The last rooms in the Art Museum are devoted to the artistic movements prominent during the beginning of the 20thcentury in Catalonia, affiliated with Modernism and Noucentisme, from a variety of places of origin. Modernism began during the last few decades of the 19thcentury, and Noucentisme was established by 1906. They were both born out of the desire to help modernize Catalonia in a broad sense, from a cultural as well as a political perspective.
As an idealistic movement, Modernism, which incorporated a great deal of symbolist and romantic aesthetics, set out to produce an aesthetic renovation which would bring art into closer contact with modernity. That involved recreating nature instead of copying it and remaking history, rather than simply replicating it. One of its main exponents was Santiago Rusiñol. We can admire his oil paintings, Entering the Sóller Cementery at Night and Girona. Rusiñol visited Girona and the region several times where he was always in contact with artists and other creative people active at the time.
Noucentisme developed in opposition to Modernism, which was very unstructured. More than an artistic style, it was a cultural movement focused on political change that aspired to shape a new country. Its most defining objectives were to recover classicism and Mediterranean cultural values. In Girona, Noucentisme revolved around the Athenea (1913-1917), a center devoted to artistic and cultural activities. Artwork created during this period are L’Onyar a Girona (The Onyar River in Girona), by Mela Mutermilch; Nit de lluna a Girona (Moonlit Night in Girona), by the writer and painter, Prudenci Bertrana; Escalinata de Sant Martí (Stairway to Sant Martí), by Josep Aguilera, and the famous sculpture Cap de dona (Head of a Woman), by Fidel Aguilar.
Although the museography of the museum goes up until the 1930s, the art collection it holds is made up of almost 1,400 works that range from the second half of the 20thcentury until today, most of which is on deposit.
Most of this artwork comes from art exhibitions and the art biennial organized by the Girona Provincial Government. In addition to the aforementioned work, there are other collections worthy of note: 33 pieces from the Riera collection, on deposit from the Generalitat of Catalonia; the Prudenci Bertrana collection, on deposit from the Girona Provincial Government; the Jaume Faixó collection and the collection originating from the Colomer Foundation that includes almost 350 works by the artist.
Another prominent collection features engravings from the Polígrafa publishing company, on deposit from the Ministry of Culture. The better part of the total of 244 prints was made by Joan Ponç and Joan Brossa. Other artists whose work is included here are Baselitz, Alechinsky, Appelo, Corneille, Lam and Christo, who represent the European artistic movements active during the second half of the 20thcentury.
Having been acquired by the Generalitat of Catalonia, the newspaper Avui’s art collection has been on deposit at the Girona Art Museum since 2011. It contains a total of 597 works by artists such as Tàpies, Miró, Alfaro, Bartolozzi and Guinovart, among other well-known names representing twentieth-century Catalan art.