ARTISTIC, HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE
Commited to cultural development
Patronage, supporting new forms of artistic expression and the restoration of cultural heritage are the main channels through which the Iberdrola group manifests its commitment to culture. The company is pursuing this commitment in a sustainable way by supporting initiatives and programmes oriented towards conserving and promoting cultural heritage, and through actions that foster and contribute to the dissemination of the creative force of contemporary culture.
Iberdrola expresses its support for culture, art and society through:
- Projects for restoration and lighting of historic buildings
- Exhibitions organized in collaboration with different centers
- The Iberdrola art collection
The noteworthy patronage work of the company is materialised in a very special way with its permanent collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, of which it has been its sponsor since it was opened. According to such a commitment, Iberdrola has supported different exhibitions and iniciatives, among were the following stand out:
'GIORGIO MORANDI AND THE OLD MASTERS'
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents A Backward Glance: Giorgio Morandi and the Old Masters, an extensive journey through the work of one of the great 20th-century Italian painters that reveals the relationships between his still life paintings and some of his main influences in the history of art.
Giorgio Morandi, 'Still Life', 1956.
Sponsored by Iberdrola, this exhibition — which can be visited from 12 April to 6 October 2019 — brings together for the first time a wide selection of Morandi's exceptional paintings and some of the works of the Old Masters that influenced his artistic technique throughout four decades, from the interwar period until the beginning of the 1960s.
'ALBERTO GIACOMETTI. A RETROSPECTIVE'
The Guggenheim Bilbao hosted the exhibition Alberto Giacometti. A Retrospective until 24 February 2019, dedicated to one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century and one of the leading sculptors in history.
Alberto Giacometti, 1951.
Organised by the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum and the Giacometti Foundation in Paris and sponsored by Iberdrola, the exhibition brought together more than 200 sculptures, paintings and drawings that synthesise more than four decades of the brilliant Swiss artist's career. From his first works linked to Cubism and Surrealism to his stylised and rugged multi-scale figures associated with a more mature stage.
Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) always impregnated his creations with great depth and reflection. The human figure is one of his main themes and many of his works were inspired by the people around him, especially his brother Diego, his wife Annette, his friends and his lovers.
On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition and coinciding with the 21st anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Iberdrola provided free admission to the museum on 20 and 21 October.
'BILL VIOLA: RETROSPECTIVE'
From 30 June to 9 November of 2017, Bill Viola's artwork (Nueva York, 1951) returned to the Bilbao's museum more than a decade later with a complete tour of his career, pioneer in the development of video art.
From left to right: Kira Perov, Director of the Bill Viola Studio; Juan Ignacio Vidarte, General Director of the Guggenheim; Bill Viola, artist; Rafael Orbegozo, Head of the Chairman's Office of Iberdrola and Lucía Agirre, Commissioner. Video voice transcription (Spanish version) [PDF]
The retrospective revealed the evolution of Viola's work over the course of 40 years of career and the transformation of his language, that matches with the revolutionary development of the technology and audiovisual techniques. He has been incorporating the advances progressively into his creative productions.
To commemorate the 20 years of existence of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, from 11 to 14 October 2017 the emblematic Frank Gehry building became the canvas for an impressive artistic interpretation thanks to Reflections, a free large-scale video mapping performance, with the collaboration of Iberdrola. The initiative, open and free to the public, two decades of history and creativity in Bilbao through light, texture and movement.
Iberdrola illuminated the Guggenheim Bilbao to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
'FRANCIS BACON: FROM PICASSO TO VELÁZQUEZ'
Fom 30 September 2016 to 8 January 2017, Iberdrola sponsored the exhibition Francis Bacon: from Picasso to Velázquez, which gathered a valuable selection of about 80 works valued among the most important of the British artist, along with many works just shown previously, accompanied by the work of different classical masters that influenced his career.
Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1962.
The exhibition delved into the footprint left by the Spanish and French cultures in Bacon's work, a fervent francophile and a great expert in the art of the Spanish classical masters such as Velázquez, Zurbarán, El Greco or Goya.
In addition, with the goal of making art accessible to everyone, the company sponsored the first open door days of the Guggenheim. This is the first time a private entity has allowed visitors to enter for free, encouraging everyone to visit the museum in Bilbao.
The Museo del Prado and Iberdrola, which have been collaborating since 2010, renewed their cooperation agreement in June 2018. Under the new agreement, the company is committed to supporting the conservation and restoration programs developed by the institution, and maintaining the three annual grants for young restorers which it has been awarding since 2011, and to which is now added an international grant. Specifically, it will allocate a total of 1.2 million euros, which will be split into annual payments of 300,000 euros during the first four years.
Iberdrola awards annual grants so that young restorers can become trained at the Museo del Prado Workshop. Video voice transcription (Spanish version) [PDF]
As part of that collaboration, Iberdrola has already participated in various projects, such as the restoration for use as an exhibition space of the entire second floor of the north side of the Villanueva Building. This action has enabled the rearrangement of the Prado collection, favouring a continuous and more accessible tour. In addition, eight new rooms of 17th-century Flemish and Dutch paintings, featuring fundamental works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Jan Brueghel, Clara Peeters, David Teniers, Rembrandt, Salomon Bray and Gabriël Metsu, have been opened to the public.
On the other hand, as a supporting member of the Museo del Prado Restoration Program, the company has supported the restoration of The Annunciation by Fra Angélico, a work dating to the mid-1420s recognised for being the first Renaissance-style altar in which used perspective ito organise the space.
Fra Angélico, 'The Annunciation', 1420.
The restoration work by Almudena Sánchez, removed the layer of grey dirt and the oil repaints from previous attempts. This has helped to restore the rich, vibrant colours and the intense light of the scene, characteristic elements of this painting and of all Fra Angélico's work.
Likewise, Iberdrola has collaborated in the restoration of many of the 44 pictures in Their Majesties' Retiring Room exhibition. The exhibition, open to the public from 9 April to 24 November 2019, recreates the original aspect of Room 39 of the Villanueva building, first opened in 1828 as a room in which King Ferdinand VII and his family could take their rest.
Luis Paret y Alcázar, 'Ferdinand VII swears the oath as Prince of Asturias', 1791.
The room was decorated with 28 paintings of monarchs from the Bourbon Dynasty that illustrate the evolution of court portraiture in Spain from the start of the 18th century to the first third of 19th. Numerous still lifes — three of them 17th-century Flemish works and the remainder by Spanish artists — and 18th century landscapes were also on show, as were two busts of oriental figures painted by Lorenzo Tiepolo.
This exhibition recreates the way of hanging paintings at different heights to cover entire walls, a method typical of 19th-century museography. The small annex, once used for personal hygiene purposes, has also been rehabilitated, with the recovery of the commode made by Ángel Maeso in 1830, the only surviving piece of original furniture.
Another of the works restored with Iberdrola sponsorship is The Fountain of Life, one of the most intriguing and fascinating Flemish paintings in the Prado's collection. The piece, which was painted in the Netherlands in an environment closely linked to Jan Van Eyck's workshop, has undergone a process lasting 18 months to remove the opaque and yellowish varnish that covered the painting. Space and depth have thus been recovered, as have the dark linear outline of the details and the peculiar way of applying the glazes, in which transparency is achieved not by the use of more medium in the painting but by the overlapping of opaque layers.
While aesthetics was one of the goals, the restoration also addressed historical and iconographic dimensions, as well as key aspects of the panel's pictorial style, to complete the research. The conclusions of this detailed study could have been seen, along with the restored piece, until 27 January 2019 in an exhibition sponsored by Iberdrola.
'The Fountain of Grace', before and after the restoration process. Video voice transcription (Spanish version) [PDF]
Furthermore, the company has collaborated in the restoration works of three of the paintings selected for the In lapide depictum exhibition. Italian painting on stone, 1530-1555, which could be visited since 17 April until 5 August 2018.
These most notably include the Santo Entierro of the Bassano workshop, restored by Alicia Peral, who has recovered the volume of each figure and its exact position in the composition, as well as the depth of the landscape. The restoration has also revealed touches of gold with which the author achieves the effect of vibrating light, in contrast to the dark and deep surface of the slate support.
'In lapide depictum. Italian painting on stone, 1530-1555', opened to the public from 17 April to 5 August 2018, at the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Video voice transcription (Spanish version) [PDF]
The Museo del Prado has also restored, with Iberdrola's help, three important religious works from the Sevillian baroque painter Antonio María Esquivel: The Fall of Lucifer, Christ the Saviour and The Virgin and Child. Only the first of them had been displayed for a very short time, in the Casón del Buen Retiro, while the other two are unpublished.
'The Fall of Lucifer', 'Christ the Saviour' and 'The Virgin and Child', by Antonio María Esquivel.
The company has also sponsored the restoration of The Triumph of Death by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, one of only two pieces by the artist being conserved in Spain. The restoration work, which was carried out by María Antonia López de Asiain and José de la Fuente, has enabled the recovery of the painting's structural stability, true colouring, composition and technique, recovering the clarity in the foregrounds.
Presentation of 'The Triumph of Death' by Pieter Bruegel the Elder after the restoration process. Video voice transcription (Spanish version) [PDF]
BICENTENARY OF THE PRADO
The company has also agreed to support the exhibition The Museo del Prado in the streets, which will be carried out as part of the Extraordinary Program to commemorate the Bicentenary of the Museum. For this, Iberdrola will contribute 180,000 euros to develop this outdoor photographic exhibition that will cover, during 2018 and 2019, various locations throughout Spain.
'SOROLLA AND FASHION'
From 13 February to 27 May 2018, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and Sorolla Museum (Madrid) hosted the exhibition Sorolla and fashion. Organised by both museums and in collaboration with Iberdrola, the exhibition was developed simultaneously and complementary in the two venues and it was dedicated to the presence of fashion in Joaquín Sorilla's work.
'Sorolla and fashion' exhibition. Video voice transcription (Spanish version) [PDF]
The exhibition made up of 70 paintings from different museums and private national and international collections — some of which had never been exhibited to the public — in addition to dresses and accessories from the period.
'SOROLLA IN PARIS'
Iberdrola also sponsored the temporary exhibition Sorolla in Paris, exhibited in the Sorolla Museum of Madrid from the 23rd of November to the 19th of March 2017. During the time it was opened it achieved to beat the record of visitors of the Gallery with a total of 116,510 attendees.
'Sorolla in Paris' exhibition. Video voice transcription (Spanish version) [PDF]
After being exhibited in the Kunsthalle Museum of Munich and the Musée des Impressionnismes of Giverny, the exhibition landed in Madrid, organised by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports and the Fundación Museo Sorolla.
Sorolla in Paris brought 66 paintings selected by the painter to be exhibited in the main international exhibitions. A portray of the international recognition of the artist of Valencia since his first trip to Paris in 1885, until his success in the most important collective exhibitions and his recognition as a painter of the aristocracy of his time.
One more year, the historic centre of Salamanca will be transformed into an exhibition of the latest trends in art, using light and video as the raw materials. The fourth annual Luz y Vanguardias Festival will set the city alight from Thursday, 13 June to Sunday, 16 June, with support from Salamanca City Council and in collaboration with Iberdrola.
Luz y Vanguardias Festival.
As in previous years, the façade of the City Council in the Plaza Mayor will become the backdrop for an international videomapping competition, where 27 works of creators from all over the world will compete for votes from the jury and from the public. Young creative students from the University of Salamanca and the Pontifical University will display their work in the University's Patio de Escuelas, a new, more representative venue with greater capacity to cater for the growing participation and public response that these pieces have been attracting year after year.
This time, Luz y Vanguardias has commissioned José Manuel Ballester and Javier Riera — two prestigious artists with an extensive international experience — to respectively create site-specific works for installation at the New Cathedral and the River Tormes where it flows under the New Bridge. All these landmark spots in the city will be transformed with the latest trends in avant-garde art every night, open to the public and free of charge.
To coincide with the official festival program, visitors to the exhibition will also be able to enjoy +Luz, an alternative initiative in which the majority of the city's art centres and cultural spaces will take part, with different creations sharing light as their leitmotiv.
Luz y Vanguardias has been invited to join the group of festivals that make up the international iMap Bucharest contest, in which the winners of ten international videomapping competitions take part, from countries like the Netherlands, Russia, Canada, Mexico or China, among others. The event, one of the most important 3D videomapping contests in the world, will be held on September 21.
The Iberdrola group brought to Washington the Recovered Memories. Spain and the Support for the American Revolution. Its objective was to add value to the contribution made by the Spanish royal family to the creation of the United States of America.
'Gálvez's March. Conquest of Baton Rouge, 1779', by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau.
The selection stayed open to the public from 26 September to 18 November 2018, was composed of around 100 pieces — including works of art, documents, maps, clothes, holograms, etc. — all of which serve to emphasise the relevant role played by the Spanish Crown during the American War of Independence between the years 1775 and 1783.
OTHER AREAS OF ACTION
Our overriding objective is to improve the state of artistic monuments and singular buildings, promoting energy efficiency and decreasing environmental pollution. There are some examples:
Iberdrola has upgraded in April 2019 the decorative lighting inside the New Cathedral of Salamanca to highlight the most noteworthy aspects of a building that has been declared an Asset of Cultural Importance and improve its energy efficiency by 87%.
The company has used the most highly-advanced led technology to draw attention to the vaulted ceilings in the lateral and central naves, the transept and the lantern tower, also focusing on specific items in the main chapel and altar, with 6.9 kilowatts of total installed power. The work entailed fitting 144 spotlights and 1,400 metres of cabling which, expertly installed, is not visible to visitors to the galleries of the triforia that encircle the naves of the cathedral.
Interior lighting of the new Cathedral of Salamanca.
Iberdrola has renovated the exterior ornamental lighting of the Catholic cathedral in Ávila. This project will improve the energy efficiency of the cathedral, which has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, and avoid the emission into the atmosphere of 4.8 tonnes of CO2 per year. In addition, the company has installed the most advanced led technology throughout the cathedral's perimeter, roofs and towers to improve its appearance after dark.
New illumination for Ávila Cathedral.
Iberdrola Mexico donated a new low-consumption lighting system to the National Art Museum (MUNAL) through Fundación Iberdrola Mexico, allowing visitors to better appreciate the colour, detail and texture of the pieces on display as well as helping to preserve its pieces by controlling lighting levels.
The system, which supposed an investment of over a million pesos from the company, is made up of rails and led lights, which have been installed along the nearly 1.000 m2 comprising the halls that will host the temporary exhibitions. This will save over 85% on annual energy consumption and reduce CO2 emissions.
National Art Museum of Mexico (MUNAL) lighting project. Video voice transcription (Spanish version) [PDF]
On the other hand, Iberdrola unveiled in May 2018 the new exterior lighting of the main entrance on the south facade of the Monastery of the Order of Santiago in Uclés (Cuenca), after undertaking a process of renovation of the ornamental lighting that highlights on the one hand the expanse of the facade and on the other the architectural details of this monument built in 1735.
The chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, together with the Bishop of Cuenca, José María Yanguas; the President of the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government, Emiliano García-Page; and the Secretary of State-Director of the National Intelligence Centre, Félix Sanz Roldán, attended the switching-on of this lighting for which led technology luminaires have been installed that reduce the total power by 55%, which means a reduction in both energy expenditure and in CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.
Switching-on of the new exterior lighting of the main entrance on the south facade of the Monastery of the Order of Santiago in Uclés (Cuenca).
The company also renewed the ornamental lighting of the Royal Pantheon of the Collegiate Church of San Isidoro de León. The project, which involved an investment of 87,000 euros, was undertaken thanks to the collaboration agreement signed between Iberdrola and the Cabildo de la Colegiata de San Isidoro de León in June 2017, whose aim was to highlight the excellence of the cultural assets of this chapel of the eleventh century.
From left to right: the General Director of Heritage for the Government of Castilla y León, Enrique Saiz; the mayor of León, Antonio Silván; the Abbot-President of the Council of Saint Isidore, Francisco Rodríguez Llamazares, and the Director of the Iberdrola España Foundation, Ramón Castresana.
To develop this project, the company used led projectors with over 98% colour rendering, which makes it possible to achieve full colour fidelity at a colour temperature very similar to that of sunlight. The benefits of led technology have also been fully utilised, as this kind of lighting is kinder to the paintings as it emits no infrared or ultraviolet light. Lastly, three natural light sensors were installed to automatically adjust the light level in the Royal Pantheon's interior.
The company and the Royal Tapestry Factory (Madrid) also finished renewing the institution's lighting system of the restoration workshop, using cutting-edge led technology solutions. To this end, it installed 40 lamps and additional lighting devices, which achieve a higher colour rendering, in addition to implementing a control system to adapt the lighting levels to the needs of the restorer.
The new, more modern and efficient lighting system will help reduce electricity consumption by over 47%, thus reducing the CO2 annual emissions by approximately 3.5 tons.
New lighting system of the Royal Tapestry Factory (Madrid).
Iberdrola also upgraded the lighting system installed on the first floor of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of St. Ferdinand, where the works of the old masters are exhibited, improving the levels of lighting to enhance the experience of visitors, while preserving these works of art better.
Upgrading the lighting system on the first floor of the Museum. Video voice transcription (Spanish version) [PDF]
Iberdrola presented the results of the 2017 Iberdrola Museum Program. The initiative is based on the following lines of action of the Conservation and Restoration, Education and Cultural Action Departments of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum:
Firstly, the program funded the annual restoration of a series of works of art of the museum's permanent collection. Moreover, the Iberdrola-Museum scholarship was awarded to promote training and research in this field. Finally, different learning activities were specially designed and carried out for persons with cognitive disabilities or visual impairment, so they could experience and enjoy the collection.
37 works of art were restored throughout 2017 as part of the program. These were restored by the Conservation and Restoration Department of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. In addition, it is worth highlighting that these pieces were used for further historical and artistic analysis after their restoration.
The following participated in the presentation event: Ramón Castresana, Director of Fundación Iberdrola; María José Ruiz-Ozaita, Head of the Conservation and Restoration Department of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, and Miguel Zugaza, Director of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. Video voice transcription (Spanish version) [PDF]
Additionally, the supervisors of the Atlantic Romanesque Plan, also sponsored by Fundación Iberdrola and the Regional Government of Castilla y León working on the cultural project "Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral. The door to the kingdom", with the purpose of disseminating the contents of the plan and the actions carried out at the Nuestra Señora de Santa María Cathedral. Conferences, guided visits or cultural activities are only a few of the events of the project. Information about these events was available at the visitor welcome and information point next to the Door of Forgiveness of the Cathedral in Ciudad Rodrigo.
Some of the most interesting events of the project include the Christmas concert held at the cathedral on 22 December 2017. The concert was given by "Scherzo Música de Cámara", with free admission.
Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral (Salamanca).
The company has started the second stage of the Atlantic Romanesque Plan (cross-border conservation project) in Boticas and Guimarães, with the purpose of restoring and showcasing the cultural heritage of the north of Portugal. During this stage, it has restored the Romanesque churches of Covas del Barroso and Serzedelo.
Covas del Barroso Romanisque church. Video voice transcription (Spanish version) [PDF]
In its commitment to culture and avant-garde art, Iberdrola also supports several major events and donates important works of art.
During the week prior to the 2018 General Shareholders' Meeting — from 5th to 13th April —, the Spanish artist Eugenio Ampudia transformed the Iberdrola Tower into a rainstick (pau de chuva). This was an artistic presentation with a very powerful technological and ecological character combining climate data of Bilbao and Brasilia.
'Pau de Chuva', by Eugenio Ampudia.
The work of art reflected pulses of light marked by a combination of temperature, atmospheric pressure, environmental humidity and wind strength data of the two cities.
Another example was the donation by the company of the painting Por España y por el Rey, Gálvez en Pensacola to the Spanish Military Culture and History Institute. This work will be on permanent display at the Army Museum in the room dedicated to General Bernardo de Gálvez in the Alcázar de Toledo.
Furthermore, the Company was a special sponsor of San Sebastián 2016, European Capital of Culture, as a further testament to its belief in the possibility of a better world through knowledge and multicultural dialogue, and the care and maintenance of our cultural richness and diversity. By supporting this event, the company also aimed to highlight the interaction between culture, the environment and sustainability.
Likewise, Iberdrola has signed an agreement with The Fundación pro-RAE to create a digital version of the forthcoming edition of the Dictionary of the Spanish language, on the celebration of the IV Centenary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes in 2016.
Iberdrola actively collaborates in the edition of different prestigious works:
- Monograph Jesús Mari Lazkano: his pictorial imaginary has been brought together in a book published with the collaboration between Iberdrola and San Sebastián 2016. An invitation to travel and delve into the artist paintings (born in Bergara, in 1960) during his over three decades of work.
Presentation of the book of Jesús Mari Lazkano.
- México: Ensayo de un mito (2016) [PDF]
- Figured, figurations, figurants. To be or (perchance) to dream (2015) [PDF]
- Entre chien et loup, works from the Meana Larrucea Collection (2011) [PDF]
- The Luz y Vanguardias Festival of Salamanca celebrates its fourth edition (Spanish version)
- Spain's King and Queen visit the 'Recovered Memories' exhibition in New Orleans, sponsored by Iberdrola
- The Fundación Iberdrola España renews its commitment to the Museo del Prado and joins the Bicentenary celebration (Spanish version)