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Fine Art

Section composed of over 6800 pieces of painting, sculpture, printing (artistic etching, serigraphy, lithography, etc.) and posters, made up of purchases, donations and bequests, with over a hundred pieces from individuals and institutions in storage, such as the National Prado Museum, the Jorge Oteiza Museum Foundation, the Basque Government, the Gipuzkoa Local Government, etc. We should highlight the Basque art collection within this section.

100 years of Basque art in the San Telmo Museum

The collection begins with works from the late 19th century, made with the aesthetic canons from the Rome academy, highlighting artists such as Zamacois, Lecuona or Echenagusia. A little later, artists such as Arteta, Tellaeche or Zubiaurre clearly assumed an intentionally synthesized modernity searching for the so-called "conscience of the country". It was just before the Civil War that we can best appreciate the renewal of ideas and debates on modern art, and works by Lekuona, Ribera or Uzelay demonstrated the new European trends.

After the conflict broken out, we had to wait until the 60s to be able to talk about a plastic resurgence, when the Basque School was created. Artists from this generation, including Oteiza and Chillida, lived alongside artists from the next generation, including Nagel or Ameztoy, who belonged to the same political and geographic unit, continuing to approach a certain relationship in their works between the individual and the complexity of their environment.

In the last decades of the 20th century, Basque art closely followed the international evolution, although guided by its own traditional matrix. The emergence of New Basque Sculpture in the 80s was one of the most stimulating events in the national artistic scene and artists such as Badiola or Irazu attained great public recognition among other reasons for their interesting conjugation of vernacular and cosmopolitan.

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