The History Museum of Girona dedicates an exhibition to the ESPAIS Foundation

L’exposició actual vol deixar constància de la seva important tasca i, també, de com ESPAIS va esdevenir un “centre polivalent interdisciplinari”

Instal·lació d'Anna Manel·la (Exposició Anna Manel·la, Carme Sanglas i Pere Vicens) a Espais seu de Bisbe Lorenzana, 1996.
The History Museum of Girona dedicates an exhibition to the ESPAIS Foundation
bonart girona - 13/05/24

The Museum of History of Girona presents, until September 22, the exhibition ESPAIS, an artistic phenomenon. A journey through contemporary art in Catalonia (1987-2010), with a selection of works of art from its collection, as well as part of the archives of the ESPAIS Foundation, one of the audiovisual collection relating to the performances presented, the collection of Papers d'Art magazines with their cover prints and award-winning sculptures from the different editions of the ESPAIS Prize for art criticism. About 130 pieces are on display, including paintings, sculptures, artwork and performance that are part of the municipal art fund from the Progrup-Espais fund, by artists who were active and exhibited at the Espais gallery such as Torres Monsó . , Pere Vicens, Pere Noguera, Margarita Andreu, Francesca Llopis, Ignasi Aballí, Francesc Abad, Joan Casellas, Toni Giró and Jordi Mitjà, among many others.

This exhibition is included in the "Cycle of contemporary art-Fons futura Casa Pastors 2022-2024" approved by Girona City Council in 2021, with the aim of publicizing the artistic heritage of Girona City Council and pave the way for the future Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The first exhibition of the cycle was “The bet on new art. Cutting-edge itineraries in Catalonia through the Rafael and María Teresa Santos Torroella fund” which was visited by nearly 10,000 people in September 2023.

The current exhibition wants to record its important work and, also, how ESPAIS became a "multipurpose interdisciplinary center" - as Glòria Bosch calls it, one of the people who was in front of the center in the beginning –, and, consequently, a selection of the many activities carried out in the fields of performance, sound art and poetry are collected in the original audiovisual material that has been preserved and digitized for this occasion.

As you can see, the exhibition shows a small selection of the collection of 965 works that currently belong to Girona City Council. In 2017, the acquisition of the legacy was closed, after a few years of having guarded it, since the ESPAIS Foundation ceased to function in 2010. Today, the archives, the documentary fund, the catalogues, books, magazines and this significant collection of works of art are part of the art heritage fund of Girona City Council. Based on the exhibition that is now being presented at the Girona History Museum and the work done to document, organize and preserve this legacy, this heritage fund will be made available to the public. At the same time, this patrimonial fund opens a path of great possibilities in order to make known both the importance that the ESPAIS Foundation had in the dissemination of contemporary art and an artistic and intellectual legacy that, for sure, will be of great relevance to future art historians and critics.

In March 1987, ESPAIS Center d'Art Contemporani was opened, a new private space of 300 square meters located in Calle Bisbe Lorenzana, no. 31-33, in Girona, which, with the first exhibition presented "Moda/Antimoda", indicated what would be a long transversal journey between different artistic disciplines. As its managers said at the beginning of this adventure, "ESPAIS does not want to share clichés and with the different rooms it aims to stimulate communication with the public, to produce useful work, to connect the flow of ideas, between the works and people (...) We have the responsibility to think, to help the artist to build exhibition structures suited to his thinking - to bring the public closer to the work". As can be seen, the desire to become a point of con uence between the arts and the public was a constant during the two decades of operation and left a strong cultural imprint on the city. In 2008 the Foundation closed its doors, although afterwards there was a short period of reopening under the management of Bonart/Ricard Planas. The Espais Private Foundation closed definitively in April 2010, a few months before the death of its founder. Currently, this space on Calle del Pou Rodó is the seat of Bòlit. Contemporary Art Center of Girona.

In 2017, Girona City Council acquired its legacy, after a few years of guarding it. Archives, the documentary fund, catalogs, books, magazines and an important collection of works of art today form part of the municipal fund. With the desire to make known the diversity of its holdings, the Museum of History of Girona presents an exhibition that shows the enormous work carried out by the Fundació Espais over two decades. His role was very relevant in the exhibition field, but perhaps even more so because of his dedication to art history and criticism, giving voice to a whole generation of Catalan art critics and from the rest of the 'State.

In 2001, it changed location and moved the exhibition space and all services to Carrer del Pou Rodó, no. 7-9 After a short reopening under the management of Bonart and Ricard Planas, the Foundation closed for good in April 2010, a few months before the passing of its founder and president, Mr. Jordi Vidal and Boris.

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