In Real Time. Rafael Tous's collection of conceptual art now at MACBA

June 19, 2022 | Analía Vallejo Larrea

En tiempo real (In Real Time) is the first exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) of the Rafael Tous collection of conceptual art. This exhibition is an evidence of a particular historic period and specific artistic practices.
Image: Miquel Coll
This collection was donated to the museum a year ago, and will gradually be integrated into the museum's archives.

Rafael Tous was a passionate collector linked to the textile world, he bet on concept art as a set of plural practices that prioritized the idea and the process before the object.
Parallelism Body of Woman in Art (1979) by Jordi Cerdà
This collection contains the testimony of a generation that, located outside the conventional art circuits, gathered around exhibitions and alternative cultural spaces. Among the first were the Mostra d'Art Jove de Granollers (1971 and 1972), 1.219 m3 at the Vilanova de la Roca fronton (1972) and Informació d'Art Concepte at the Llotja del Tint in Banyoles (1973).
Image: Miquel Coll
Undoubtedly, the Rafael Tous collection is an evidence of the development of a different kind of art in the city of Barcelona, it responds to a very specific context, which is why it has become the portrait of Catalan conceptual art of the 1970s.
Let Me See What Is Not Seen: Las Meninas (1973) by Ferran Garcia Sevilla
Despite this, it is important to emphasize that what makes the collection special is Rafael Tous' gaze, because the artworks that are part of it were integrated organically as they were produced and it is the collector's eye that manages to give cohesion and unity to practices as diverse as those that are part of this exhibition.
Image: Miquel Coll
The interesting thing about the exhibition is that it is not a chronological display of artworks, but rather, it tries to show different approaches and lines of work of conceptual art practices, emphasizing the diversity of manifestations and behaviors that exist in this type of art.
Blockhaus-Blocblaus: Parallel Histories (1988) by Francesc Abad
The exhibition features 120 artworks by 28 different artists, with proposals linked to nature and that take the body as the subject of a cosmic order, artworks that emphasize the ideological element of images and the power of the mass media, as well as artworks that are shaped as devices of political criticism, and finally, we also find artworks that work on language and the value of signs as their object of analysis.
Image: Miquel Coll
The artists included in the exhibition are: Francesc Abad, Eugènia Balcells, Jordi Benito, Carmen Calvo, Jordi Cerdà, CVA (Comité de Vigilancia Artística), Benet Ferrer, Alicia Fingerhut, Teresa Gancedo, Ferran Garcia Sevilla, Eulàlia Grau, Josep Maria Joan i Rosa, Àngel Jové, Antoni Llena, Eva Lootz, Miralda, Fina Miralles, Muntadas, Pere Noguera, Jordi Pablo, Pilar Palomer, Carlos Pazos, Carles Pujol, Joan Rabascall, Àngels Ribé, Benet Rossell, Francesc Torres and Jaume Xifra.

You can see the virtual exhibition here.

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