First the opening of the Picasso Museum, then the arrival of part of the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, turned the southern Spanish city of Málaga into an art hub on a regional scale. One can now rightly call it an art hub on a national scale as well, thanks to the landing there of collections from two major European art museums: the Centre Pompidou of Paris and the Hermitage of Saint Petersburg.
Located in what is called the ‘Cube’ of Docks 1 and 2 at the port, an area recently redeveloped by the municipality, the Centre Pompidou Málaga is the second outpost of the Parisian institution, and the first outside France. It will showcase a not very extensive but select permanent collection, chosen by the curator Brigitte Leal, which has been thought out as a reflection on the human body and will present first-rate works of artists like Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Constantin Brancusi, Joan Miró, René Magritte, Francis Bacon, and Christian Boltanski.
For its part, the State Hermitage will be transferring to the 7,000 square meters of Málaga’s Tabacalera building a collection that covers the whole extent of Russia’s artistic history, from archaeological objects of Antiquity to the historical avant-gardes and on to recent authors, naturally passing through a predictable and splendid series of icons.
In both cases the permanent displays are to be complemented by temporary exhibitions: the Pompidou is currently hosting ‘Corps simples’ and the first temporary show of the Hermitage will be on the art critic and patron Diaghilev.