of knowledge, providing exposure to contemporary art to a wider audience and enabling the mentorship of younger artists by elder peers, as well as by offering support to emerging artists at a crucial moment in their career through grants and exhibitions. Indeed, the holdings are accrued by means of two specific processes. Firstly, through pieces by contemporary masters related to the Villa Iris Summer Workshop – directed each summer by an artist of international renown who works with a group of younger peers s/he has selected; the foundation has been acquiring works by each of these artists for over two decades. The other line of collecting results from the program of grants for production and training aimed at supporting younger artists who either want to further professionalize themselves or produce an ambitious new project; Fundación Botín has been acquiring works by those artists, either at the conclusion of the grant or later, by way of donation or of purchase.
This tour provides information on highlighted works in the exhibition.