LOEWE: Past Present Future

“LOEWE: Past Present Future” runs through 9 December 2016 at the Villanueva Pavillion, a former greenhouse at Madrid’s Real Jardín Botánico. Built in 1781, it is the most emblematic structure in the royal gardens located next to the famous Prado Museum.

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An innovative display system of large acrylic glass boxes shows one-of-a-kind pieces from LOEWE’s archives, exemplyfing the brand’s unión of advanced leather craft and pure functional design, while walls and floors are covered with images evoking the rich history and current momentum of the house, all taken from the new LOEWE book edited by Luis Venegas.

A second section is devoted to 13 color photographs of flower arrangements by Steven Meisel, indicative of the photographer’s special ongoing relationship with LOEWE. Inspired by the life and work of British pioneer Constance Spry –whose unconventional approach, quick mind and irrepressible spirit innovated international floral design in the 1930-50’s- the simultaneous simplicity and exuberance of these images represents the fresh dynamism of LOEWE today.

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To celebrate LOEWE’s reinforced presence in the city where it was born 170 years ago, this exhibition opens to the public, encouraging the people of Madrid to rediscover their brand and explore LOEWE’s ever evolving, multi-dimensional character. Among other unique gifts and souvenirs, the new 592-page LOEWE book –spanning the entire history of the house- and a special 2017 calendar with Steven Meisel’s “Flowers” series will be for sale at the exhibit shop.

“LOEWE: Past Present Future” runs through 9 December 2016 at the Real Jardín Botánico, 10h-17,30h.

Photographs: Flowers (August) by Steven Meisel and Past Present Future (2016).

José Ramón Ripoll and Sergio García Zamora, Winners of the 29th Edition of the LOEWE Poetry Prize

La lengua de los otros, written by author, musicologist and reporter José Ramón Ripoll (Cádiz, Spain, 1952) has won the 29th LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize. The jury, presided by Víctor García de la Concha and made up of members Francisco Brines, José Manuel Caballero Bonald, Antonio Colinas, Soledad Puértolas, Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, Ana Rossetti, Jaime Siles and Luis Antonio de Villena, highlighted the enigmatic relationship between the different sections of the book and its magnificent formal structure, as well as the excellence of its poems. Sergio García Zamora, born in 1986 in Santa Clara (Cuba), won the LOEWE Young Poets Prize for El frío de vivir, a book that shows the author’s knowledge of prose and verse poetry, by means of his most singular perception of the world.

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The LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize is awarded annually to a book of poems of at least 300 verses and the Young Poets Prize to an author under the age of 30. In addition to the cash prize, the winning books are published by Colección Visor de Poesía. Out of the 779 manuscripts sent from more than 31 countries, 27 finalists were chosen. A total of 23% of entries coming from America were mainly from Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, while Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville were at the top of the list of cities for Spanish entries.

On Tuesday 8th November, the Jury announced the winners. Following the welcome speech delivered by LOEWE FOUNDATION Director Sheila Loewe and the reading of the verdict by Víctor García de la Concha, the winner of last year’s prize, Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, presented El frío de vivir. A book where, he argued, “themes are interwoven, appearing and disappearing, just like in our thoughts, just like in life itself.” He also highlighted the mastery García Zamora shows through the use of expressive resources and a poetry that is “autonomous but not uninvolved; participative but not political.”

Poet Jaime Siles referred to the book of poems La lengua de los otros as “an intense and profound book that is rather intimate for us readers of a certain age”. Ripoll himself, who was present when the verdict was announced, said his book “is painful but incredibly enjoyable,” and explained that “in part, it refers to the imposed language I must use in order to communicate with others. I play with that double meaning, which is then revealed at the end.” He also thanked the LOEWE FOUNDATION for supporting and sponsoring poetry because, in his words, “although people might not give it the importance it deserves, it is in fact of vital importance; it’s crucial in order to keep words alive because that’s how we fight against forgetting, against amnesia.”

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The award ceremony and official presentation of the books will take place in March 2017.

Photographs: José Ramón Ripoll and the Jury of the LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize © Álvaro Tomé for the LOEWE FOUNDATION.

Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND) grows

The Compañía Nacional de Danza (Spain´s National Dance Company) that José Carlos Martínez directs and whose official sponsor is the LOEWE FOUNDATION, begins a new and exciting season packed with projects.

Idq_jesus-vallinas-36n addition to welcoming new members, four dancers who had performed leading roles in previous seasons have been promoted. Isaac Montllor is now a CND principal dancer and three other members of the Corps de Ballet -Aída Badía, Lucie Barthélémy and Elisabet Biosca- are soloists.

Montllor, who was born in Alcoy (Spain), joined CND 2 in 2002 while it was under the direction of Nacho Duato and Tony Fabre and, since then, has only been away from the troupe during the year he spent in Montreal’s Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. “I am extremely grateful,” says the dancer regarding his promotion, “because it is a form of recognition of my dance and self-expression; of the way I tell a story.” Last season, the public saw this dancer perform in different leading roles, including Jose’s in Johan Inger’s Carmen and Don Quijote’s in the ballet of the same name, which the CND premiered in Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela in December 2015.

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Prior to joining the CND in 2012, French ballerina Lucie Barthélémy was a member of the Bavarian State Opera Ballet (Munich). Lucie beams when she says, “at 30, and after 11 years as a dancer, I can honestly say this is the most amazing thing to happen to me professionally… a reminder that there is no specific moment or age when one stops growing.” Lucie has performed the leading role in Raymonda and in Don Quijote –as Dulcinea– among many others.

Aída Badía, who comes from Santander (Spain), joined the CND in 2012. Prior to that, she participated in a number of projects with some of the most prestigious choreographers in the world. Her artistic versatility made it possible for her to participate, as an example, in two Carlos Saura films: Iberia and Fados. Worthy of mention, among many accomplishments, is Aida’s participation in José Carlos Martínez’s Don Quijote as Mercedes or in the Herman Schmermann pas de deux by William Forsythe. “I am very grateful for the recognition my work has received over the past four years. This is a career that forces all of us to give our best day in and day out and it is very motivating to see our work being recognised,” says the ballerina.

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Last season, Elisabet Biosca, who joined the CND in 2010, performed Lady Capulet in Goyo Montero’s Romeo & Juliet, the lead in Carmen, and other starring roles in pieces from the company’s repertoire. This ballerina, who hails from Barcelona (Spain), had previously performed with the IT Dansa Jove Companya de Catalunya, from L’Institut del Teatre. Independently, Elisabet has appeared in a number of short dance films and now, following this promotion, she is “motivated and extremely happy to begin this new adventure because of all the artistic challenges that will come my way”.

This season promises to be an exciting one for the CND and its dancers, who grow artistically by the day and who have Jose Carlos Martinez’s complete trust to carry out his vision. Slowly but surely, the public is getting to know the members of the company who are responsible for its success.

Photographs: Isaac Montllor as Don Quijote and Jesús Florencio as Sancho Panza, Lucie Barthélémy and Aída Badía in Don Quijote. Elisabet Biosca in In Transit © Jesús Vallinas for the CND.

The LOEWE Craft Prize unveils the trophy

The LOEWE Craft Prize, supported by the LOEWE FOUNDATION and the leading luxury house that began as a collective of craftsmen, wishes to recognise contemporary artisans whose talent, vision and specialised skill will set a new standard for the future.

This annual award is given to the maker of an outstanding work of craftsmanship, selected in competition among entries from around the world. Since the announcement, the award has attracted numerous submissions and the attention from the international art and design community.

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The LOEWE FOUNDATION now reveals the winner´s trophy designed by acclaimed British silversmith Alex Brogden, a double bowl inspired by the interaction of the elements with the earth. Brogden’s work has been exhibited internationally and is held in important collections, including that of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

All submitted works are required to combine an innovative application of their craft with an original artistic concept within any applied arts area, including but not limited to ceramics, jewelry, lacquer, metal, furniture, textiles and glass.

The winner, selected by a Jury of distinguished figures from the worlds of design, architecture, journalism, criticism and museum curatorship, will receive 50,000 Euros in cash and be highlighted in the ‘LOEWE Craft Prize 2017’ exhibition and catalogue, which will be on display worldwide, along with the works of the 14 finalists selected by an Experts Panel.

Competition for the prize is open to any professional artisan over the age of 18. Entries are being accepted until 7 November.

Registration, info and requirements can be found at www.loewecraftprize.com

Photographs: LOEWE Craft Prize trofeo, by Alex Brogden, 2016.

Dance returns to the Teatro Real and the Gran Teatre del Liceu

The support that the LOEWE FOUNDATION gives dance has crystallised, once again, in the ballets that will be performed next season at Madrid’s Teatro Real and Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu. Two opera houses that have made space for a number of companies from all over the world so that they may showcase the best of their repertoires.

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In December, the ballet Coppélia, performed by the National Ballet of Uruguay (Ballet Nacional SODRE), will occupy the Barcelona stage with an emblematic Enrique Martínez version that is respectful of the choreographic tradition and the E.T.A. Hoffman original story it is based on. This dance company, under the direction of Argentinian dancer Julio Bocca will perform accompanied by the Liceu’s Resident Orchestra under the direction of conductor Martín García. Starting in January 2017, the Jove Companya de L’institut del Teatre will provide the counterpoint by putting its dancers to the test in a contemporary programme that includes Wad Ras by Montse Sánchez and Ramón Baeza, Un Ballo  by Jiří Kylián, and Minus 16 by Ohad Naharin.

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Shortly after, in February, the Prejocaj Ballet that the French choreographer by the same name directs, will visit the Barcelona stage for the first time and perform two ballets that are representative of the most committed and brave of their pieces. Spectral Evidence, with score by John Cage, envelops the stage in a ghost-like atmosphere while La Stravaganza, alternating between Vivaldi and contemporary composers, creates a mosaic of transitions on stage inspired by US immigration.

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In January, Le Corsair, choreographed by Frenchman Manuel Legris and based on Petipa’s original, will open the 2016-17 season at Madrid’s Teatro Real. The Wiener Staatsballett that Legris directs revisits this classic inspired by the famous Lord Byron poem with an almost traditional Russian vision that combines men’s virtuosity and strong feminine performances together with a dose of adventure and action. The costume designs and sets are by Luis Spinatelli and the Teatro Real Resident Orchestra will be led by Valery Ovsyanikov.

Moving into April, Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND) will dedicate an entire evening to American choreographer William Forsythe. José Carlos Martínez, the CND’s director, has chosen three pieces that showcase Forsythe’s modern and eclectic vision as well as the profound respect Martínez has for the artistic roots of this American artist: The Vertiginous Thrill of the ExactitudArtifact Suite and Enemy in the Figure. In June, the Martha Graham Dance Company will celebrate its 90th anniversary with two programmes that include not only some of the most representative pieces of this American choreographer –such as Deaths & EntrancesCave of the Heart or Maple Leaf Rag– but also a piece by Nacho Duato titled Rust.

Together, these companies will provide a wide range of options to captivate the audience with first class performances throughout the season.

For more information, teatro-real.com and liceubarcelona.cat.

Photographs: Coppélia by the National Ballet of Uruguay/SODER ©Santiago Barreiro. Spectral Evidence by the Prejocaj Ballet ©JCCarbone. Le Corsair ©by the Wiener Staatsballett.

 

The Compañía Nacional de Danza pays homage to Enrique Granados

The Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND) returns to the stage of Madrid’s Teatro Real to close a season that, with the support of the LOEWE FOUNDATION, has allowed this theatre to showcase some of today’s best ballet performances.

AnhelosTormentosCNDFrom 22nd to 25th July, the CND that José Carlos Martínez directs and whose official sponsor is the LOEWE FOUNDATION, will present 3 pieces that pay homage to composer Enrique Granados on the 100th anniversary of his death. The musical prism that ties the night together results in a heterogeneous ensemble of choreographers and styles of which only one piece, Raymonda Divertimento, has been presented previously in Madrid.

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In the Night, by Jerome Robbins, is set to a series of Chopin’s nocturnes to depict, through the performance of three different couples dancing under the stars, the varying shades of romantic love. CND pianist Carlos Faxas will play the nocturnes live.

Anhelos y Tormentos, especially choreographed by Dimo Kirilov for the CND, is the most contemporary of the evening’s pieces, putting the capacity of expression and restraint of the company’s dancers to the test. The Lab is in charge of the sound design and Rosa Torres-Pardo of playing, on stage, the hauntingly evocative Enrique Granados pieces to which this choreography is set.

Suite (trio), by choreographer Uwe Scholz is set to Serguéi Rajmáninov’s Suite number 2 for two pianos and gives us one of the most abstract and purest visions of what ballet was in the 20th century; two men and one woman take over the stage in a piece that is laden with emotion and simplicity.

The José Carlos Martínez version of Raymonda Divertimento, which recreates Marius Petipa’s original choreography and Nureyev’s later vision, is set to Glazunov’s score and fills the stage with classic dance steps and orientalist aromas. This ballet, already an emblematic piece for the CND, shines thanks to the work of the corps de ballet and the virtuosity of its soloists.

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CND, Homage to Enrique Granados. From 22nd to 25th July in Madrid’s Teatro Real.  More information at teatro-real.com.

Photographs: Anhelos y Tormentos & In the Night © Jesús Vallinas. Suite (trio) © José Jordan for the CND, 2016.

Lucia Moholy at the Bauhaus

On the occasion of the first exhibition featuring the work of photographer Lucia Moholy in Madrid as part of PHotoEspaña, the LOEWE FOUNDATION organised this month of June the highly attended LOEWE Talk “Lucia Moholy at the Bauhaus”. Architect Belén Moneo and exhibition curator María Millán exposed the public to the aesthetics and philosophy of the legendary school and to the artists Moholy photographed and lived with.

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The Bauhaus, founded by architect Walter Gropius in 1919, was set up as a centre for craftsmanship, architecture and design to come together. One of the school’s objectives was to design and produce unique utilitarian objects for use in daily modern life. When Lucia Moholy arrived at the Bauhaus in 1923, photography was not part of the school’s curriculum. Using a very personal and innovative style, she devoted herself to documenting the daily activities taking place in the workshops and the designs and objects that were being created.

All students had to take mandatory courses on colour theory, materials, drawing and other subjects meant to prepare them for the more specialised workshops. The Bauhaus was the first art school to accept women. However, equality was not applied across the board and women were not allowed to take certain classes.

Such was the case of artist Anni Albers, who was barred from the architecture and glass workshops and was advised to defer to weaving. She had the good fortune of working with Gunta Stölz in 1923 becoming one of the workshop’s top students and eventually the school’s weaving director, a post she held until 1932, when the Dessau Bauhaus was closed. Anni Albers and her husband Josef Albers moved to the US in 1933 where they pursued teaching and worked on personal projects. In 1951, the MOMA organised an exhibition of Anni’s work, which then toured the US for two years, establishing Anni Albers as one of the most important textile artists of the 20th century.

Florence Henri, 1927

Florence Henri, who began her artistic career as a painter, had a similar experience. During the time she spent at the Bauhaus in 1927, she lived with László Moholy-Nagy and Lucia Moholy, who shared with her their passion for photography and taught her some basic techniques. Although photography was not yet taught at the school, the couple encouraged her to experiment with the camera and to continue her work in this field. A year after leaving the Bauhaus, Florence Henri opened a studio in Paris establishing herself as a professional photographer.

The LOEWE exhibition, “Lucia Moholy, A Hundred Years Later”, invites the public to learn about the people in the portraits. Lucia Moholy was a pioneer of modern photography, and so were the photographed artists in their individual fields of expertise. An absolute must.

Lucia Moholy, A Hundred Years Later. Until 28th August at LOEWE’s Gran Vía 8 store in Madrid [Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sundays and Holidays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.]

Photographs: Anni Albers, 1927. Florence Henri, 1927.The Bauhaus Archive. Courtesy Fotostiftung Schweiz. Curator, María Millán.

 

Carla Badillo Coronado: Intuition & Reading

“I wrote El color de la granada when I was 25 years old; I’m now 30….and I won the LOEWE Young Poets Prize,” explains Carla Badillo Coronado. The 2015 winning book was written during the time it took for the fruit to “decompose before her eyes.” Quite a challenge for such a young person.

“A prize doesn’t make you better or worse, nor is it an objective in and of itself –at least not in my case– but rather a consequence,” asserts the poet. She believes that out of all her books, both published and unpublished, this one is “quite unique because of how it was conceived, as if it were the work of a goldsmith. Sometimes language doesn’t quite rise up to the challenge of giving form to that particular poetry or hidden revelation and there is an ongoing struggle between what you want to communicate and the language you use, because it’s not up to par.”

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Carla was attracted to the publishing possibilities that the LOEWE award offered. She points to the “seriousness” of the rules of entry and admits that she submitted her book without realising the prestige and recognition that winning the award would afford her. “I didn’t know any of the jury members and it’s the first time the Prize goes to Ecuador.” She does remember feeling that “the book was ready” and that something within pushed her to send it off, despite her lack of resources at the time: “I had to borrow money to print the manuscripts and mail them to Spain!” Today, Carla Badillo Coronado is the first Ecuadorian woman whose work has been published by Editorial Visor and she is incredibly pleased that her book “stood out among 800 manuscripts from 29 different countries.” That is precisely why she dedicates her win “to Ecuadorian immigrants living Spain, who live in difficult circumstances while fighting to have a respectable life, because that’s exactly what I’m trying to do myself. I strive to be coherent with what I believe and to let my intuition be my beacon.”

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With regards to her day-to-day she declares that “writing is what allows me to find harmony in chaos.” Following a difficult year during which she suffered an emotional breakdown, and just 24 hours prior to winning the Loewe Prize, this writer and reporter published her first novel –Abierta sigue la noche– with an incredibly high print run, as part of Ecuador’s Reading Incentive Plan, and is happy to navigate the waters of both genres: “I like to express myself using different languages; I have always been drawn to that hybrid and that’s evident in El color de la granada.

Carla is a woman who tries to distance herself from the world; she doesn’t have a cell phone so that she “can find the silence that a writer or poet needs.” She knew exactly how she wanted to spend the award money: travelling and writing, and that is what she’s done for almost a year. “My goal is to reach the Caucasus and Armenia, the birthplace of both Sayat Nova and Sergei Paradjanov –so tied to El color de la granada– which is particularly key this year since 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.” Sure of her intuition, Carla states: “My education lies in the books and materials I’ve read….and in the people I’ve met throughout my life. I have no fears.”

Photo Captions: Carla Badillo Coronado with Enrique & Sheila Loewe during the 28th LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize ceremony, March 2016 © Uxío de Vila, 2016.

Lucia Moholy, A Hundred Years Later

MoholyBauhausThe exhibition presented by the LOEWE FOUNDATION as part of PhotoEspaña 2016 shows a selection of 48 photographs taken during the fifteen years Lucia Moholy worked as a photographer. Her contribution to culture as a photographer, art critic, historian and educator is enduring and of increasingly recognised significance, and her work has proved particularly valuable in promoting the aesthetics and philosophy of the Bauhaus.

MoholyAutorretratoMoholy was born in Praga in 1894, where she studied Philosofy and Art History, and began her profesional career in Germany, working for different publishing houses as a writer and editor. She had expressed an interest in photography in 1915 and soon after marrying the artist László Moholy-Nagy, they joined the Bauhaus in 1923. Moholy photographed its famous architecture and the school’s interiors and furnishings, breaking with established practices.

She left Germany, moving first to London and later to Zurich, where she continued to write photography art and criticism. She spent many years trying to recover her negatives, which had been dispersed since she left Berlin. This exhibition hopes to play a role in restoring the undeniable relevance of the artist’s work for present and future generations.

Lucia Moholy, A Hundred Years Later. Until the 28th of August. LOEWE Store in Gran Vía, 8, Madrid [Monday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sundays and holidays: 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.].

Photographs by Lucia Moholy. Bauhaus Dessau, 1926. Self-portrait, 1930. Bauhaus furniture design by Marcel Breuer, 1923. Courtesy of Fotostiftung Schweitz. Curator: María Millán.