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Major works by renowned Spanish artists acquired by Meadows Museum in Dallas
Miquel Barceló (Spanish, b. 1957), Sopa d’Europa (Soup of Europe), 1985. Mixed media on canvas. Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas. Museum Purchase thanks to a Gift from Kaleta Ann Doolin and Alan Govenar in loving memory of Kaleta's mother, Mary Kathryn Doolin. MM.2014.01. Photo by Michael Bodycomb.

DALLAS, TX.- The Meadows Museum announces the acquisition of three works by noted Spanish artists as part of its ongoing initiative to further enhance its collection and role as a leader in the study and presentation of Spanish art. The works acquired by the Meadows are by the artists Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta, Miquel Barceló, and Juan Muñoz. As the Meadows prepares for its 50th anniversary in 2015, the Museum has continued its robust acquisition initiative, focusing on pieces that complement, unify, and expand the Museum’s existing collection. These new works—which are currently on view at the Museum—strengthen the Meadows’ permanent collection as a whole, and particularly its 19th- and 20th-century holdings, as well as its growing collection of contemporary art. As a result of these and many other acquisitions, the Meadows’ collection has nearly doubled in size in the last 35 years.

“We are thrilled that these three outstanding works of art are becoming part of the Meadows collection,” said Mark A. Roglán, the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts. “Each created by an influential Spanish artist, these acquisitions will serve as perfect counterparts to our growing collection of works by such older masters as Goya and Velázquez. We are excited to offer our audiences an increasingly cohesive representation of Spanish art from the medieval period to today, and are extremely grateful for the generosity of Mrs. Mildred M. Oppenheimer, Kaleta Ann Doolin, and Richard and Nona Barrett that gives us such a wonderful way to head into our anniversary year.”

Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta, Portrait of a Lady, 1890-91
Portrait of a Lady joins two other works by the artist currently held in the Meadows collection, a canvas titled Self-Portrait (1901) and a pastel drawing depicting a lady. A renowned portraitist, Raimundo was frequently commissioned to depict royalty, politicians, intellectuals, businessmen, and fellow artists both in Europe and the United States. Portrait of a Lady is a prime example of the artist’s unique fusion of portraiture and genre painting, as well as his technique of loose, painterly brushwork mixed with sections of finer detail.

In addition to adding depth to the holdings of Raimundo’s work at the Museum, Portrait of a Lady will expand the breadth of the Meadows’ collection of 19th-century portraiture. The new acquisition bridges the gap between works by such artists as Francisco de Goya and Vicente Lopéz y Portaña and those of the 20th century, and complements the Meadows’ recent acquisition of the Stewart Album in 2013. The album, which comprises letters and drawings by artists—including Raimundo—to their patron, William Hood Stewart, is used as a prime object for scholarship and study at the Meadows, and Portrait of a Lady will strengthen the research opportunities the Stewart Album represents.

Miquel Barceló, Sopa d’Europa (Soup of Europe), 1985
Sopa d’Europa (Soup of Europe) is a critical piece from Barceló’s early career and explores several of the themes present throughout the artist’s work, including exploring the boundaries of painting and the weight of inherited art tradition. The title of the work, and the time period during which it was created, coincides with the year Spain signed the Treaty of Accession, marking the country’s entry into the European Community (now the European Union).

Born in 1957 on the island of Mallorca, Barceló belongs to the first generation of Spanish artists who entered the international art world after Spain’s transition to democracy. He began to receive international recognition following his participation in the 1982 Documenta 7 exhibition in Kassel, Germany, after which he moved to Paris. Sopa d’Europa dates from his early, formative years in that city. In 2004, Barceló became the youngest living artist to date to have his work exhibited at the Louvre, and he represented Spain at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Works by Barceló are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; and the Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Juan Muñoz, Seated Figure Looking Backwards, 1996
Seated Figure Looking Backwards is the first of Muñoz’s works to enter the Meadows collection, and will significantly augment the Museum’s holdings of modern and contemporary sculpture. The piece is a unique single-cast bronze and is strongly representative of Muñoz’s practice, which is largely known for enigmatic sculptures of human figures. These figures—often derived from ventriloquist dummies and punching bag clowns—appear to be in mid-activity when interrupted by the viewer. Only one other iteration of the present figure is known to exist, as part of Muñoz’s piece, Five Seated Figures (1996), which was first displayed in the artist’s exhibition at Dia Center for the Arts, New York in 1996.

Widely considered one of the leading sculptors of his generation, Muñoz emerged as an essential figure in the changing ideology of contemporary sculpture. Born in 1953 under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Muñoz received his training outside of Spain and launched his career in 1984 with his first solo exhibition, Juan Muñoz: últimos trabajos, in the gallery Fernando Vijande in Madrid. He went on to exhibit in several major international museums, including: the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and Tate Modern, London. He also participated in the Venice Biennial (1986 and 1997), Carnegie International (1991), Documenta 9 (1992), and the Sydney Biennale (2000), and was the first Spanish artist invited to exhibit at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

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