The pictorial collection is made up of 64 paintings donated in 1994, all of them representative of 20th-century Spanish art. Works by artists whose careers have crossed paths with
Beulas’ have a special place. The bulk of the of the w orks fall under the rubric of the socalled ‘School of Madrid’, the origin of w hich can be traced to experiences predating the Spanish Civil War, w ith artists such as Benjamín Palencia, Godofredo Ortega Muñoz and Agustín Redondela, w ho shared a commitment to renew al and a focus on landscape. Antonio Guijarro and Agustín Úbeda w ere also involved in this renew ed approach to landscape, though their contributions to the collection are mainly figurative and still-life works.
The New Figuration movement is represented by interesting compositions by Antonio Quirós and Juan Barjola, who apply expressive approaches to update traditional schema. We also find creators w hose w ork w as a real step forw ard for the plastic arts in Spain, such as Alcorlo, Celis, Echauz, Blardony and Brinkmann. Leading figures of the European avant-garde and 20thcentury Spanish painting – Juan de Echevarría, a member of the first School of Paris, and Pablo Picasso – also have a place in the collection. Francisco Mateos represents international expressionism in Spain.
The collection encompasses several generations of Spanish post-war art. The period is characterised by a return to academic art and realism, and by Spain’s isolation from international trends. A striking contrast is apparent in the revolution in the plastic arts w rought by surrealism, the Informalist movement, and the abstract art of young avantgarde artists like Cuixart, Millares, Saura and Tàpies, all destined to play a vital role in the direction taken by Spanish art. Fermín Aguayo and Santiago Lagunas, among others, are representatives of 1940s abstract art in Aragon. Their activities revolved around Zaragoza’s Pórtico bookstore, from which they took their name: the Pórtico Group. The group played an important role in introducing abstract painting in Spain.
The Dau al Set Group marked the recovery of the avant-garde in Catalonia. Ráfols Casamada (characterised by an Informalist approach to landscape), who was a co-founder of the group known as Els Vuit, and Cuixart and Tàpies, cofounders of the magazine Dau al Set (the first post-w ar outlet for surrealism), also have an important place in the collection. Of the artists in this group, it was Tàpies who would go on to achieve the greatest international acclaim. This can be put down to the fact that he was the first to achieve an Informalist style focusing on the use of unconventional materials and an aesthetic in line with the oriental philosophy that drew such widespread interest in the seventies. American abstract expressionism and French Tachisme laid the groundw ork for the Spanish Informalist movement, in which the El Paso Group – founded in 1957 by Antonio Saura, Manuel Viola, Manuel Rivera, Luis Feito and Manolo Millares – played a central role. All of the members of the group are represented in the collection. Representing the 1960s in Aragon is Daniel Sahún, of the
Zaragoza Group. Sahún played a key role in the process of aesthetic renew al and broke new ground in abstract art, seeking to pick up w here the Pórtico Group had left off.