La Noche Española - Flamenco Exhibition at the Reina Sofia

15 January, 2008 (15:42) | Culture, Atocha

by Julie Espinosa

Madrid residents and visitors alike ought to check out the Reina Sofia’s new temporary installation “La Noche Española” (or Spanish Night), open through 24 March 2008. It’s a look at the quintessential Spanish dance - Flamenco - at the intersection of avant-garde and popular culture, 1865-1936.

Brimming with caricatures, photographs, archival video footage and dance costumes, the exhibit occupies 14 rooms on the third floor of the museum and will take at least an hour and a bit (y pico) to enjoy properly. The show includes big Vanguard names, including Manet, Picasso, Miró and Man Ray, as well as iconic Spanish painters like Solana and Romero de Torres. But it centers on the meeting of the salon and the street, of the reflecting of this frenetic music and dance form through the artistic prism.

Through the artistic representations of flamenco, we grasp for clues to understanding Spanish folklore, fashion, politics and sexual roles. Spanish national character on this stage is at once brazen and coquettish, flamboyant and somber, obvious and elusive.

The only major failing of the exhibit is that you’ll be out of luck for descriptions if you don’t read Spanish (if I recall correctly; let me know if I overlooked translations). At any rate, the art itself is transfixing enough to overcome any lack of words.

See our full Reina Sofia write-up for location and opening times.


Comment from Charisma
Date: February 4, 2008, 3:37 pm

I absolutely loved La Argentina’s dresses and the doll…

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