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Signs on the Road: CAC Malaga celebrates its tenth anniversary with exhibition
Installation view of the exhibition at CAC Malaga.

MALAGA.- The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga is presenting Signs on the Road. CAC Málaga: a decade. This group exhibition, curated by Fernando Francés, presents a survey of the Centre’s activities from the time of its first opening to the present day. The exhibition comprises a selection of works by the most influential contemporary artists who have exhibited at the CAC Málaga, focusing on their most relevant creations. As such, it constitutes a summary of the principal artistic trends and disciplines of the present, with a particular focus on artists who exhibited at the CAC for the first time or who specially produced works for its galleries.

The origins of Malaga’s contemporary art scene date back ten years to when the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga (CAC Málaga) first opened its doors to the public. Since February 2003 the city has benefitted from a new exhibition space where visitors can see and appreciate the principal trends in art from the last third of the 20th century to the present. With the aim of paying tribute to these ten years of endeavour, the CAC is now presenting Signs on the Road. CAC Málaga: a decade, which constitutes a collective exhibition of national and international artists and the most significant works that they have exhibited in the CAC’s galleries over the past decade.

For Fernando Francés, the CAC’s director: “Our exhibition programme has been organised along various strategic lines which we have followed in a rigorous, almost scientific, manner over the past ten years. The first has set out to show in Malaga the work of all artists who, at the start of the 21st century, are considered of world-wide stature and to do so in a contextualised manner. In addition, the selection has been made on the basis of the issues, themes and genres that we consider important to present, either because they are barely known in Spain or because of their potentially educational and enlightening influence, both socially and culturally. In both cases the result has been to encourage reflection, debate and thought and it is within this context that we consider the CAC Málaga’s contribution to have been extremely important, not only regarding the study and knowledge of each artist but also in relation to more general issues.”

The exhibition includes work by artists who were exhibiting in Spain for the first time, as well as creations that were specially designed for one of the Centre’s spaces. The result is a multi-disciplinary survey through sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, video and other media, in which visitors will appreciate the evolution of trends, new interpretations and different, cutting-edge artistic visions.

Artists on show include Julian Opie, who exhibited more than 40 works in several of the Centre’s spaces; Anish Kapoor, who made a large-scale, site specific installation for one of the CAC’s galleries, in addition to showing previously unexhibited works; the Chapman Brothers, who exhibited ten works including prints, sculptures and installations; the New York artist Lawrence Weiner, who designed a site specific project in which a linguistic discourse prevailed over a sculptural one; Liam Gillick, who, for his first exhibition in Spain, selected a work that combined text and design; Gavin Turk, who showed 72 sculptures arising from an interactive performance, in addition to a video; Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, whose drawings and works on paper reflect two contrasting modes, namely abstraction and realism; Kara Walker, who presented work exclusively at the CAC Málaga, making use of her characteristic shadows; Jason Rhoades, who made a site specific project based on neons; William Sasnal, who selected works from his last decade of activity with a project that included painting and a film; Vanessa Beecroft, who designed a project based on 12 photographs and a video of a performance; Paul McCarthy, who created a work that combined drawings with sculptures and installations; Tracey Emin, represented by an installation that revealed how her artistic vision and her life are intertwined; Neo Rauch, who exhibited 20 large-format paintings that reveal the influence of comics; Rinus Van de Velde, who showed his work both in Spain and in a museum for the first time, with a series of drawings, some of them not previously exhibited; and Luc Tuymans, whose 16 paintings marked his first exhibition in Spain.

The CAC’s galleries have also presented previously unexhibited projects and retrospectives on some of the most influential artists working today. Examples include the exhibitions on Gilbert & George, who presented a travelling project that was first shown in Malaga; the Art & Language collective, with 22 works that offered a survey of the origins and evolution of conceptual art arising from their investigation of social, philosophical and psychological stereotypes; the Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, who designed a site specific project and also showed sculptures and paintings that reflect the traditional art of Japan, its culture, punk and rock music, graffiti and Manga; Juliao Sarmento, who exhibited a project based on his last decade of work; Vik Muniz, who presented the first retrospective of his work in Europe; William Kentridge, who designed a project that grouped together his work on tapestries and other pieces for the first time; Tony Cragg, who exhibited a selection of his most recent sculptures in bronze, wood, metal and stone; Raymond Pettibon, who showed 278 drawings that offered a summary of his career; Jonathan Meese, who deigned his most important exhibition in Spain to date, including paintings, collages, photographs, films of performances, sculptures and a previously unexhibited group of ceramics; Marcel Dzama, who created his most important project shown in Spain to date, involving previously unexhibited works and a diorama of more than 300 pieces; Louise Bourgeois, who presented 20 sculptures produced in the three years prior to her exhibition in Malaga; Per Barclay, who designed a swimming pool filled with oil for the CAC’s central space, which reflected the structure of that gallery; Simon Starling, with a site specific project that offered a representation of the CAC’s building; Thomas Ruff, who selected 31 photographs of images of the universe; Rodney Graham, who presented a multi-disciplinary project with music as its guiding thread; Thomas Hirschhorn, who designed a large-scale installation representing a battlefield; Alex Katz, who selected 23 of his paintings that reflect Abstract Expressionism and the influence of Pop Art in his work; Gerhard Richter, who made a selection of works from his entire career; and Erwin Wurm, who assembled a series of previously unexhibited works and also showed a large-scale installation in the central gallery.

The CAC Málaga has also presented the work of Spain’s leading artists. This exhibition includes creations by Juan Uslé, one of the country’s most highly regarded artists on a national and international level, who had shown previously unexhibited examples of his abstract paintings; Miquel Barceló, who presented a new project that was only shown in Malaga, based on his experience in Africa and comprising 82 works including small- and large-format paintings, sculptures, ceramics and unpublished sketchbooks; Santiago Sierra, who exhibited for the first time in Spain with a project comprising 1,354 photographs; and Chema Cobo, who showed his work of the previous decade through a selection of 33 pieces, marking his first major solo exhibition.

Without a doubt, the quality of the CAC’s projects has been recognised by the visiting public, with high visitor numbers year after year. Overall, the total number of visitors to its exhibitions and the number of individuals who have participated in the Centre’s educational and cultural activities stands at 3,226,348. In 2012 the CAC had more than 400,000 visitors, reaching new, record levels of attendance in the last quarter of that year with 196,621 visitors.

The Education Department has seen a total of 254,494 participants in its range of activities, which include workshops, guided tours, contemporary dance and activities specially aimed at visitors with special needs and those at risk of social exclusion. With regard to the Cultural Activities Department, 196,871 people have taken part in its day courses, workshops, professional courses, book launches and concerts.

Signs on the Road. CAC Málaga: a decade offers a reflection on the role of art in today’s society. Over the past decade the CAC has presented around 140 solo exhibitions and ten group ones, in which most of the artists represented can be considered to be in the “top 100” of international art today. The CAC Málaga is one of Europe’s leading art centres, having achieved this status through the prestige and quality of its projects and by making use of an almost unique management model that combines the public and private, while also emphasising the creative freedom required by the director of an art centre that places artistic criteria above all others.

Among the proofs of this international recognition is the fact that the CAC collaborates with the world’s leading museums and art centres, including the MoMA and the Whitney Museum in New York, the Tate in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the INMA in Dublin. Other indications of the CAC’s status include the fact that the prestigious German art magazine Capital located it among the world’s 150 most influential contemporary art museums and centres, while The Art Newspaper described it as one of the world’s ten most important art centres. included in among the 100 most important art centres in the world.

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