Imagenes Liricas/New Spanish Visions

  • Juan Carlos Savater, The Cliff, 1988. Courtesy of Galeria Marga Paz, Madrid.

  • Imagenes Liricas/New Spanish Visions, installation view at the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York, 1990.

  • Patricio Cabrera, Untitled (Thirty Drawings), 1983. Courtesy of the Galeria La Maquina Espanola, Madrid and Sevilla; University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach.

  • Maria Gomez, Juana De Arco, 1988 (L) and El Humito, 1988 (R), installation view at Henry Art Gallery, 1991. Collection of the artist.

Curated by Lucinda Barnes

Following the death of General Francisco Franco on November 20, 1975, Spain witnessed dramatic and extensive transformations in its political, economic, social, and cultural life. Following nearly half a century of iron-fisted and quixotic dictatorial rule, preceded by more than a century of debilitating internal strife, in the late 1970s Spain stridently repositioned itself within the framework of western civilization. A slowly simmering dream of revision erupted and became a palpable reality. After forty years of isolation, young Spanish artists are now not only part and parcel of the rich tapestry of Spain, they are also – in an atmosphere of pluralism – partakers of modes and themes that derive from British Pop Art, European expressionism, lyrical American abstraction, and broad-based conceptualism.


Although their attitudes range from conceptual biases to stances delicately balanced between abstraction and figuration, two overriding characteristics bridge their efforts, which are – for want of a more profound definition – essentially poetic. Theirs also is a subjective reality, manifest in meditations upon our state of being and of art. Their work is – even when seemingly abstract – referential, and gives up its larger meanings slowly, through repetition, reflection, and serial examination. Their art – although it partakes of international Modernism – is indisputably Spanish and they seem to be the inheritors of a long tradition that encompasses an earthy, tactile romanticism, which derives from a special empathy with Iberian light, landscape, and ornamentation. Among these eight artists, similar concerns are expressed through disparate means.


- Excerpt from catalogue essay by Lucinda Barnes, 1990



Lucinda Barnes

Lucinda Barnes joined the staff of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in 2001 as senior curator for collections, and in 2007 was named chief curator and director of programs and collections. Prior to coming to Berkeley, Barnes was the executive director of the Boise Art Museum, Idaho. She has also served as curator of collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, and has held senior curatorial posts at the Newport Harbor Art Museum (now the Orange County Museum of Art) and the University Art Museum, California State University Long Beach. Barnes has taught at a number of colleges and universities. She received her B.A. from New York University, an M.A. from Williams College, and Ph.D. (ABD) in art history at the University of Southern California. In 2008–09, Barnes served as a UC Berkeley Townsend Center for the Humanities Fellow.

At BAM/PFA Barnes has curated and co-curated a wide range of exhibitions, including Measure of Time (2006), Joan Jonas: the Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things (2007), Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection (2008), Material Witness (2009), Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet (2009), Indeterminate Stillness: Looking at Whistler (2010), Abstract Expressionisms (2012), Hofmann by Hofmann (2014), and American Wonder: Folk Art from the Collection (2014). In addition, Barnes has served as curator in charge of major traveling exhibitions at BAM/PFA, such as Drawn by the Brush: Oil Sketches by Peter Paul Rubens (2005), Enrique Chagoya: Borderlandia (2008), James Castle: A Retrospective (2010), What’s It All Mean: William T. Wiley in Retrospect (2010), Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage (2011), Silence (2013), and Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisible (2014).


touring schedule

University Art Museum, California State University Long Beach
Long Beach, CA, United States
January 28, 1992 - March 15, 1992

The Art Museum at Florida International University
Miami, FL, United States
September 13, 1991 - October 11, 1991

Sarah Campbell Blaffner Gallery, University of Houston
Houston, TX, United States
January 19, 1991 - April 7, 1991

Albright-Knox Gallery
Buffalo, NY, United States
May 12, 1990 - July 1, 1990

The Queens Museum
Flushing, NY, United States
April 28, 1984 - June 10, 1984

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