Centro de Artes Visuales Fundación Helga de Alvear


The Helga de Alvear Museum renews its exhibition space with new artworks

  • The new contemporary art Museum has almost completely updated the botton floor of the building dedicated to the exhibition of the Helga de Alvear Collection.
  • 17 works executed by 11 different artists, the majority never exhibited before, offer a new climax to the tour of the Museum after its first anniversary.
  • One of the famous igloos by the artist Mario Merz, incorporated into the Collection in the latest edition of the ARCO Fair, is now available to the public in the renovated exhibition space.
  • It is accompanied by works by Carmen Laffón, Joan Fontcuberta, Roni Horn, Gordon Matta-Clark and Willie Doherty, among others.
  • The exhibition of the Helga de Alvear Collection, as a dynamic organism in constant transformation, will continue to change periodically with the aim of offering new insights into the more than 3,000 pieces that make up the Museum’s holdings.

After the opening of its new building in February 2021, the Helga de Alvear Museum has a space taylor-made  to exhibit one of the most significant collections of contemporary art in Europe, the Helga de Alvear Collection. Now, the inaugural exhibition, which included around 5% of the more than 3,000 works that are part of the Collection, has begun to be renewed in order to propose new perspectives and gradually make known a fund that continues to increase.

Starting this week, the Helga de Alvear Museum has made important new features available to the public in the exhibition of the Collection located in the new building designed by Tuñón Arquitectos. All the rooms on the -3 floor have been restored, both in terms of architectural design and exhibition discourse, making new works available to the public that, for the most part, had not been exhibited in the Museum before.

Of the 17 works that occupy the rooms on the top floor, one of the famous igloos by the artist Mario Merz entitled ‘La casa del giardiniere’ (1983-1985) stands out, recently acquired by Helga de Alvear at the last edition of the ARCO Fair for his exhibition in Cáceres. This new work is accompanied by others by the same artist that were already part of the Collection, such as the collage painting ‘Animale 418’ (1998), which had not previously been exhibited in Spain, or paintings by Merz himself executed in 1985 and 1987.

This renewed exhibition space also includes creations by other artists, both national and international, who offer a new approach to the intersection between art, landscape and nature from the Helga de Alvear Collection. The works by Gordon Matta-Clark, the photographs by Joan Foncuberta and Roni Horn, or the video art pieces by Jason Rhoades and Willie Doherty propose a new ending to the exhibition itinerary and allow the exploration of new discursive lines linked to current affairs.The painting by Carmen Laffón, which was already exhibited in the previous show, is now accompanied by a sculpture also executed by the Sevillian artist, National Prize for Plastic Arts and academic of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, who recently died last November; while the sculpture close to land art by Richard Long shares space with the installation of paintings created with mud from the River Avon, also the work of the British artist.

In the words of José María Viñuela, curator of the Collection, general curator of the inaugural acts of the Helga de Alvear Museum and responsible for the museography of the assembly design “the Museum, as a living organism, will continue to mutate over time. For this reason, the word permanent will never be the right one when referring to the Helga de Alvear Collection exhibition. Given the quality, quantity and diversity of the works that are part of the Collection, we can hold temporary exhibitions on a regular basis, but we also believe it is necessary to offer new experiences from the spaces dedicated to the Collection. Some of the most iconic works of the Museum, such as the famous lamp by Ai Weiwei, Descending Light (2007), located in the entrance hall, or Faux Rocks (2006) by Katharina Grosse, which is still on display on this newly renovated top floor  will remain available to the public for years to come. Other works in the different rooms will vary in a Museum in constant transformation”.

The new works can be visited free of charge by reserving a ticket for the Collection and guided tours and activities will be organized for all audiences in order to bring these new works closer to visitors.