Medard Rosso, Sorolla and Mathieu Pernot, new exhibitions at the MAPFRE Foundation

Medard Rosso, Sorolla and Mathieu Pernot, new exhibitions at the MAPFRE Foundation
bonart madrid - 19/09/23

Fundació MAPFRE has presented the new exhibitions for this autumn: Medard Rosso. Pioneer of modern sculpture, The Summers of Sorolla and Mathieu Pernot. Document/Monument. The exhibitions can be visited from September 22 to January 8 in the exhibition hall of the Mapfre Madrid Foundation.

Medardo Rosso and Joaquín Sorolla are two essential figures for understanding the art of the centuries both inside and outside our borders, beginnings of modernity that, since the Foundation, have always been the subject of research. For his part, Mathieu Pernot, one of the most relevant figures in current photography, consolidates the programming that the institution has been developing for some time in relation to this discipline.

Medard Rosso, Sorolla and Mathieu Pernot, new exhibitions at the MAPFRE Foundation Medardo Rosso, Henri Rouart, 1890. © SIK-ISEA, Zürich (Jean-Pierre Kuhn)

Medardo Rosso. Pioneer of modern sculpture , curated by Gloria Moure, includes nearly three hundred works, including sculptures, photographs and drawings. The tour does not follow a chronological sequence, but focuses on the most emblematic sculptural groups that the artist made throughout his career and emphasizes the idea that Rosso himself had of his work; that is, that it was a practice in which he had to resume work on the same pieces over and over again, giving them a different meaning on each occasion. Deeply misunderstood in its time, although appreciated by those who were at the forefront of art, the work of Medardo Rosso (Turin, 1858-Milan, 1928) is presented to us today as highly innovative and advanced in its time The artist, who preferred to leave Italy and flee from academicism in search of a cosmopolitan horizon in France, was a visionary who, with his more experimental work, which is precisely what this exhibition focuses on, propose a break with the artistic tradition that predominated in Europe between centuries.

Seen in retrospect, Rosso's more experimental production advances many of the concerns of later artists such as Constantin Brancusi, Alberto Giacometti, Lucio Fontana or the more contemporary Thomas Schütte. Faced with a sculpture conceived as an expression of what is immutable, based mainly on mass and volume, Rosso dematerializes his pieces and deals with them based on the impression that the memory of the one he has contemplated has produced on him. In this effort to capture the emotion, he works in thematic groups and produces works that seem to be the same, but are not: the space where they are located, the light that falls on them, the point of view, the quantity has changed of matter from which they arise.

Sorolla's summers brings us closer, through a small but careful selection of works, to the evolution of Joaquín Sorolla's favorite theme throughout his career: beach scenes. With this exhibition, the MAPFRE Foundation joins the tribute that will be paid to Sorolla in 2023 on the occasion of the centenary of his death. The exhibition tour of The Summers of Sorolla, laid out in a single continuous section, combines thematic and chronological presentation to underline the evolution of the motif of beach scenes in Sorolla's work: from the first centered compositions to the work at sea with which he obtained his first international successes, to works carried out in his last summers, which served him as a break from the great commission of the Vision of Spain for the Hispanic Society of America.

Sorolla's beach scenes help to underline the modernity of his painting, which can be seen in the choice of the coast as a subject, in the framing of the compositions and their link with the photographic language, in the spontaneity of the capture of the natural, in the mastery in the treatment of color or in the use of the effects of light for the creation of volumes. At the same time, in his representation of the coasts of the Levant, his work is identified with the recovery of the classic view of the Mediterranean, also present in the work of artists such as Bonnard, Signac, Matisse or Picasso. At the same time, Sorolla participates in the new fashion of summer holidays and travels to Biarritz, Zarauz or Sant Sebastià, capitals of the modern European summer break. Sorolla's language is, at the same time, linked to the local, to his Valencian roots, as well as in general to his Spanish roots, so that in his art we find a continuous back and forth between tradition and modernity, between the vernacular and the cosmopolitan.

Medard Rosso, Sorolla and Mathieu Pernot, new exhibitions at the MAPFRE Foundation Mathieu Pernot Ninaï, de la sèrie Los Gorgan, 2012 75 x 110 cm. Cortesia del artista © Mathieu Pernot

The Document/Monument exhibition covers more than thirty years of Mathieu Pernot 's work, a wide selection from the early nineties to the present day. This exhibition, his first retrospective in Spain, is presented in a different way from previous ones, as it relates to corpora produced in different temporalities and which in some cases had never been seen before. Highlights include the images taken at the boxing clubs in Marseille in 1994 and the most recent series taken a few months ago in Melilla on behalf of the MAPFRE Foundation. Also on display for the first time are the photographs of the destroyed buildings of Beirut in 2000, after the Lebanese civil war, which we will see in this exhibition placed near the controlled explosions of buildings in the French suburbs. The series Those who cry is exhibited next to the graphic material from the Parisian prison of La Santé. The selection includes Los Gorgan, one of the fundamental works that accompanies Pernot from the beginning of his photographic activity until now. The Gorgan family is present in different spaces of the exhibition and stars in several series. Its members have become the main figures of Pernot's artistic discourse, both for their magnetism and the power of embodiment of their members and because their lives intersect with the history of the gypsy community over the centuries. Pernot's books play a prominent role in his career, as he has almost twenty titles published so far. This aspect of the editor is also highlighted in the exhibition with a selection of his main projects, conceived differently and complementary to the exhibition proposals.

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