In 1999 the exhibition Spanische Kunst am Ende des Jahrhunderts (Spanish Art at the Turn of the Century) curated by Kosme de Barañano, Full Professor of Art History, was launched at the Würth Museum in Künzelsau (Germany). That exhibition not only opened up the Würth Collection to new Spanish artists beyond Picasso, Miró and Dalí, but also signified the germ of the Würth Spain Collection and the Museo Würth La Rioja. Barañano focused on the work of 10 living artists whose work he considered essential, possessing an individuality that stood out in the general context of Spanish art: Alfonso Albacete, Alberto Corazón, Eduardo Chillida, Luis Gordillo, Koldobika Jauregi, Blanca Muñoz, Miquel Navarro, Antonio Saura, Antoni Tàpies and Manolo Valdés.
On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of that exhibition, we asked again Kosme de Barañano to update his perspective on Spanish art of the last decades and to reproduce the exhibition from a contemporary position. The result is Spanish Art and the Würth Collection, which Barañano has put together from the Würth Collection with the 10 artists who were part of the original exhibition as well as 16 others, whose careers, in his words, “possess a unique timbre, a personal diction and a particular plastic thought” in the current context of artistic creation: José Manuel Ballester, Miquel Barceló, Santiago Calatrava, Jorge Castillo, Cristian Domecq, Prudencio Irazabal, Xavier Mascaró, Assumpció Mateu, Isabel Muñoz, Aitor Ortiz, Jorge Palacios, Jaume Plensa, Monica Ridruejo, David Rodríguez Caballero, Ana Soler and Ramon Vinyes. The exhibition features works from the Würth Collection and the Würth Spain Collection, as well as loans from private artists and collectors to document the artists’ recent careers.
The exhibition does not claim to define contemporary Spanish art, but rather to show a personal vision, a subjective work of reflection that obeys the criteria of the curator, who has selected the artists “for their technical capacity (power to say something) and their inventive capacity (having something to say), for their capacity to compose and create new worlds, for their power of intention highlighting the potential to ignite or open up a change in our perspective, of exploring the notions and concepts inherent in the construction, activation and meaning of images.”1
1 Kosme de Barañano. Reintroduction to Spanish Art at the turn of the century in Spanish Art and the Würth Collection(Exhibition Catalogue). Museo Würth La Rioja, 2019.