MADRID – The permanent collection at Madrid’s Reina Sofia museum celebrated on Sunday the 25 years since its inauguration, a period of time which has seen it grow into one of the most important contemporary art centers in the world.
On Sept. 10, 1992, the permanent collection was inaugurated by then King Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife Queen Sofia, who the museum was named after.
The Reina Sofia thus went from holding only temporary exhibitions to becoming a vital center for contemporary art that holds works by masters such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.
Sunday’s celebration coincided with another two: the 80th anniversary of Picasso’s “Guernica” and the 25th anniversary of it being brought to the museum.
To mark that event, the then King and Queen were photographed in front of the huge painting, which is one of the most famous anti-war works of art of the 20th century and was created to denounce the violence of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).
But there is more to the Reina Sofia than “Guernica,” as the part of the collection the painting belongs to includes a lot of surrealism, cubism and noucentisme, a Catalonian movement that rejected modernism, glorified order and sought change.
Other permanent exhibitions celebrate the works of artists like Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Remedios Varo, Ángeles Santos and Marcel Duchamp.
Since the permanent collection was set up, the museum has grown both artistically and architecturally, having expanded its installations by 60 percent in recent years and welcoming over three million visitors in 2016.
The incorporation of the Lafuente Archive’s collection, among several others, is to soon allow the Reina Sofia to push past Madrid’s borders and open a new center in the northern city of Santander, which is to hold over 3,000 works.
And now it moves beyond just exhibitions as well, with an Autumn program full of performances, concerts and conferences and a willingness, according to director Manuel Borja Villel, to tell new stories of modernity in a global age where the world is ever-shrinking.