Valencian Institute of Modern Art (Spanish: Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno), also known by the acronym IVAM, was the first center of modern art created in Spain, opening in 1989 in the city of Valencia. The Institut Valencià d’Art Modern is an important center for modern and contemporary art in Spain and Europe. It is in position 52 of the 100 most visited museums in the world.
Bordering the historic city centre, the IVAM emerges as a cry of modernity. In just two decades has achieved the privilege of being part of the international circuit of modern and contemporary art and, at the same time, has become a major attraction for researchers, artists and tourists. Today the museum has consolidated its prestige and has become a referent not only for the city, but for the contemporary art.
The museum shows continuous developments of art and photography of the twentieth century. It offers both a 10,000-strong permanent collection and temporary exhibitions, discussions, courses and conferences, workshops and concerts related to exhibitions organized and other fields of contemporary art. It has two spaces: the Centre Julio González, a new building which opened in 1989 featuring the museum’s collection along with other temporary signs and the Board of the Wall, located in the basement of the building that remains of the former Medieval fortifications of the city, and now houses temporary exhibitions. IVAM will continue adapting to modernity to keep alive the interest for modern art among Valencian citizens.
The IVAM has recently become a meeting point for Valencian visitors, for tourists, researchers or anyone who wants to dive into the world of contemporary art have within reach the work of some of the artists that have drawn contemporary art history.
Julio González’s work, which combines the main artistic movements of the beginning of the twentieth century, sets one of its main purposes: the continual updating of modern art production. But there is also space for precursors in the museum. Some of them, such as Ignacio Picazo, are of major importance in the IVAM collection. They were later joined by new names, works of art and, overall, artistic movements that have went through the twentieth century. Some of them emerged in Europe, but others were born in the United States or in South America.
Photography and photo-collage, Pop Art, abstraction, sculpture, installations and new media art and drawing on paper are part of what is currently considered as one of the most comprehensive art collections of contemporary art, with more than ten thousand five hundred pieces from distinct artists that represent the modernity and contemporaneity of the twentieth century at the beginning of the twenty first century.
Created at the end of 1986, the IVAM took shape from the hand of Vicente Todolí, one of the most important directors of the institution. He was later director José Francisco Yvars, who ceased in 1993. The following two years was directed by Bartomeu Marí.
The Valencian museum is the work of the architects Emilio Giménez and Carles Salvadores, and has two spaces for the exhibitions:
Julio González Center. Built in 1989 it houses museum funds and other temporary works. In 2001 it expanded its space dedicated to the exhibition with two new rooms. 60% of its space is used to house a total of seven galleries. These have a classic museum character.
Hall of the Wall. It is located in the basement of the center Julio González and was inaugurated in 1991. It houses the remains of an old medieval wall built in the second half of the 14th century in the city of Valencia and basically devoted to photography and drawing exhibitions. It currently collects temporary exhibitions, among which the Bancaja Prize is an annual one.
There is an expansion project carried out by the Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, which contemplates the construction of a metallic skin that would completely envelop the original building and create a gallery in the back of the building. The project remains paralyzed due to lack of funding.
The museum’s collection is permanently exhibited at the Julio González Center. Its collections consist of some 10 500 works that illustrate the basic artistic manifestations of 20th century art. It consists of the following sections:
Julio González: The collection consists of almost 400 works by the artist known as “the iron master” which include sculptures, drawings, paintings and goldsmiths. The greatest collection of this important artist includes some of his best works: The lovers, Woman before the mirror, Daphne, Head before the mirror, Reclining woman reading, The hair, Left hand raised, Man catus dancing, Naked sitting on his back and Lord Cactus. The works include all the eras, periods and styles of the sculptor; with works from the 20’s, 30’s (his most prolific years), and 40 (his artistic maturity).
Ignacio Pinazo: The museum has a large collection of works by the Valencian impressionist painter (more than 100 paintings and 600 drawings), co-contemporary with Sorolla. Among the outstanding works of the painter in the museum are: Toldos, El corral de la casa de Marco, Cementerio, Group of people, At the door of the studio, Almendors in bloom, Dusk at the breakwater (considered his masterpiece). The collection includes works on paper (acuearelas, drawings …), and paintings; which cover all the styles of the painter from the 1860s to the new century.
Art of the XX century: The background of historical avant-gardes is one of the most important in Spain, with international authors such as Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Paul Klee, Francis Picabia, Frantisek Kupka, Robert Delaunay, Lucio Fontana …
Also the diverse tendencies and languages arisen from the years 70 have their presence in the museum, with a relevant presence of the pop art and Neofiguración both Spanish (Equipo Crónica, Eduardo Arroyo, Joan Castejón …) and international (Robert Rauschenberg, Valerio Adami).
Funds devoted to the graphic design, photomontage and photography of the great masters of the 20th century occupy an important place in the collection of the gallery since the museum has more than 2000 pieces: from examples of Constantin Brancusi, Man Ray, Robert Capa and Brassai, to current authors such as Joan Fontcuberta.