In the Shadow of Dictatorship: Creating the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art

  • Feb 26, 2023Jul 30, 2023
  • Dallas, TX


Luis Feito (Spanish, 1929–2021), Number 460-A, 1963. Oil and sand on canvas, 35 x 45 3/8 in. (89.1 x 115.2 cm). Colección Fundación Juan March, Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, Cuenca, 0220P. © 2023 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VEGAP, Madrid. Photo by Santiago Torralba

This exhibition features more than forty highlights from the remarkable collection of the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español in Cuenca, now held at the Fundación Juan March.

The Museo de Arte Abstracto Español was established in 1966 by artist, critic, and collector Fernando Zóbel (1924–1984) during an era when Spanish artists found success abroad yet struggled for recognition at home. It was the first institution of its kind within Spain.

More than forty highlights from its remarkable collection —most coming to the U.S. for the first time— tell the story of this pioneering artists’ museum and explore the rich panorama of abstract Spanish art during the middle of the twentieth century and under the Francoist regime.

In 1980, Zóbel donated the museum’s collection of nearly 700 works and his personal library to Fundación Juan March, an institution prepared to preserve of the space, the collection, and the museum project. Since Zóbel’s death in 1984, the Foundation has continued the museum’s mission through select acquisitions, a permanent program of exhibitions, and educational activities.

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