September 20, 2012
Opening of the Group Exhibition:
The Spirit of Friendship
Entre dos Aguas / Pakati Pemagungwa
The exhibition is carried out in remembrance of the passing of the Ambassador of Spain in Harare (Zimbabwe), the H.E. Ms. Pilar Fuertes Ferragut who decisively supported the development of art and culture in South Africa.
The opening event was attended by the family of the Ambassador, this exhibition having been organized by the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation in collaboration with the Spanish Ambassador in Harare and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
“The Spirit of Friendship” group exhibition of 11 African contemporary artists, curated by Cliford Zulu, Curator of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe opened this past June 21 in Harare (Zimbabwe) and will remain at the headquarters of la Fundación Gabarrón of Valladolid until November 15, 2012, traveling to New York in the month of December to be exhibited at the New York location of The Gabarron Foundation.
On June 15, 2012 it was agreed by vote to select the works of these 11 artists for the group exhibition. The jury was made up of Salvador Andrés Ordáx, Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of Valladolid; Cristóbal Gabarrón Betegón, Artist; Cris Gabarrón Cabero, President of the Board of the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation; Julio César García Rodríguez, Curator of la Fundación Gabarrón; Marina García Sánchez, Cultural Manager of the Spanish Embassy in Harare; Águeda Sanfiz, Cultural Attaché of the Spanish Consulate in New York; Victoria Tur Gómez, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Spanish Embassy in Harare; Cliford Zulu, Curator of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
The Spirit of Friendship:
Entre dos aguas / Pakati Pemugungwa
Julio César García Rodríguez
Curator of The Gabarrón Collection
The Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation is once again approaching young emerging artists by way of a new and ambitious project entitled “Entre dos aguas”, a tribute paid to Ms. Pilar Fuertes, an approach to Zimbabwean art that shows the strong attachment of la FCG in favor of the artistic and multicultural meeting point of regions and countries of many different parts of the world.
El MFCG has promoted in the last few years and among its scheduling of permanent exhibitions, a strong line of approach, interaction, and appreciation of artistic expression that are far from our more traditional paradigms, constituting an essential part of art history of all time, such as an example that would be worth mentioning of the exhibition “Gods and Rituals”, which has been shown in the Valladolid location of The Gabarrón Foundation, artworks belonging, among others, to the classical, Pre-Columbian, Asian, and African cultures. Precisely within these, the works belonging to the cultures of our neighboring continent occupy a prominent place. Their diversity, variety, and originality always represent a benchmark among the museum’s visitors.
We all know the close bond that united the avant-garde at the beginning of the twentieth century with the artistic and cultural realizations of the African peoples, entitled “primitivism” enclosed within itself the most precise synthesis of the minimalist aesthetic, abstract or organic, that would dominate a great part of the first half of the western twentieth century. Names such as Picasso, Vlamick, Matisse, or Derain cannot be understood without evoking their studies of masks, sculptures or fetishes coming from the African colonies, that began to inundate at the time the Museums of European Ethnology and equally to constitute a sought after collector’s item, especially among the artists previously mentioned. In the words of Professor Ocampo: “The primitive era, clearly a contradictory pole, sometimes antagonistic of the artistic tradition that the avant-garde artists had inherited and had shaped”.
This new and promising project with the collaboration between the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation, the Spanish Ambassador in Zimbabwe and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, come together to produce from la FCG, enhancing and combining the former career in favor of the approach of traditional art and the international tendencies of contemporary art, not only by way of the greatest art- historical figures, but also of emerging art, to which the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation has provided and continues to provide an outstanding support. At precisely the moment when that incentive is much more necessary for the dissemination and knowledge of the works of these young artists who are exhibiting some of them, for the first time in Europe.
The freshness of styles, techniques, and themes that reflect the Zimbabwe artists, is a renewed air for the visitors to MFCG, that will have an occasion to approach the subtle painting of John Kotze, to the capricious forms of Wallen Mapondera, to the visual force of Mishekc Masamvu, to the animal realism of Belinda Marshall, to the visual compositions of Tracy Ann Strydom, the fluctuating silhouettes of Owen Maseko, to the evocative masks of Tafadzwa Gwetai, to the striking landscape of Freddy Tauro, to the collective humanism of Charles Bhebe, to the fluctuating silhouettes of Anthony Bumhir and to the dreamy forms of Stephen Garan`anga. Each and every one of the twenty-one works is the reflection of an aspect of intimate relation with the culture and personal experiences of each of these artists.
The strong personality of each one of them, under the premise of a global world where the relations and the knowledge have opted to multiply to the speed of light along the highways of new technologies, have resulted in the magnificent and varied show that we have the pleasure to present in the centers and museums that The Gabarrón Foundation maintains in Europe and the United States.