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Manuel Borja-Villel Presents 2009 Exhibition Schedule for the Reina Sofia
The director of the Museo Reina Sofía, Manuel Borja-Villel, moments before presenting yesterday in Madrid the exhibition program that will be shown until the end of 2009. Photo EFE / Victor Lerena.

MADRID.- Almost double the exhibits that it held in the same period; consecrated artists together with lesser known ones; a strong presence of sculptural works and a permanent open door spirit at the museum. That is how the director of the Museo Reina Sofia, Manuel Borja-Villel, yesterday presented the essence of the museum’s schedule for next year.

As a metaphor of this new stage, Borja-Villel announced that starting on August 1, the two terraces in the building, until now inaccessible to the public, will be accessed freely without going through the ticket booth. “I believe that in this way people will get to know the spirit with which Jean Nouvel designed the extension to the museum, the latest in architecture melted with the antique rooftops of old Madrid. Starting in September, we will open a bar to make the visit even more pleasant”, he explained.

All of the exhibits, 40 between the different art centers, will be dedicated to individual artists. “A great part of them are inherited and I support them. With consecrated artists we will cover the 20th century”, the director announced. The season will open in October with feminist art pioneer Nancy Spero. She will be followed by two of the biggest names in photography New Yorker Zoe Leonard and the most intimate and poetic production by Alberto García-Alix.

Their own or collaborative big productions will arrive later on, in 2009, with the first great anthology that Spain will dedicate to Julio Gonzalez. Following with sculpture, the anthology dedicated to Juan Munoz which debuted at the Tate, then went to Bilbao and which Madrid will show in an extended version. The Spanish Avant Garde between wars will be another of the themes of an exhibition.

The acquisition of works by the Reina Sofia was another theme that was touched upon. The latest have had a lot to talk about mostly by how they have been made public not for their content. The third acquisition by the museum this year cost 4 million Euros and on the list of works there are unquestionable and necessary names. Borja-Villel yesterday gave a detailed list of the pieces and the reasons for their acquisition.

This list had already been made public last Tuesday by Jose Jimenez, General Manager of Fine Arts, a member of the museum’s trustee board and writer at El Mundo. The story was picked up by news agency Europa Press and was distributed by the digital version of El Mundo. The problem was that until Wednesday night it had not been approved by the proper council and that the norm would have been for it to be distributed by the director of the museum. The leak first produced surprise and then anger from those responsible at the Reina Sofia.

Borja-Villel answered yesterday in the press conference that future acquisitions “will be communicated by the museum”. The head of the museum decided no to give further comment on this matter. He explained that some of the works of art acquired are difficult to find in the market (such as the Medardo Rosso) which were being sold at a reasonable price ( as the twelve drawings by Grosz) or that complete a determined period of an artist in the museum’s collection (the oil by Tapies).

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