While culture in Spain remained largely anchored to a substantial provincialism, at the beginning of the twentieth century some Spanish painters, such as P. Picasso, J. Gris, J. Miró, S. Dalí, were among the leading protagonists of the great artistic revolution of the period. Up until the Second World War, attempts at cultural renewal were sporadic: the pictorial work of J. de Echevarria, B. Palencia, D. Velázquez Díaz was already open to the European avant-gardes, while, in the architectural field, knowledge of the Bauhaus was fundamental. thanks to the exhibition held in Madrid in 1931 by W. Gropius. Especially after the Second World War, however, there was a lively anti-academic reaction on the part of the younger generations, together with the attempt to make Spain participate in international experiences of the highest level. In 1948, significant and decisive events took place for the development of avant-garde Spanish art, such as the formation of the Canary Group, the exhibition of abstract art in Zaragoza, the foundation of the Barcelona magazine Dau al Set, the opening of the School d’Altamira, of an anti-surrealist type. From these movements have started various groups aimed at expressive forms of abstract origin united by a typically Spanish component of severe, strong drama (E. Chillida, M. Millares, A. Saura, A. Tapies, F. Farreras etc.). As far as architecture is concerned, the original experience of A. Gaudí in Barcelona in the early twentieth century, in which the use of modern techniques is contrasted by a mystical and almost visionary retreat on cultural experiences of the past. In 1929, on the occasion of the Barcelona International Exposition, some emblematic buildings of the Modern Movement were built, among which the best known is the pavilion by L. Mies van der Rohe. In 1930 JL Sert he founded in Barcelona, together with S. Yllscas, the GATCPAC (Group of Catalan Artists and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture), which later became GATEPAC as the Spanish section of CIRPAC (International Committee for the Resolution of Problems in Contemporary Architecture).
According to globalsciencellc, the group organized events, publications on rationalist architecture and created with Le Corbusier the Macia plan (1932-34) for the new urban planning of Barcelona. The civil war then blocked the modernist demands in favor of a revival of traditional models with often picturesque solutions (Esquivel, Seville 1948, A. de la Sota; Cáceres 1954-58, JL Fernández del Amo). In 1952 the R Group was bornwhich has taken over the programs of the GATEPAC. In this regard, we recall the works of JM Martorell, O. Bohigas and JM Sostres in Barcelona. In Madrid JA Corrales, R. Vázquez Molezún and M. Sierra followed the US example and the British planning model. In the last years of the century. XX architecture developed essentially in Barcelona and Madrid. The Barcelona school, open to progressive instances, is linked to the enlightened and emerging bourgeoisie. The 1992 Barcelona Olympics offered the city a unique opportunity for urban reorganization in the metropolitan area (Parc de la Vall d’Hebron, 1992; Paseo Marítimo de la Barceloneta, 1996, Auditorium, 1999, designed by JR Moneo), also worth mentioning the realization of the MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, 1990-1995) based on a project by the architect R. Meier, with a distinctly rationalist system and a structure with a brilliant and luminous appearance, ideal for hosting the production. contemporary art of the city, now internationally renowned and the two towers of the Hotel Arts (1992), symbol of the recent opening of Barcelona to the sea.
In Madrid, on the other hand, the architecture is more traditional, linked to public clients (Atocha railway station, 1990, built by Moneo). We also remember the Cartuja 93 project in Seville (revaluation of peripheral areas at the service of culture and leisure) and in Catalonia the contribution and example of R.. In general, Spanish architecture, in the passage from the century. XX to XXI, shows full integration with planetary trends, thus demonstrating, like the other sectors of cultural and artistic life, that it has definitively freed itself from the “autarchic” isolation that characterized the production of Franco’s dictatorship. In addition to the aforementioned Sert, Bofill and Moneo, Calatrava should also be mentioned among the architects most appreciated even beyond the borders of the motherland. After the conceptualist and minimalist period, in painting from the nineties of the century. XX has affirmed the objectualism, with the various Tápies, Barceló, José Maria Sicilia and Garcia Sevilla. Finally, in the sculptural field, where there is no adherence to movements or schools of fashion and personal styles prevail, Susana Solano deserves a mention.