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09|09|19 Exhibition programme Autumn 2019



17 October 2019–26 January 2020. Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid
12 February–17 May 2020. Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.

Sponsored by BBK

In contrast to the abstract language common to the previous generation of Basque artists, Vicente Ameztoy (San Sebastián, 1946–2001) focused on a figuration that transformed Basque art in the 1970s and was accompanied by an interest in subjectivity, mystery and irony.

Disturbing, unusual images were a constant fixture in his entire oeuvre, highlighting his ability to turn such apparently everyday elements as the landscape into disturbing presences.

Along with allusions to the cultural and contemporary history of the Basque Country, in his painting Ameztoy used referents like pre-Raphaelite English painting, the Italian Quattrocento and Magritte's surrealism, always filtered through a sophisticated style and meticulous technique, his own interests like ecology and the world of photography and cinema—in 1982 he worked on the artistic design of the film Vacas by director Julio Medem—and his biographical ups and downs.

The first and to date only retrospective of his work was held in San Sebastián in 1990 and was designed by the artist himself as a compilation of his most important works from the 1970s and 1980s. Later, small exhibitions have been held focusing on partial aspects of his oeuvre, such as the ones at the Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea in San Sebastián (2000) and Artium in Vitoria-Gasteiz (2003). 

The exhibition at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum will present an interpretation of Vicente Ameztoy's works as a whole to the public for the first time and will span his entire artistic career. It will be accompanied by a catalogue with texts by writers Joseba Sarrionandia and Bernardo Atxaga; by Fernando Golvano, a professor of Aesthetic and Art Theory at the University of the Basque Country; and by Javier Viar and Miriam Alzuri, curators of the exhibition.

Produced by the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum and curated by Javier Viar and Miriam Alzuri, the exhibition Vicente Ameztoy. A Retrospective will be unveiled first at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, and after closing there it will travel to the Bilbao Museum.