Category Archives: Art & Culture

Current Exhibitions in Madrid

Seductive Girl, Private Collection. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / VEGAP,

Here’s a quick breakdown of the exhibitions going at the moment at some of Madrid’ more well-known museums and galleries.

Prado Museum
Spanish Drawings from the Hispanic Society of America. The exhibition is split into four main sections and covers work from the 16th century through to Goya – indeed one section is devoted to Goya. The exhibition runs until the 4th March, 2007.

Tintoretto – this exhibition, which is sponsored by the Consejería de Cultura de la Comunidad de Madrid, consists of 70 works by the Italian painter – all of which have been loaned by leading European and American collections. The exhibition runs from the 30th January to the 13th May, 2007.

Reina Sofía

The Reina Sofía is showing the works of the American artist Chuck Close from the 6th February to the 7th May, 2007.

It is also showing an interesting collection, titled Guerra y Revistas (Magazines and War), whose objective is to show how magazines were used, like posters, as propaganda tools in the Spanish Civil War. It runs from the 16th January to the 30th April, 2007.

Thyssen Museum

The Mirror and the Mask: Portraiture in the Age of Picasso. According to the PR blurb from the Thyssen this exhibition "looks at the survival and transformation of the portrait in avant-garde art between 1890 and 1990". It includes works from (guess who?) Picasso, Gauguin, Cezanne, Juan Gris, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and many others. It runs from the 6th February to the 20th May, 2007. (Note: some of the works will be shown in the la Fundación Caja Madrid, close to c/Arenal)

Fundación Juan March

The Juan March is putting on an exhibition by the American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein . It comprises of 97 works of art, created between 1996 and 1997 and is organised by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. It will run from the 2nd February to the 20th May, 2007.

December Suggestions from Metrópoli

15o Planes

Metrópoli has a really good guide to what you can do in Madrid this December – it is in Spanish, though. They have come up with 150 suggestions for what you can do in the coming weeks – eat, drink, be merry and much more. Interestingly, they have broken them down into 15 categories – based on different types of personality. These range from the sportsman (woman), the art lover, the over 65’s, under 18’s, the shopaholics, singles, and a good few more. There are some really cool suggestions here – there is even a category for those who think they’re cool!!

Goya Exhibition Opens in Madrid

goya_costune_1Much like they did when the Capitan Alatriste film was first screened, the Casa de la Panadería is putting on an exhibition to mark the release of a new film. This new exhibition coincides with the premier of the film Goya’s Ghosts, which was filmed in Madrid and is actually in English not Spanish. The stars of the film are Javier Bardem and Natalie Portman.

The exhibition will display costumes from the film, pictures of the filming  and descriptions of the age that Goya lived in – he spent most of his life in Madrid. The exhibition runs from the 9th November to the 5th January, 2007. Opening times are: 10 am to 2pm and 4pm to 8 pm. Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays they are open from 10 am to 2 pm. For those unfamiliar with the Casa de la Panadería it is the colourful (and oldest) building in the Plaza Mayor.

The Prado to Open Up At Night

During the months of October, November and December, the Prado Musuem will leave its doors open for a little longer, and for free, for youngsters between the ages of 15 and 25. Well, not every day or every week but the last Fridays of the month!  Starting on the 27th October and continuing on the 24th November and the 29th December it will. And what’s more art experts will be on han to explain the works of art on display.

The Prado Museum website doesn’t have any information on this initiative – which doesn’t surprise as it is such an embarassingly bad website. I just don’t understand how the ministry of culture won’t bring it into the 21st Century.

Changing the Guard at the Royal Palace

On Saturday 21st, October 2006 they will be changing the guard at Madrid’s Royal Palace. However, instead of soldiers dressed in modern, military uniform Madrid will turn the clock back a couple of centuries and military personnel from the three armed services will dress in costumes from the era and will be accompanied by carriages from the Patrimonio Nacional, gun carriages and military marches. The event will be presided over (spot the direct translation!) by the King’s eldest sister, the Infanta Pilar de Borbón.

The event will take place at 12 pm.

Festival de Otoño

The Festival de Otoño bills itself as:

one of the most important theatrical arts events in spain

It goes on for around 5 weeks and features national (Spanish) and international acts from around the world who perform theatre, dance and music. The event kicks off on the 11th October and runs until the 9th November, 2006. There is an English version of the website which is probably better than the Spanish – it uses plain html rather than the damned, annoying Flash!

Feria de Arte Independiente de Madrid Opens

Feria del arte independienteFeria de Arte Independiente de Madrid or (Independent Art Fair of Madrid) opens its doors today 28th September, 2006 and runs until the 1st October. The objective of the fair is quite clear: to support and promote independent artists, whose art is exhibited without an
y intermediaries (sounds like I translated that one directly!!).

The exhibition (fair) takes place in the Pabellón de La Pipa del Recinto Ferial de la casa de Campo de Madrid, where over 200 artists from countries as diverse as Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Portugal, Canada, Israel, China and Argentina and, obviously, Spain will display their art. Each year one country acts as the "invted country" and this year it falls to South Africa, whose ambassador will open the fair.

Opening times
12 p.m to 9 p.m

6 Euros

Casa de Campo
Metro: Casa de Campo

Hay Festival Segovia

Hay Festival SegoviaAccording to Wiki:

Since 1988, Hay-on-Wye has been the venue for a literary festival, sponsored by The Guardian newspaper, which draws a claimed 80,000 visitors over ten days at the
beginning of June to see and hear big literary names from all over the world.

However, from the 21st-24th September, 2006 the festival will decamp to Spain for the Hay Festival Segovia. They have quite a lineup organised for the event, including Bob Geldof, Martin Amis, Ian Mc Ewan, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Ian Gibson, Doris Lessing, Fernando Savater, Chris Stewart and Vikram Seth will be amogst the speakers. There will be a concert by Bob Geldof and various film screenings. If you’ve never been to the unbelievably beautiful city of Segovia, this will be a fantastic opportunity.

Purchasing Tickets
Click here to buy tickets over the Internet >

Buy tickets over the phone from 1st September: +34 902101212

(9:00 am- 9:00 pm)

Ticket Prices
  7€ per event
3€ per screening

Related Article
Segovia – Alcázar , Aqueduct, Cathedral and great food

Picasso Exhibitions Extended

Here is a press release that I came upon today, regarding the Picasso exhibtions in Madrid. It should prove of interest to visitors to Madrid over the next 6 weeks:

Two key exhibitions showing works by Pablo Picasso at Madrid’s Prado and Reina Sofia museums are being extended owing to huge demand, the culture ministry announced.
The "Picasso, tradition and avant-garde" shows displaying some 100 pieces by the artist will remain open until September 10 at the Prado and until September 25 at Reina Sofia.
The exhibitions, which opened on June 5 and were originally due to end on September 3, have attracted 450,000 visitors.
[Source: AFP]

Festival of San Lorenzo de El Escorial Opens

Festival de San Lorenzo de El Escorial
On the 3rd July, 2006 the Teatro Auditorio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial will open its doors, coinciding with the inaugural Festival de San Lorenzo de El Escorial. For those who don’t know San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a town situated around 45 kilometres outside Madrid, at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama Mountain Range, and  home of the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The complex houses a palace, monastery, library and museum and was built by King Phillip II of Spain. Its Royal Pantheon contains the remains of most of Spain’s rulers from the last 5 centuries.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a quiet town set in beautiful surroundings and is the ideal retreat for Madrileños wanting to get away from the intense heat of Madrid. It is also the new home of the Festival de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, whose ambitions extend to being the premier event of its kind in Southern Europe. Judging by the headline performers this year, they could quite easily achieve that in a short period of time.

Here is a breakdown of the top international and national artists appearing from the 3rd July until the 1st August, 2006.

Ricardo Mutti opens the festival with works from Giuseppe Verdi played by Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

The English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner perform Mozart on the 4th July.

The Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, under the direction of Víctor Pablo Pérez, play Mozart and Martín y Soler on the 13th and 14th July.

Rinaldo Alessandrini
and his Concerto Italiano dedicates the 18th July to a session of Monteverdi madrigals.

On the 7th, 8th and 9th July the Royal Ballet Covent Garden under the choreography of Kenneth MacMillan and two (rare Spanish) performances by Tamara Rojo (on the 7th and 8th July), perform Romeo and Juliet.

The London Symphony Orchestra and the Comunidad de Madrid Choir, under the direction of Sir Colin Davis, perform Mozart’s Opera, the Magic Flute on the 20th, 22nd and 24th July.

For lovers of Zarzuela, there’s an opportunity to see the Orchestra and Choir of the Community of Madrid perform Noche de Verano en la Verbena de la Paloma on the 30th and 31st July and the 1st August.

Related Articles
Festival of San Lorenzo de El Escorial (official website).
San Lorenzo de El Escorial and Valle de los Caidos, an article published a couple of years back on this site.
Un festival nuevo para un teatro de estreno (published in El Mundo’s Metropoli magazine).
Ópera, ballet y zarzuela para inaugurar el teatro de El Escorial (interesting article from El Pais)

PhotoEpaña 2006

Photo España PHotoEpaña 2006 is a major photograhpic festival which takes place yearly around the capital. The official press release states that :

The exhibitions showcase new tendencies in the world of photography and the visual arts, attracting both general and specialist audiences. They are the ideal opportunity for discovering the latest photographic projects, videos and installations produced by leading national and international photographers and visual artists. The exhibitions are complemented by parallel activities such as Campus PHE, which offers a series of workshops by great masters of photography; Cine PHE; professional seminars; public screenings of audiovisuals, portfolio reviews, etc.

The Casa de  América, Centro Culutral de Conde Duque, Círculo de Bellas Artes, the Real Jardín Botánico and the Thyssen Museum are just a selction of the official places where you can view some of the exhibition. There are also a large number of ‘unofficial’ places where you can view photographs – mainly galleries. For a complete roundup of the photographers and venues, visit the PHotoEpaña 2006 site. 

Suma Flamenca – Madrid Community’s First Flamenco Festival

Suma Flamenca Madrid
From today, 30th May, 2006, until the 11th June, the Comunity of Madrid is putting on its First Flamenco Festival, called Suma Flamenca. Events and shows associated with the festival will take place in 9 of the Community’s town councils and will obviously include the centre of the capital. For more details of what will be going on over the coming days, visit the Metropoli site or  Guia del Ocio. Sorry for the brevity of this article but I am preparing to go to this event (therefore, posting will be light for the next few days!).

Feria del Libro Madrid

Didn’t have a chance to write this up last week as I was in Cambridge (UK) but for those literary types amongst you, you may be interested to know about Madrid’s Feria del Libro (or book fair). It started on Friday and goes on until the 11th June, 2006 in Madrid’s Retiro Park. It is quite some event with 300 events, 355 stands and 5 pavilions covering this open space of the park.  Even if you don’t read Spanish (which is obviously the main language!), it is quite nice to walk around and have a look at the variety of stand on display.

Madrid’s Museums Open Up At Night on 20th May

The night of the museums is a European intitiative in which more than 1200 musuems across Europe will open their doors ‘after dark’  on the 20th May, 2006 and where visitors will be able to listen to music, theatre and go on guided visits. In Madrid, the Thyssen Museum will be open from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. In the Museo del Prado a group of youngster will be able to answer visitor question between 8.30 and 10.30 p.m and the museum will remain open untl 1 a.m – entry will be free from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m 

The Museo del Traje will be open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. with a jazz band (Missing Stompers) and entry will be free until they reach their quota.  At the Museo Nacional de Antropología they will have a "night of repercussion" with an African percussion band, Babacar and the Diengoz, playing. Again entry is free until they fill the quota, whilst the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas will open its doors until 10.30 p.m. The Museo Sorolla will be open from 9 p.m. to 11.30 p.m

The Museo Arqueológico Nacional will have an Andalucian Reminiscences night with guides , theatrical guidse literary stories and a nocturnal concert with Araba and Andalucian music in the garden.