- “Portraits: Essence and Expression” is the title given to this group of twentieth-century masterpieces which will go on exhibit at the art centre in Santander from this coming 23 June.
- The selection includes works by Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon, Juan Gris, Joaquín Sorolla, Daniel Vázquez Díaz, Isidre Nonell, José Gutiérrez Solana and Pancho Cossío.
- Together with the deposit, Jaime Botín will donate one million euro per annum to Fundación Botín to cover the maintenance and conservation of the works, as well as contributing to the art centre’s cultural programme and social mandate.
Santander, 17 May 2018.- From this coming 23 June Centro Botín will exhibit, on a permanent basis, a selection of twentieth-century masterpieces from the Jaime Botín art collection in a hall on the art centre’s first floor.
The works which Jaime Botín has lent to Fundación Botín, on whose board he sits, are: Femme espagnole (1917) by Henri Matisse; Self Portrait with Injured Eye (1972) by Francis Bacon; Arlequín (1918) by Juan Gris; Al baño. Valencia (1908) by Joaquín Sorolla; Mujer de rojo (1931) by Daniel Vázquez Díaz; Figura de medio cuerpo (1907) by Isidre Nonell; El constructor de caretas (1944) by José Gutiérrez Solana and Retrato de mi madre (1942) by Pancho Cossío. In addition, associated with the deposit, whose initital duration is five years renewable, Jaime Botín will also donate one million euro per annum to cover the costs of maintenance and conservation of the works, as well as contributing to Centro Botín’s art programme and social mandate.
María José Salazar, a member of Fundación Botín’s Visual Arts Advisory Committee and an expert in twentieth-century art, has worked closely with the collector to interpret this group of works called “Portraits: Essence and Expression” and then to pen an introduction for the exhibition hall and explanatory notes for each one of the works.
Chronologically, the selection of works embraces a large portion of twentieth-century art, beginning with Figura de medio cuerpo by Nonell from 1907, and coming to a close with Self Portrait with Injured Eye, painted by Francis Bacon in 1972. Furthermore, it combines works of high artistic value by Spanish artists scarcely known outside Spain with works by international artists considered pivotal in the development of twentieth-century art. Brought together thanks to the common thread of the collector’s personal taste, we now have a chance to see a select group of works with evident points of connection.
The formative years of all the artists span the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a complex period that saw a break from tradition and the rise of a wealth of artistic movements, with a wide range of styles reflected in this collection: Modernisme in Nonell, Fauvism in Matisse, Cubism in Juan Gris, Lyrical Figuration in Cossío, Realism in Solana, Neo-Cubism in Vázquez Díaz, Post-Impressionist Luminism in Sorolla or a strongly expressionist vision of New Figuration in Bacon.
The selected works share three common features that define and personalise the group: maximum expression through colour and light; the use of the figure as a common means of communication; and, finally, portraiture, the true essence of the selection.
The palette is perhaps the dominant note in all the works and what best defines them: the tones and plays of light, used to outline the figure, are at the service of masterful expression, the collection’s unifying element.
Portraiture is the genre of choice for the collector, who believes that the artist’s skill can be best appreciated in the execution, drawing upon his sensibility to show us the portrayed character’s personality and mood, as well as his physical features.
Fundación Botín is convinced that this new hall, whose opening is indebted to the commitment of one of its patrons, will significantly strengthen Centro Botín’s project just as it is about to celebrate its first anniversary. It will be a major landmark that will unquestionably help the art centre to continue fulfilling its social mandate: namely, to stimulate creative sensibilities, to facilitate access to the arts for all audiences, leveraging their vast potential to develop their emotional intelligence and creativity.
Additionally, this opening coincides with a new presentation of the Fundación Botín collection called “The Reconfigured Landscape”, which also goes on view from 23 June on the first floor of the new art centre’s exhibition building. This show will feature a wide-ranging selection of works from the Fundación Botín collection, combining works by internationally renowned artists who have directed one of Fundación Botín’s Visual Arts Workshops in Santander, as well as works by recipients of Fundación Botín’s Visual Arts Scholarships over the last 25 years.