Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001, Barcelona, Spain
Donated to MACBA just one year ago, the Rafael Tous Collection is a portrait of a specific artistic practice at a particular moment in time. A passionate collector who was linked to the textile world, Rafael Tous developed an eye for Conceptual art, with its diverse practices that nevertheless prioritise the idea and process over the object. Acting intuitively, and without regard for market speculation, Tous built a collection that helps define the attitudes and experimental work carried out by a group of artists, many of whom became friends and were supported by him on their artistic journey.
This collection contains the testimony of a generation that chose to take part in exhibitions held in alternative cultural spaces rather than more conventional art venues. The first of these were Mostra d’Art Jove, an exhibition of young artists held in Granollers in 1971 and 1972; 1.219 m3 at a pelota court in Vilanova de la Roca, 1972; and Informació d’Art Concepte at the Llotja del Tint in Banyoles, 1973. Equally relevant are the spaces that constituted the cultural fabric of the time by acting as alternatives to the non-existent institutional circuits, such as the Petite Galerie de l’Alliance Française in Lleida, Sala Tres in Sabadell, Espai B5-125 of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and, in Barcelona, Sala Vinçon, the galleries ‘G’, Aquitània and Ciento, Escola Eina, Sala de l’Associació del Personal de la Caja de Pensiones and the various foreign cultural institutes, among others. It is also worth noting the role played from 1980 onwards by Metrònom, an exhibition space in the heart of the city created and programmed by Tous himself. Metrònom acted as a catalyst for ideas that fused music, performance and site-specific projects, and led to the creation of many large-scale installations.
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