Works by Gauguin and Picasso

Works by Gauguin and Picasso

The Thyssen in Madrid addresses its colonial memory with works by Gauguin and Picasso

The exhibition, which will open on June 25, contains 55 works, investigates how colonialism influenced artistic representation and offers critical perspectives from artists from the “Global South.”
Colonial memory in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collections is the title of an upcoming exhibition with which the Madrid museum will address decolonization in art. According to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, the exhibition is the result of one of the re-readings of its collections within its renewal and updating in relation to the challenges of 21st century society: climate crisis, gender equality, migrations or decolonization.
With a “commitment to the diversity of interpretations of its funds, open to different currents of thought and perceptions,” he highlighted in a statement.

This exhibition, which can be seen from June 25 to October 20, is made up of 55 works from its different collections and “highlights the consequences of colonialism that began in the 16th century and its presence in Western iconography through “idyllic and exotic images that mask inequality and colonial violence.”
The museum stressed that the exhibition proposes “a historical analysis from critical perspectives with Western narratives that emphasize the processes of occupation of territories, domination of populations and exploitation of resources.”

In the works from the museum's collections, the Eurocentric and indulgent image of the colonial structure and its consequences predominates, while others from the 21st century provide “a critical perspective, the result of reflection on colonialism and its legacy, as well as the experience of artists from the so-called Global South,” he added.
The exhibition is organized into six sections that respond to issues in the debate on decolonization, such as extractivism, the racial construction of the other, slavery and colonial domination, or civil rights.

Among the works chosen are View of the Carrera de San Jerónimo and the Paseo del Prado with procession of carriages (around 1680), by Jan van Kessell III, in which the presence of Africans in Madrid in the 17th century can be seen.

Also Girl's Head (1893-1894), by Paul Gauguin, and Nude with Cloths (1907), by Pablo Picasso, which "exemplify cultural appropriation through the use of foreign artistic languages, such as so-called primitivism," according to the museum.

And others by renowned artists such as Eugène Delacroix, Paulo Nazareth, Frans Hals, Max Pechstein, Otto Mueller or Wilfredo Lam.

The Spanish Minister of Culture, Ernest Urtasun, announced last January that Spain seeks to overcome the colonial vision in which many museums remain anchored with a new focus on the content of spaces such as the Museum of America in Madrid, in line with other countries. European or American museums.

Source: EFE