Sant Feliu de Guíxols (ACN).- A selection of one of the world’s most important private collections of painting will be on show this summer at Sant Feliu de Guíxols, a coastal town located in Catalonia’s Costa Brava. A varied selection of 53 paintings from Catalan and international authors, belonging to Carman Thyssen’s private collection, will set a dialogue to display the evolution of painting between 1870 and 1970 and showing the interaction of people and landscape. The exhibition called ‘Paisatges de llum paisatges de Somni. De Gauguin a Delvaux’ (‘Landscapes of light, dream landscapes. From Guaguin to Delvaux’ in English) will kick off the activities of the new exhibition space located in Sant Feliu de Guíxols Monestry, sponsored by the Thyssen Baroness. The ‘Espai Carmen Thyssen’ will host this temporary exhibition from July 7th to October 7th. At the exhibition’s presentation held on Thursday, Carmen Thyssen hoped this show will be the first of many in Sant Feliu de Guíxols. In fact, the Baroness and Sant Feliu’s town hall are planning the creation of a permanent Thyssen Museum in this Catalan coastal town, where the Thyssen family has one of its residences. The project has been put on hold due to the current economic context, but both parts insisted in Thursday’s presentation that they have the intention to build the museum in the mid-term. Besides Sant Feliu’s projects, Carmen Thyssen said it would be “wonderful” to reach an agreement with Catalonia’s National Museum of Art (MNAC), located in Barcelona, to show part of her collection in the museum’s future enlargement. In addition, she said that selling paintings is not pleasant but that selling ‘The Lock’ by John Constable does not have an effect on the collection, as the picture was a bit “on its own”.
The economic crisis slowed down the opening of Sant Feliu’s Thyssen Museum in the Can Serra’s former factory, but a smaller space to host temporary exhibitions and show the paintings of the Thyssen collection has been opened. The first exhibition will be formed by 53 paintings, shown in 8 rooms of the recently created ‘Espai Carmen Thyssen’, sponsored by the Baroness. In fact Carmen Thyssen engaged in offering paintings of her collection to organise a temporary exhibition each year. The exhibition wants to show the quality and innovation of Catalan painting, and what Catalan authors were doing in similar times as their international peers. The 53 paintings will set a dialogue between Catalan and international authors, reviewing through the light the relationship between people and landscape from 1870 to 1970, as the exhibition curator, Pilar Giró, explained.
The exhibition’s master works are two paintings from Paul Gauguin and Ramon Casas; ‘Les liles’ by Gauguin and ‘Interior a l’aire lliure’ by Casas. Giró explained that the exhibition is divided into three parts: natural landscapes until the end of the 19th century, impressionism spaces and lastly “dream spaces, modernity visions”.
Some of the Catalan authors on display are Anglada Camarasa, Ramon Casas, Marià Fortuny, Joan Llimona, Ramón Martí i Alsina, Eliseu Meifren, Isidre Nonell, Perejaume, Ramon Pichot, Antoni Tàpies, Modest Cuixart and Ràfols Casamada. Some of the international authors on show are Paul Gauguin, Theodore Rousseau, Paul Delvaux, Ernst W. Nay, Piere Bonnard, Richard Estes, Sanford R. Grifford, Charles-François Daubigny, Alberto Pasini, Robert Salmon and Maurice de Vlaminck.
Carmen Thyssen said that she is very satisfied with the first exhibition’s results. Sant Feliu’s Mayor, Joan Alfons Albó, explained that renovating the space and installing the security measures represented a €385,000 investment. Producing the exhibition represented €345,000 of additional budget. “A third of this budget has been spent on security” to bring the paintings to Sant Feliu de Guíxols. The organisers expect that during the three months the exhibition will be on display, 30,000 people will visit it.