BOMBAS GENS
València, Spain
OPENS 8 JULY

Fundació Per Amor a l’Art is ready to open its new headquarters, BOMBAS GENS.

The art centre will open with the first presentation of the Per Amor a l’Art collection, plus a temporary exhibition of the work of the photographers Bleda y Rosa and a show exploring stories behind the former Bombas Gens factory.

The opening will be rolled out in two phases.

Valencia 5/5/17

The day is finally here. After almost two years of refurbishment, Bombas Gens opens its doors on Saturday 8 July. For the first phase in the roll-out of its new headquarters, Fundació Per Amor a l’Art is opening its art centre, taking over five of the refurbished buildings, as well as the air-raid shelter dating from the Civil War, and the Wilson Coordination Centre, dedicated to research into rare illnesses.

The opening programme gets underway with a number of previews for the media and invited guests, and then the public presentation at 11:00 am on 8 July, when the extension of the former factory designed and overseen by the team of architects comprising Eduardo de Miguel, Annabelle Selldorf and Ramon Esteve, will be unveiled to the general public.

The second phase, to be rolled out in autumn 2017, includes a garden, the medieval bodega and the new building set aside for social action.

OPENING EXHIBITIONS

The art centre’s programme is conceived as a seamless whole comprising exhibitions and outreach activities which, in turn, will bear in mind the place where it undertakes its activity and the contexts it shares, both local and global. Bombas Gens Centre d’Art has a firm commitment with the artists included in the Per Amor A l’Art collection, which will be the primary source of a large part of the art centre’s activities. The programme also includes other activities connected with its surrounding environs and its historic setting. Two of the five buildings (Galleries 3 & 4) will be set aside for the Per Amor a l’Art collection, changing the contents annually, and another two (Galleries 1 & 2) will house temporary exhibitions connected with the collection, and the fifth (Gallery 0) will be set aside for specific projects.

The opening programme is as follows:

Bleda y Rosa. A Geography of Time

Bleda y Rosa. A Geography of Time surveys twenty-five years’ work by María Bleda (Castellón, 1969) and José María Rosa (Albacete, 1970) based on the series Campos de batalla (Battlefields); a recently finalised project begun in 1994, which will be shown in its entirety for the first time. The show opens with Campos de Futbol (Football Pitches) (1992-1995), the duo’s first publicly acclaimed project, a series which established a dialectic between place, time and memory and thus laid the conceptual foundations for their later work, and then continues with works from the series Origen (Origin) (2003-) and Prontuario. Notas en torno a la Guerra y la Revolución (Prontuarium. Notes on War and Revolution) (2011-).

Ornament = Crime?

The title of the exhibition is a riff on Ornament und Verbrechen (Ornament and Crime), the essay written in Vienna in 1908 by the architect Adolf Loos, which became a kind of manifesto for disornamentation in art and in architecture in the twentieth century. At the same time, modernist thinking and the first theoretical essays on abstraction advanced a radical separation between art and decoration. The fear that abstraction might be viewed as a mere decorative exercise, connected to the real and devoid of spirituality and purity, led to the condemnation of ornamentation, perceived as a threat to the project of emancipation of the aesthetic experience.

Based on a wide-ranging selection of artworks from the Per Amor a l’Art collection, the exhibition takes a look at the bonds and divergences between the ornamental and abstraction beyond the confines of historic debates. Ornament = Crime? puts forward a different, open gaze attentive to the variations and diversities of the abstract project. It acknowledges the productive dialectic between abstraction in its plural and restless becoming, no longer subject to the exhaustion of the figurative form but based on the elaboration of autonomous spatio-temporal models freed from essentialness and purity; and the ornamental as autonomous beauty that cuts across times and cultures, figurative and abstract orders, and the categories of the fine arts and decorative arts to present itself as a formal power and force of creation, of expansion and of proliferation, engaging with art and with life.

It includes works by Heimo Zobernig, Nicolás Ortigosa, Akira Sato, Cristina Iglesias, Juan Uslé, Teresa Lanceta, David Reed, Anna-Eva Bergman, Aaron Siskind, Renger-Patzsch, Araki, Ángela de la Cruz, Harry Callahan, Herbert Franke, Imogen Cunningham, Robert Mapplethorpe, Esteban Vicente, Inma Femenía, and Hans Peter Feldmann among others.

Histories of Bombas Gens

This exhibition explores the history of Bombas Gens, from when it was first built until today, through a series of images, objects and eye-witness accounts that examine the architecture, work inside the factory, and the surrounding urban environs. The exhibition features graphic documentation, photographs and various objects found during the refurbishment as well as first-hand accounts by people who worked here or were involved in the life of the building. Similarly, it will also show the whole restoration process involved in converting the former factory into the headquarters of Fundació Per Amor a l’Art and the Bombas Gens Centre d’Art, during which a fifteenth-century bodega and a Civil War air-raid shelter were discovered.

The exhibition includes a series of photos of the factory taken by Manolo Laguillo.

PER AMOR A L’ART COLLECTION

The mandate of the Bombas Gens art centre is to exhibit the Per Amor a l’Art private collection to the general public. This art collection, consisting mainly of photography and abstract painting, comprises wide-ranging and singular bodies of work by Spanish and international artists. In other words, it is a collection of collections with a long-term commitment with the artists in order to show the complete breadth of their practice. The collection currently contains around 1800 works by 140 artists.

From the outset Vicente Todolí, a board member of the foundation and director of its Art & Culture area, has acted as artistic adviser to the collection.

THE FOUNDATION

The driving force behind this new initiative is Fundació Per Amor a l’Art, a foundation dedicated to art (seeking to heighten artistic sensibility in society by showing its Per Amor a l’Art collection to the public), research (studying and promoting aspects related with Wilson’s disease and other rare illnesses) and social action (concerned with the poor and underprivileged, particularly children in situations of vulnerability).