PERMANENT COLLECTION

CORPO

Victor Servranckx room: on the right, the artist’s patinated-plaster sculpture Opus 1 – 1921

PERMANENT COLLECTION

CORPO

PERMANENT COLLECTION

CORPO

Sala dedicada a Victor Servranckx; a la derecha, Opus 1-1921, escultura de yeso patinado.

CORPO

The CORPO permanent collection, housed in Toledo, is made up of works by artists from the historical avant-gardes of Northern, Central and Eastern Europe, together with a fine selection of work by contemporary artists from Europe and the United States. It comprises pieces by 171 artists, from famous names to visionaries, includingmany prominent figures such as Schmidt-Rottluff, Pechstein, Kandinsky, Schlemmer, Schwitters, Moholy-Nagy and Ernst. But, more importantly, and mindful of the educational role that all public museums should fulfil, CORPO showcases a large number of less familiar but equally imperative names such as Joostens, Donas, Peeters, Flouquet, Servranckx, Maes, Eemans.

‘This museum will not sing the same song,’ Roberto Polo assures us. ‘It is not another clone museum solely concerned with the fashionable market instead of artistic value, where the visitor already knows what he is going to see. Nowadays we tend to forget that when the Phillips Collection, the first museum of modern art in the world, was inaugurated in 1921, few – if any – of the artists whose work was represented in its collection were known. The same can be said of the Folkwang Museum (1922), first in Hagen and then in Essen; the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1929); the MuzeumSztuki, Łódź (1930) and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice (1951). Each of these museums was the product of an original and individual way of seeing the visual arts that often challenged the status quo and championed a new way of creating and seeing, thus rewriting the history of art.’

The avant-gardes represented here reflect the diverse pictorial trends pursued by the most audacious artists of the first half of the 20th century in Flanders and in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe – the so-called ‘peripheral avant-gardes’ – as well as in the United States. The Collection includes Informalist currents (the beginnings of abstraction, Constructivism and Neoplasticism), with the variousforms of abstraction and new realism (neorealism, Novecento, magic realism, lyrical figurativism, New Objectivity, Precisionism) predominating – not forgetting, of course, the poetical currents of Surrealism. It also includes sculptures and assemblages, a significant collection of furniture and examples of industrial design, as well as a large number of drawings and photographs.

The second part of the Roberto Polo Collection covers the period from the end of the Second World War to the present day – to what art historian Barbara Rose, who is very familiar with the Collection, calls ‘the new frontiers of experimentation’ – and offers an interesting diversity of approaches. The majority of these artists began working in the early part of the 1950s and have continued into the 21st century, producing art that encompassesa wide range of techniques, formats and artistic idioms. There is an important body of non-figurative works including, notably, examples by Werner Mannaers, Jaroslaw Kozlowski, Roberto Caracciolo, Thomas Downing, Roberto Pietrosanti, Xavier Noiret-Thomé, Maria Roosen, Bert Timmermans, Ed Moses and Walter Darby Bannard. Alongside is a second, equally numerous selection that belongs to the new figurative art, providing highly interesting pieces such as those by Andrew Tift, Jan Vanrietand Nino Longobardi, as well as Annabelle Hyvrier, Tomek Partyka, Karin Hanssen, Peter Van Gheluwe, Sadie Murdoch, Bruno Ceccobelli and Wladimir Moszowski.

In the 16th-century convent church, Red Roosenary, work by Maria Roosen features blown glass suspended from a statue of the same period.