The sparkle of a moment in time: 1990s. Artists’ contribution to the Avui newspaper art collecion

Dates: From March 2, 2024 to February 2, 2025

Inauguration: Saturday, March 2, at 12 p.m.

Curated by: Elina Norandi

Production: Museu d’Art de Girona


Following an initial exhibition, featuring the works donated by women artists to the Art Collection of the Catalan newspaper Avui in the 1970s, this space is now hosting an exhibition devoted to a second wave of works, donated in the 1990s. However, whereas a formal appeal for donations was launched in the 1970s, several of the women artists who donated works in the 1990s recall receiving the request directly through someone involved in the management of the collection.

In the previous exhibition, we reached the conclusion that, although women artists supported the project with the same enthusiasm and interest as their male counterparts, their contribution was not given the same consideration and its importance in telling this part of the story of Catalan art was not appreciated. By the time the works featured in this second exhibition were donated, the political, cultural and artistic landscape had changed significantly; as more freedoms were achieved, citizens became less politicised.

Just over 20 women artists donated works. For some of the older and more politically conscious among them, it was their second donation: Madola, Maria Bofill, Pilarín Bayés, Amèlia Riera, Maria Girona, Colita, Maria Assumpció Raventós and Maria Teresa Codina. Be that as it may, political and social criticism had by this time given way to a focus on the plastic languages that emerged in postmodernity. This was especially true of the youngest artists, such as Elisabet Mabres, Assumpció Mateu, Begoña Egurbide and Anna Mauri.

Thanks to this subsequent wave of donations, the collection boasts works by leading women artists who had not participated in the initial appeal, including Àngels Ribé, Elena Paredes, Kima Guitart, Carme Serra Cantarell and Montserrat Costa. Some paintings and collages, such as those by Pilarín Bayés, Maria Teresa Codina, Josepa Filella or Rosa Espinosa Pla, were created especially for Avui and feature a nod to the newspaper, depicting its pages or title. Donations continued to arrive after 1994: two landscapes by the painter Pilar Segura, a nine-piece series by Pia Crozet devoted to the Yugoslav Wars, and the works by Rosa Espinosa Pla and Gina Portera.

Overt the course of its existence, gender biases have affected the dissemination and exhibition of the collection, mirroring what has happened in all areas of society. Thanks to these two exhibitions organised by the Girona Art Museum, we firmly belive that this will no longer occur in the case of the Art Collection of the Avui newspaper.