Helga de Alvear’s new museum in Spain

A new museum showcasing collector and gallerist Helga de Alvear’s collection opened earlier this year in February, in the Spanish town of Cáceres. The Extremadura region accepted De Alvear’s collection of 3,000 artworks. The new museum presents 200 of them and is curated by José María Viñuela. It features artists such as Nan Goldin, Helena Almeida, Tacita Dean, Kandinsky and Picasso. A rare edition of Francisco Goya’s Los Caprichos (1799) aquatint and etching prints given by the artist to his friend D. Evaristo Pérez de Castro is also be on view.

De Alvear’s foundation, backed by the city council of Cáceres, was established in 2006. The first phase of the Fundación Helga de Alvear Visual Arts Centre, based in an early 20th-century building known as Casa Grande, opened in the historic quarter of Cáceres in 2010. The new 8,000 sq. m annexe building has been designed by Spanish architects Tuñón Arquitectos Studio. The cost of the new museum, which will open under coronavirus restrictions, is around €10m with half of the funds coming from De Alvear herself and half from institutions in Extremadura.

“I like that people make artistic manifestations like [Thomas] Hirschhorn [and] Santiago Sierra [whose work on Catalan prisoners, Political Prisoners in Contemporary Spain, was censored at the 2018 Arco fair]. Santiago tells the truth and people don’t want to hear it. There is a photo of his work in the museum that is funny. A beach in Mallorca, in Pollença, on which he painted “Inländer raus” (natives out).” De Alvear declared in a recent interview with Forbes.

“In January 1980 she started to work at the Juana Mordó gallery: those were years of apprenticeship, both in relation to management and to honing her knowledge about the international art scene,” says the website for her foundation.

Image: An installation view of Katharina Grosse’s Faux Rocks (2006) © Joaquín Cortés / Helga de Alvear Museum