CUENCA

CORPO

Entrance to the museum flanked by a wall of vitrines with sculpture and, in the central panel, a carpet designed by Johannes Itten, circa 1927.

CUENCA

CORPO

CUENCA

CORPO

Entrance to the museum flanked by a wall of vitrines with sculpture and, in the central panel, a carpet designed by Johannes Itten, circa 1927.

CUENCA

Colección Roberto Polo. Centro de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo de Castilla-La Mancha (CORPO) opens its second venue in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Cuenca on December 2020. Its new and temporary home is the former Iglesia de Santa Cruz, a XVIth century Renaissance building listed as a Spanish National Monument. The permanent venue in Cuenca is slated to inaugurate before the end of 2023 in the Xth century Castillo de Cuenca.

CORPO focuses on late XIXth and early XXth century European avant-garde movements. In Cuenca, the XIXth century is present with the work of painters like Eugène Delacroix, John Atkinson Grimshaw, Félicien Rops, Alexandre Séon, Joseph Granié and Edgar Degas.

However, its core focuses on the historical avant-gardes, with artists from North, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as contemporary European and North American ones.  The Cuenca venue will reveal a plethora of major works by artists who are virtually absent in Spain, but played a pivotal role in the history of art, and are represented in the permanent collections of important international museums. Among these are Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Henry van de Velde, Eileen Gray, Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, Theo van Doesburg, Johannes Itten, Paul Joostens, Georges Vantongerloo, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart, Marthe Donas, Pierre-Louis Flouquet, Victor Servranckx, Ivan Kliun and Marc Eemans. Spain is represented by an iconic work on paper by Pablo Picasso.

The permanent collection reflects an avant-garde spirit that turns around Henry van de Velde’s concept of the ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ or total work of art, which is the basis of Modernism. This concept admits all forms of artistic expression, media and themes, putting an accent on interdisciplinary works. Consequently, in addition to painting, sculpture, photography and assemblage, the permanent collection also features applied arts or design.

The Cuenca venue also places special emphasis on abstraction, drawing a parallel between the work of Spanish artists who flocked there as of 1959, and the work of Europeans and Americans in the preceding and ensuing periods.

 

The former iIglesia de Santa Cruz

The Iglesia de Santa Cruz, declared Site of Cultural Interest in 2002, was one of the first parish churches in Cuenca. It was a modest masonry building of one nave, with a wooden roof. In the middle of the XVIth century, Juanes de Mendizábal el Viejo began the reform of the church and was in charge of the work for three years, but the great boost was given by Bishop Fresneda, who en 1568 commissioned the remodelling of the old medieval building from Francisco de Goycoa, a very prestigious architect in Cuenca and general supervisor of the work of the bishopric. As it seems to have been his norm, he did not oversee the works personally, but put it in the hands of Juanes de Mendizábal el Mozo, Mendizábal el Viejo’s nephew. When Goycoa died, the architect Pedro de la Vaca introduced some modifications to the project, the most important of which was making the nave wider.

Mendizábal el Mozo raised the perimeter walls and added some arches between the buttresses, to which he attached some Doric columns, replaced by pilasters in the XVIIIth century. The church has a single nave divided into six sections by buttresses with attached pilasters and has a polygonal apse. The lack of space (the church looks out of the Huécar River´s gorge) compelled to locate the vestry under the main chapel. The façade dates to the XVIth century and has a very simple appearance with a semicircular arch between Ionic pilasters. The upper section, which has a niche between two Cs, so typical of the architect Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón, must have been altered in its disposition and decoration. In the interior, remains of painting from the XVIIIth century have been preserved.

Armario de Josef Hoffmann y mesa auxiliar de Hoffmann y Koloman Moser

T-shaped cabinet by Josef Hoffmann,1903; side table by Hoffmann and Koloman Moser, 1902-05, and Pierre-Louis Floquet “Untitled” drawing, 1920.