In 2022, the Department of Culture has earmarked 2,392,385 euros for the purchase of contemporary art, photography, comics and illustration and movable cultural goods to increase the National Collection of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In total, 974 pieces of art, objects and heritage funds have been acquired, among which the works of 122 artists, authors and authors stand out, and 112 donations have been processed.
The Minister of Culture, Natàlia Garriga, today presented the new acquisitions at a press conference in Lleida, at the Morera-Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and stated that "the Department of Culture is committed to the National Collection because it is of the whole country, of all the people. "Today we are in Lleida precisely for this reason, to reinforce that the collection is national, and that the Catalan heritage that is part of the Collection is for the whole territory, and reaches museums and archives throughout Catalonia".
"The acquisitions of the National Collection of the Generalitat of Catalonia are not just a list of works, but they help the sector, strengthen the presence of artists from all over the territory, make it possible to balance the Catalan artistic system from the "analysis, for example, of the lack of works by women, or of historical periods underrepresented in our facilities, and helps to complete the thematic collections of the heritage facilities of Catalonia", said Garriga.
With the aim of giving maximum support to the cultural sector, the Department of Culture invested 2 million euros in 2021 in new acquisitions, a figure that in 2022 has been exceeded with nearly 2.4 million euros. During the presentation in Lleida, Councilor Garriga announced that this 2023, the Department of Culture will follow the upward trend of recent years and will continue to make an investment effort to acquire works, with an expected exit allocation of 2.6 million of euros: "We continue to increase the endowment, because we are betting on this National Collection".
The councilor was accompanied by the Mayor of Lleida City Council, Miquel Pueyo; of the director of the museum, Jesús Navarro, on behalf of the museums and depository archives of the acquisitions and equipment that preserve the national collection; of the visual artist Francesca Llopis and the director of the Bombon Projects gallery, Joana Roda, representing the Visual Arts Comprehensive Plan; and cultural journalist Juan Bufill, representing the Comic and Illustration Commission and the National Photography Plan.
Contemporary art collection
As part of the Visual Arts Comprehensive Plan, the Department of Culture has acquired 43 works by 43 artists for a value of 599,399 euros. The Generalitat has made an investment effort in recent years to acquire work by visual artists, going from 130,249 euros in 2016 to over half a million euros, the highest investment in visual arts to date, and which has increased by 17% compared to last year. In 2022, 43 works have been purchased for the National Collection of Contemporary Art, from 18 female artists and 25 male artists. The majority are works by living and active artists and the productions of the last decade by artists who were born between 1971 and 1985 predominate.
The works purchased by the National Collection of Contemporary Art will be deposited in 15 museums in Catalonia and address political issues such as feminism and dissident identities or Franco's labor camps. They also reveal the diversity of artistic techniques and the languages present in contemporary art: installations, photography, video art, performance, digital art and visual arts, among others.
The works acquired by the Department of Culture to form part of the National Collection of Contemporary Art have been chosen by a Commission formed by the management of the MNAC and the MACBA, representatives of the Service of Museums and Protection of Furniture, the Network of Art Museums of Catalonia, the Territorial Centers of Visual Arts of Catalonia, and independent experts proposed by CoNCA and the Platform for Visual Arts of Catalonia. The commission is coordinated by the General Directorate of Cultural Promotion and Libraries and the direction of the Visual Arts Area of the Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises.
Among the unique works, the edition of wine bottles from the project Difesa della Natura (1983) by Joseph Beuys stands out, which will go to the Vinseum, Museum of Wine Cultures in Vilafranca del Penedès. Also REALtime (2021), a computer installation by Antoni Abad that will be deposited in the Mataró Museum; the series of 150 polaroids by Àngel Jové, Polaroids: Lo país de Malaiusa. Series de franja pur (1989), or the sculptural installation by Marga Ximenez, De libres i llars (2017), which will be deposited in the Morera-Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Lleida.
A good number of video-installations and videos with works by Lúa Coderch, Palau de vent (2021), which will be deposited at the MACBA, stand out; Alba G. Corral, Bernat pescaire listening to Suso (2022), which will go to the Jaume Morera Art Museum in Lleida; Francesca Llopis, Dins per dins (2021), a work shot at La Ricarda, which goes to the MNAC; Clàudia Pagès, Circular Gerund (2021), which goes to the MACBA; Job Ramos, A la intempèrie (2021), which goes to the Museu de la Garrotxa, in Olot; Mireia Sallarès, Potential history of Francesc Tosquelles, Catalonia and fear (2021) and Oriol Vilanova, Reproductions (2022) which go to the MACBA; or Claudio Zulián, Vallès: making pasts, making futures (2019), which will go to the Sabadell Art Museum.
Multimedia installations and various techniques by Erick Beltrán, La part abyssale (2013) have also been purchased; by Pedro Torres, House of the Sun (2020) and Oriol Vilapuig, Otranto fanfàrria (2019-2022), which go to the MACBA; or Aureli Ruiz, Love indifference (Homo sacer) (1994/2005/2007), which goes to the Museum of Modern Art in Tarragona. Sound installations by cabosanroque, Petrotuning (2021), which will go to the Girona Art Museum, and Vicens Vacca, Retard (2021), which will go on deposit at the Hospitalet Museum. The collection will be enriched with emblematic works by artists rarely represented in museums such as Mari Chordà, with a markedly feminist work such as Vulva (1968), which is going to the MACBA and another, Colgada de un cuadro (1972), which will be at the Museum of Modern Art in Tarragona, or Joan Rabascall, Kultur (Mass Media Series) (1973), which goes to the MNAC. And historical authors have been recovered such as Javier Vilató, with the oil La chambre (1958) or Carmen Aguadé, with a work influenced by Pop, Untitled (1971), which go to the MNAC. Also works with a more political and critical content such as those by Domènec, Arquitectura española, 1939-1975 (2014-2018), which will go to the Mataró Museum, and by Daniel Gasol, Identidades punibles (2021), which will be deposited in the Valls Museum , and ceramic works by Rosa Amorós, which will go to the MNAC, or a performance by Dora Garcia, Two Planets Have Been Colliding for Thousands of Years (2017), which will go to the MACBA.
National Photography Plan
The National Photography Plan has acquired 537 photographs by 36 different authors in 2022, for an amount of 349,388 euros. One of the main axes of the plan is to ensure that the photographic expressions of the most significant authors in Catalonia are present, protected and valued.
For this reason, every year, a public call is opened for the reception of proposals for the acquisition of photographic works likely to be part of the National Collection. This year, for the first time, the procedure for the submission of proposals has been standardized, facilitating the submission of applications and expanding the dissemination of the call. To make the selection of works to be acquired, the commission has assessed their artistic, historical or documentary significance, with the aim of filling the outstanding gaps in the collections of the main public institutions.
Another criterion was the gender perspective to give visibility to the set of women who have dedicated themselves to photographic production in Catalonia. An example is the acquisition of the work of Maria Esther Remacha from Lleida and her series Lluitadores de la terra, the work of emerging artists Laia Moretó and Sara Sánchez, and the photographic projects Fer Casa and the Organic Series of the Carme Masià, who already has a long artistic career.
Other great names that are included in the public collections are historical authors such as Agustí Centelles, Napoleón, Josep Alemany, Colita, Manel Esclusa, Rafael Arocha and Manel Úbeda, among others. The National Photography Plan, together with those of other disciplines, form the sectoral promotion plans of the Generalitat de Catalunya. The photographic work will be deposited in the National Museum of Art of Catalonia, the Photographic Archive of Barcelona, the Cerdanyola Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona, the National Archive of Catalonia, the Museum of Modern Art in Tarragona, the Morera-Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Lleida, the Abelló Museum and the Image Research and Diffusion Center (Girona Municipal Archives – Image Research and Diffusion Center).