Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao Opens Exhibition Dedicated to Novecentismo and Avant-Garde

Old Fisherman, by Julian de Tellaeche, which forms part of the exhibition that the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao has opened under the title Novecentismo and Avant-Garde (1930-1936)

The Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao has inaugurated an exhibition that pretends to take a “new and deeper” look at the presence of Novecentismo and the Avant-Garde in Basque art at the beginning of the 20th Century.

The exhibition, inaugurated today by the head of the Spanish museum, Javier Viar, and by the curator of the show, Eugenio Carmona, covers the period between 1910 and 1936 and is composed of 149 paintings, photographs and posters, many of them on view for the first time.

Joaquín Torres García, Joaquim Sunyer, Aurelio Arteta, Daniel Vázquez Díaz, Julián de Tellaeche, Antonio de Guezala and Jose María Ucelay, are just a few of the artists selected. In the exhibition there are two works of art “Noches de artistas en Ibaigane”, by Antonio Guezala and “Lechera al sol”, by Carlos Ribera, which have been recently acquired and on view for the first time.

After Basque Artists and From Goya to Gauguin, held in 2008 to shed fresh light on certain sections of the Museum collection, The Novecento and the Early Avant-garde now presents 149 works from the early 20th-century, in a selection of paintings, sculptures, exhibition posters and photographs by professor Eugenio Carmona. The early decades of the last century were crucial to developments in contemporary Spanish art, which is so well represented in the Museum collection. At the beginning of the century, the idea of the modern covered a broad spectrum of sensibilities, ranging from what was known as novecentismo (the novecento, i.e. the nineteen hundreds), which sought to create a refined art, almost classical in its restraint, to the avant-garde, most often identified with Cubism and Futurism. At the same time, the legacy of Symbolism and Impressionism continued to influence artists. In this context, a number of Basque artists tried to redefine the sense of local identity and the vernacular.

Joaquín Torres García, Joaquim Sunyer, Aurelio Arteta, Daniel Vázquez Díaz, Julián de Tellaeche, Antonio de Guezala, Celso Lagar, Gabriel García Maroto and Jose María de Ucelay are some of the leading artists represented here.

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