Saturday, January 5, 2013


Our trip to the south of Spain was planned around this idea of New Spain/Old Spain, as in contemporary or modern/traditional, as in ART. The first stop was, of course, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. For Contemporary we were surprised by a room of Alex Katz's large portraits,
"Smiles" (among other exhibits) and modern were the drawings of Egon Schiele.
Next day was traditional with a visit to the Real Alcázar de Sevilla! This is an eleventh century fortified palace built over the remains of the Islamic quarter. Architecturally it is a combination of many styles including Taifa, Almohad, Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance, Baroque, Mannerist and Neo-Classicist, a feast for the eyes. I've never seen anything like it!
On Sunday we visited the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in the Monasterio de la Cartuja de Santa Maria de las Cuevas. The building and grounds alone were worth the visit. The shows were good, no big names except for a video of John Baldessari reading Rules For Painting by Sol LeWitt!
Next day we drove to the coast and visited Cádiz. This city is the oldest inhabited city in Western Europe. It is a bit northwest from the Straits of Gibraltar above North Africa. It was great to see the Atlantic Ocean from the other side. The next day, Christmas Day, was a day of rest.
Then to NMAC or Fundación Montenmedio Arte Contemporaneo in Vejer de la Frontera. An outdoors sculpture part with a few jewels. The Sol LeWitt sculpture shown above was just great!
Human Nests by Marina Abramovich was four rope ladders hanging from natural depressions in a huge rock wall across a chasm, a ways away from the viewing area.
A simple visual, but powerful idea and execution.
Then back in time to Granada where we visited the Alhambra. Well I need to put a photo of it here:
This is a tiny detail, magnify it by a million in surround-site and you will have it but you have to visit to get the full effect. This has been a dream come true for me, to see the Alhambra!
Our next stop was Córdoba where we visited the studio of artist Maria Ortega Estepa. 
She will show her work in an invitational show, Looking After Trees,  at The Art Center in Grand Junction this summer. Look at her site and you will see why.
The last "old" site was the Mezquita or Grand Mosque. What a mish mash of Muslim and Christian architecture. A bit confusing, as in where to focus the eye, but impressive as well. 
We are still reeling from all the things we saw. We enjoyed the warm temperatures and sun.
Now back north in Logroño where it is not cloudy, has been sunny for days, we brought it with us!

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