The exhibition gets underway—two years after the Gaur group was founded—in the emblematic year of 1968, a time when a new generation of Basque artists born in the 1940s was joining the art scene and sharing it with the veteran members of the Basque School groups. The survey concludes five decades later, in 2018, a period in which art made by women has become increasingly prominent, with representatives of the most recent artistic experiments by today's creators.
A sweeping selection of almost 150 works—including painting, sculpture, photography, video art and works on paper—and almost 100 artists from several generations of artists will shed light on the ways art has modernised in this particular scene at the turn of the last century, while also assessing the importance that the individual and collective careers that emerged in the region have had on both Spanish and international art.
The show's point of departure will be the collection of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, which will be joined by important loans from private collections and fellow public institutions—such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, ARTIUM and the Kunstmuseum of Basel—that have placed particular emphasis on acquiring contemporary Basque art.
Through a chronological discourse in which the artists and their works are interspersed with documentary and archival materials—periodicals, books, written texts or audiovisual materials—After '68. Art and artistic practices in the Basque Country, 1968-2018 will occupy all the exhibition space in the museum's modern building (BBK gallery and galleries 32 and 33), a space opened in 1970 which is itself a fundamental part of the institutional account of art during this period.
The exhibition, which is curated in-house by Miriam Alzuri, Begoña González and Miguel Zugaza, will be accompanied by a catalogue with texts by experts who will contribute new information to the study of the artistic expressions which have emerged in the Basque Country from 1968 until today. Likewise, throughout the five months the exhibition will remain open, the show will be complemented by film, music and lecture series, along with a broad educational programme which will offer the public the occasion to survey through art the political, social, economic and cultural changes that have occurred over the course of these years.