Art exhibitions not to be missed in Madrid

love the moment

The first traces of spring in the Spanish capital come accompanied by an extensive artistic program that promises to win over even the most demanding art connoisseurs. For the next coming months Madrid will turn itself into a city devoted to art in all forms: Matadero’s experimentalism, the museums and exposition centres that unveil during the season their best works, and the original initiatives put in place by private corporations.

Everything in Madrid exudes art, and here is our guide to not miss a thing. With so much art to take in, we have turned to an art expert to guide us, (David Lanau*• ) who will help us sort out Madrid’s complex art agenda and reveal which exhibitions we mustn’t miss along with some secrets that us not so artsy folk would pass right by, but David no…

• David Lanau is a founding member of the collective arte+educación Pedagogías Invisibles and coordinator of the Grupo de Educación de Matadero Madri

Las Rozas Village


Caixaforum- Andy Warhol. Mechanical Art (1 February to 6 May)

As the most visited exhibition in Barcelona in 2017, there is no doubt it will again break records in Madrid. Andy Warhol, the father of “pop art”, was capable of turning basic elements of our consumerist society into art, changing forever the rules of the game.

What will we see?

An exhibition focused on the creative development of Andy Warhol, from his beginnings as a graphic designer in New York until his death at which time he was fully established as a prominent artist. The backbone of the exhibition is the 348 pieces including some of his most iconic works like Marilyn Monroe or Liz Taylor and, of course, the Campbell soup cans. We’ll also find some other not so well known pieces like his project to launch a museum into space.

Why can’t we miss it?

Warhol was a true guru of all things modern. We think selfies are a thing of our era but the visual arts artist was already doing them in New York during the rebellious 1960’s. The themes and the questions that come up from this retrospect are more current than ever, and should not be missed.

Imagen cedida por Caixa Forum 635x800.jpg

Ceded images from Caixa Forum Madrid


“Meninas” invade the streets of Madrid- (From 20 April until 15 July)

Who would have ever dreamed of telling Velázquez, one of Spain’s greatest painters, that his famous “Meninas” (ladies in waiting) would invade the capital of Spain in an unprecedented project proving that art in the XXI century is freer and more urban than ever?

It was the Golden Age, a marvellous period in Spanish history, one where art and literature flourished like never before when Velázquez painted Princess Margarita of Austria surrounded by her ladies in waiting, the “Meninas”. Curiously enough, the famous painting is named after these very women.

Transformed into one of the most typical Spanish icons, the Meninas will be taking to the streets under the initiative “Meninas Madrid Gallery”: 150 sculptures each measuring 2 meters will take over the streets of Madrid for the next 3 months.

Customized by famous celebrities like designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada or actor Jordi Mollá, the artists have tried to imprint their personal vision of the city on each statue. 

A bonus: at the end of the showing the most talked about and the most popular statues will be auctioned off and money will be distributed among several charitable organizations.  


Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum- Sorolla Museum- Sorolla and fashion (13 February to 27 May)

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in collaboration with the Sorolla Museum has organized and exposition dedicated to the influence of fashion in Joaquín Sorolla’s work. It can be seen simultaneously in both museums.

Sorolla, a huge fashion lover, travelled around trend setting European cities between 1890 and 1920 and became an experienced chronicler of fashion trends and changes in attire during the end of the XIX century until the beginning of the XX century. Eloy Martínez de la Pera, head of the exhibition, remarks that Sorolla was an “influencer” of the period and his paintings were his Instagram.

Why we can’t miss it?

The 70 canvases from the Valencian painter are on exposition together with 60 dresses and accessories which are the same or very similar to those that appear in his paintings and which are dated to the same period. It has taken almost four years to gather all of the pieces from museums and collections around the world. Now, you simply cannot miss it.

And since we are in the “fashion mood”, don’t miss out on La Ruta de la Moda at the Thyssen-Bornemisza. Sponsored by Las Rozas Village, it is a unique experience that will allow you to discover fashion from two different angles: art and shopping. The exciting tour through the different pieces of the museum which show the evolution of fashion throughout the centuries, will be followed by a visit as a special guest to Las Rozas Village.

Imagen cedida por Museo Thyssen - Exterior  1310x935.jpg Imagen cedida por Museo Thyssen   2000x2438.jpg

Ceded images from  Museo Thyssen

Lázaro Galdiano Museum- Exhibition by Alicia Martín "Archivo 113" (9 February to 6 May)

One of Madrid’s best kept secrets, and the irrefutable test that art in the Spanish capital goes far beyond just large international venues. This exceptional ensemble brings together 12.600 pieces collected by Editor José Lázaro Galdiano, who, when he died in 1947, left the collection to the Spanish state.

What will we see?

Works from El Bosco, Murillo, El Greco…and not to forget, the mysterious piece “EL Salvador adolescente” which appears to have been created based on an idea from Leonardo Da Vinci, drawn by Da Vinci himself and given to Boltraffio, one of his disciples, to paint. The exposition “Archivo 113” by Alicia Martín is taking place now and is part of the Reinterpreted project which brings a closer look to the pieces of contemporary artists in the museum. Take note of the two giant sculptures created entirely of books donated by diverse public institutions. They can be found in the Salón de Baile and in the museum’s garden.

Why we can’t miss it?

Because it is a nineteenth-century jewel still quite unknown and “because it is a museum from an era that no longer exists but it is still an exceptional piece of beauty” David Lanau tells us.


Imagen cedida por Museo Lazaro Galdiano  940x628.jpg

Ceded images from  Museo Lazaro Galdiano 

Las Rozas Village and the Open Air Exhibition #LoveTheDogArt (10 February until May)

And if there is one thing we have learned from this tour with David it is that art knows no boundaries. This exhibition doesn’t fit into the traditional spaces we are so used to, but rather dares to go outside this “traditional” box offering new locations and new themes.

Las Rozas Village acts, and has for some time, as a sponsor to emerging artists promoting art and creativity. This time, and with the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the “village” will be transformed into an impromptu open air museum where we’ll find up to 30 dog statues created and personalized by students from IED (European Institute of Design).

Why we can’t miss it?

Because it is a completely new and respected focus on art and which connects with the Warhol vision of art in a consumerist society.

The dog art-  @Las Rozas Village.jpg (1)

Matadero- El Ranchito Arco Lisboa (15 January to 1 April)

In Matadero, artistic production takes on a whole new meaning because with this exhibition we’re talking about participative art; a type of art where everyone, even the passerbyer, has a hand in the creation process “reflecting”, “learning” and enjoying.

Although the cultural offer is always full of surprises, you shouldn’t miss out on the Ranchito Arco Lisboa which was inaugurated 15 January. El Ranchito is a program of interdisciplinary residence. The program allows for artists to live with creators from other cities, and have the opportunity to travel to other participating spaces throughout the world. It is a true exchange of ideas and dialogue based on art.

Why not to miss this one?

Because it has become a meeting place for both artists and citizens, and because it is creativity in its purest form.


Imagen cedida por Matadero Madrid   850x450.jpg

Ceded images from  Matadero Madrid 

Fundación Canal- Toulouse-Lautrec y los placeres de la Belle Époque (8 February until 6 May)

This exhibition portrays Paris at the end of the XIX century, a period of cultural and artistic delirium, and elation for hedonism without precedent, La Belle Époque. As a witness to the exception, the young Toulouse-Lautrec finds in this nocturnal and sensual Paris his source of endless inspiration for his paintings, drawings and lithographs.

What will we see?

65 posters delivered from the Museo Ixelles (Brussels), 35 of which belong to Toulouse-Lautrec himself and the rest were made for some of his most famous peers. The exposition is divided into four parts, the first being, “Placeres de la Noche”, and the most interesting. In the posters from this section we can see some of the most famous cabarets that later were transformed into authentic temples of pleasure and art among the Paris nightlife like Le Moulin Rouge o Le Chat Noir, the fathers of cabaret.

Why we can’t miss out?

Because for the first time ever in Spain we have the opportunity to contemplate one of Toulouse-Lautrec’s two collections of posters that exist in the whole world.

Imagen cedida por Fundacion Canal   1338x811.jpg

Ceded images from  Fundacion Canal