The world famous gallery Centre Pompidou has come to Malaga. Without doubt the Pompidou art center in Paris is one of the greatest homes of twentieth century art. In line with the arresting appearance of the Pompidou in Paris the Malaga collection will be housed in the large glass cube, built with a cultural purpose in mind and which is situated at the corner which joins Muelle Uno and Muelle Dos of Malaga’s newly renovated port. The new Malaga Pop-Up museum houses a fine selection of its French mother.
Until now the only offshoot of the Pompidou Centre has been in northern France, the Pompidou-Metz. The Malaga collection, called ‘Centro Pompidou Málaga’ is the first branch outside France and will add to the city’s already impressive range of art galleries – the Museo Picasso, the Museo Carmen Thyssen and the ‘Centro de Arte Contemporáneo’ (contemporary art centre or CAC). The mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, says that the agreement which will last five years with the option of a further five years, is “great news for cultural Malaga, tourist Malaga and technological Malaga”.
The alliance, signed by the mayor and Alain Seban, the president of the Pompidou Centre, will cost the city council a million euros annually for the use of the name, the loan of artworks and a temporary exhibition once a year. This figure, according to De la Torre, is “acceptable even during an economic crisis”.
The selection will fill 6,000 square metres and is going to be made over a three month period under the supervision of Jose María Luna, the director of the ‘Fundación Picasso-Museo Casa Natal (the Picasso Foundation and birthplace museum) as well as a curator from the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
The Málaga Port Cube will initially for five years, be the provisional headquarters of the French centre, the first to be installed outside France, and it will have three different parts; the museum with part of the collection form the Georges Pompidou National Centre of Art and Culture, which will let the visitor journey though the XX and XXI centuries; another space is for temporary exhibitions – between two and three a year; and the third will be workshops aimed at children and adolescents.
The Málaga centre will hold some 80 paintings and photographs including Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Rineke Dijkstra, Tony Oursler, Frida Kahlo, Francis Bacon, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Chirico, Alberto Guacometti and Sophie Calle, among others.
In a dedicated area of 363 m² on level 0 of El Cubo, a programme of two or three temporary exhibitions will be laid on each year for visitors to the “Centre Pompidou Málaga». These exhibitions, lasting from 3 to 6 months (depending on the type of works on show), will be devised by curators of the Musée National d’Art Moderne and will draw on various segments of the Centre Pompidou collection, such as photography, design, architecture, video and more. The two visual arts exhibitions of 2015 will be dedicated to Joan Miro’s works on paper and to the works of women photographers in the 1920s and 1930s. Between these exhibitions, events open to other creative disciplines and the movement of ideas – such as dance, film and the spoken word.
De la Torre says that he has suggested that the selection of a permanent collection for the Pompidou Malaga from the 76,000 artworks housed in Paris remains in keeping with and complements the modern art collections already in existence in the city. The mayor asserts that the initiative elevates Malaga to a “leading position in Spain and Europe in terms of the artworks it has on display”. The works required to get the cube ready for the ‘Centro Pompidou de Málaga’ are estimated to have a cost of five million euros. Half of that sum has been factored into the city hall’s budget for 2014.
With regard to the outstanding 2.5 million euros, De la Torre refers to the long-standing interest of bank Unicaja, already prominent in various artistic projects in Malaga, in sponsoring the cube. There are also moves to secure funds from a joint initiative between private French and Spanish businesses. In case Unicaja, currently undergoing a rigorous process of financial cutbacks, decides not to partake in the cultural scheme, the mayor claims to have a Plan B. He does not, for the moment, wish to discuss it.