The IVAM, with one eye on the past and the other on the future

With just two weeks apart, two group exhibitions have been inaugurated at the IVAM that extend throughout parallel rooms on the second floor. In both cases, the titles are poetic and enigmatic phrases, while the subtitles delimit without exhausting the complex and dynamic work-viewer relationships that both curatorial proposals propose: a personal vision of the contemporary in the museum institution, and a historical review of works made by women artists.

‘Un continuum…’ is an author’s product marked by the staunch defense of both the subjectivity of the curator’s choice and the individual experience of each visitor. Impossible unique solution equation given the starting premise: the contemporary in art and in the museum.

If we take into account that the present is the time to be combined, we cannot catch that slippery fish, eternally fleeting between the past and the future. Some artists have been able to objectify those moments of high tension in such a way that some works that were then revolutionary, transgressive, misunderstood, demonized, today form part of institutionalized history.

Eclecticism led to contradiction has been a rhetorical strategy widely used in the careful and resounding montage. The result is a powerful barrage of 130 works where biodiversity is the constant: discipline, formats, authors, eras, styles… Only four works do not belong to the collection, but they come to fill some especially pertinent gaps. To highlight the ‘Epilogue’ of the last room, A true declaration of intentions that, far from briefly closing the story, leaves open a plurality of readings that revolve around the political position of art and the aesthetic use of politics. An exhibition full of difficult questions to answer that will leave no one indifferent.

Some of the works in the exhibition ‘An indefinitely smooth common continuum’

For its part, ‘The power with which…’ is inserted into that trend that is fortunately in vogue related to emphasizing the role of women, for so long and on so many fronts, denied, repressed, hidden, made invisible.

Low the common territorial denominator –Iberian Peninsula– and chronological denominator –60s and 70s– truffled by two dictatorial political contexts in an international environment not at all inclined to gender equality, this exhibition displays 186 works by nearly 60 artists, grouped according to a common thread of adverbs and prepositions that, far from being a simple grammatical game, articulates a revision exhaustive list of important names of female creators who – with some exceptions – remain poorly known in the field of what is known as modern art.

The nine thematic cores mainly include painting, and are complemented by three documentary nodes in which separate meetings and exchanges focused on specific exhibition spaces are collected: Vostell Museum, Espacio P, or cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon.

New chapters of the IVAM collection

‘An indefinitely smooth common continuum. Projections on the contemporary in the IVAM’ Colectiva collection. Curator: Diana Guijarro. Until 20 October. Four stars.

‘The power with which we jump together. Women artists in Spain and Portugal between dictatorship and democracy’. Collective. Commissioners: P. Mayayo and G. Lamoni. Until the 29th of September. IVAM. Valencia. C/ Guillén de Castro, 118. Four stars.

It is interesting to note the succession of international stylistic proposals –geometric abstraction, Pop Art and the different performative and conceptual drifts – perfectly developed by these voices, mostly silenced at the time if not forgotten. A deep and profuse field work and research whose fruits can be seen in this interesting event full of pleasant surprises.

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