Official website of the Foundation Juan March

Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957)

February 5 – May 16, 2010
OPENING HOURS AND GUIDED TOURS

OPENING HOURS
Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sunday and holidays: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

FREE GUIDED TOURS
Wednesdays: 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Fridays: 4:30 – 7 p.m.

SCHOOL VISITS
Mondays: 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Fundación offers free guided tours for school groups (maximum of 25 students per group) reserved in advance by calling 91 435 42 40 (ext. 296).

ONE OF THE MOST STIMULATING AND ECCENTRIC ARTISTS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

Wyndham Lewis
Mr Wynham Lewis as a Tyro, , 1920-21. Ferens Art Gallery, Hull Museums, Hull

This exhibition seeks to interrupt the "thundering silence" (Hugh Kenner) that has surrounded and still surrounds one of the most vigorous pictorial and literary bodies of work of the first half of the twentieth century. It reveals, in all its complex simplicity, with its shadowy angles and luminous outlines, the work of Wyndham Lewis to the interested viewer and reader, allowing them the opportunity to prove that the “skeleton in a cupboard” is actually – to paraphrase the title of another of his works – A Dragon in a Cage, still unfamiliar but with a volcanic creative energy.

“Thesis at the heart of the exhibition- as Manuel Fontán del Junco, Director of Exhibitions of the Fundación Juan March, writes in the catalog- is that Lewis is a major figure in the history of modern art, literature and culture, whose pictorial work warrants – as one of his definitions of “beauty” reads – “an immense predilection.” Also, the idea that Lewis is not as extensively known as he should be is not only due to the reasons usually put forward to explain (and justify) his obscurity, but also to the fact that the artist (and above all his work) perhaps poses a challenge to the usual way we organise our memory of art and historicise art, ideas and culture.”

“Lewis’s work does not require a rescue operation to save it from presumed obscurity, from the past, but it does need to be considered as something that comes to us from the future and obliges us to understand the realities of modern art and culture beyond the classifying categories currently in use.”

Wyndham Lewis
Lovers, 1912. Private collection

“Wyndham Lewis continues to retain the authentic status of a truly marginal figure: one whom we are unaware is a marginal figure because he is unknown to us. If the history of the first twentieth-century vanguards is a bellicose one – that of new against old, rupture against tradition – then Lewis is perhaps its most illustrious figure, lost at war.”

“Nevertheless, the main reason that Wyndham Lewis does not form part of the traditional art canon to an extent proportional to his unquestionable importance – and the point from which this exhibition departs – is perhaps that he embodied avant-garde logic so radically that one is hard pressed to find parallels with other artists (there are exceptions, such as the less popularised Kazimir Malevich or Pavel Filonov, among others). Lewis took to its final consequences – in life and in art – the logic of the modern avant-garde, which is the belligerent, paradoxical and contradictory logic of historicism.”

“The work of Wyndham Lewis will undoubtedly remain a presence in the art, literature and culture of the present day and the future; and this exhibition and its catalogue will hopefully contribute to bringing awareness to one of the most stimulating and eccentric artists of the twentieth century.”