”la Caixa” Foundation

11 May 2021

CaixaForum, Barcelona

”la Caixa” Foundation became Founding Patron in 2002 but its commitment to CIMAM has been strong and active for a considerable time. Our contribution to CIMAM started with María de Corral, former Head of Exhibitions at “la Caixa” Foundation, who became a member in 1986. She was elected Secretary-Treasurer for 1990-92, became CIMAM Vice-President in 1992 and was on the CIMAM board until 2001.

”la Caixa” Foundation has participated in the three annual conferences held in Barcelona. In 1997 we organised the meeting together with MACBA and Fundació Tàpies, and published and funded the excellent book entitled The Curator, the Museum, The Collection. In 2001, we hosted the annual conference a second time, which was very special because we were able to share our excitement about the new CaixaForum that was about to be opened. Then, after 15 years, the annual conference was once again held in Barcelona in close cooperation with the city institutions: MACBA, Fundació Joan Miró, Fundació Antoni Tàpies and ”la Caixa” Foundation.

May 2021

What is your activity's nature, and through what actions and projects are you linked to the world of culture and art?

Since its origins in 1904, ”la Caixa” Foundation has been guided by a strong cultural and social commitment. It is a not-for-profit institution dedicated to stimulating and developing social, charitable, research, educational and cultural works with the purpose of having a transformative impact on society. The Foundation’s structure includes ownership of Spain’s leading financial holding company, CriteriaCaixa, which works on a daily basis to maintain and expand the assets generated by the Foundation over more than a century.

Our aim in the cultural field is to reach people of all educational and social levels in order to satisfy diverse cultural demands. Our platforms are the CaixaForums, through which we provide a wide range of cultural programmes. At present, there are eight centres located in different cities in Spain, where we hold exhibitions, educational activities, conferences, courses, performances, concerts and film screenings.

“la Caixa” Foundation establishes long-term partnerships with leading international museums and collections such as the Centre Pompidou, the British Museum and the Museo Nacional del Prado, among others, to offer very special exhibitions to our visitors.

The Contemporary Art Collection, which was created in the 1980s, has a very active programme with continuous displays at CaixaForums and also travelling exhibitions worldwide. In addition, its works are requested for loan by many international museums.

What are your company's values, mission, and vision, and at what level does modern and contemporary art intervene as a channel or platform to communicate your value proposition?

”la Caixa” Foundation’s mission is to build a better, fairer society, providing more opportunities for people with the values of responsibility, trust and social commitment. One of the founding goals of our institution is to foster knowledge among people as a driver of social progress; and our culture and science programmes are designed to achieve this. So we constantly undertake a wide variety of initiatives and projects to create regular cultural participation and thereby nurture society.

Art is at the core of the CaixaForum exhibition programme, which ranges from ancient art to contemporary art, and together with the Collection of International Contemporary Art helps create knowledge, sensitivity and cultural wealth in society. Both the collection and exhibitions are also channels to promote collaboration and alliances with a number of international museums and individuals to offer projects and programmes of the utmost quality. We also pay particular attention to young people, designing special activities for schools to create future audiences.

What is your mission to support the art sector and contemporary art museums in particular, and what results would you like to see your contribution achieve in the future?

”la Caixa” Foundation has played a key role in the Spanish cultural and art scene since the 1980s. Through the CaixaForum network and with the alliances with major international museums and cultural organisations, we are putting memorable exhibitions of amazing artworks and collections within the public’s reach. In addition to exhibitions, we organise daily arts-based educational activities as well as conferences, seminars and workshops with the participation of great national and international experts and creators.

The art collection is fruit of “la Caixa” Foundation’s commitment and devotion to contemporary art. The impetus behind this extraordinary assembly of paintings, sculptures, installations, films and videos is our confidence in the transformative effects of artistic creativity on society. With continuous acquisitions and displays at CaixaForums and museums worldwide, there is also a desire to connect artists, museums, galleries, curators and public from different origins and cultural backgrounds.

We support new talent and artistic creation through two biennial calls for Spanish and Portuguese curators and artists: the first is aimed at curators under the age of 40 to come up with new exhibition proposals and fresh visions for the artworks in our art collection. Those selected develop an exhibition project at CaixaForum Barcelona. The second is a call open to artists to produce new work with a third party, be it a museum or other kind of cultural institution.

Disseminating knowledge through the Caixaforum network will be strengthened and complemented by a new digital platform to be launched next year. It will extend and diversify our face-to-face contents and activities to encourage learning, critical thinking and social cohesion.

Which of CIMAM´s projects are most suited to developing your action plan to support the sector of museums and collections of modern and contemporary art?

Since the 1980s we have established a fruitful relationship with CIMAM as an excellent platform of cooperation between art institutions and collections. Annual meetings are essential to consolidate networks and foster exchanges of experiences and know-how between museums and collections as well as to share ideas to meet new challenges posed by our world.

CIMAM best practices, guidelines and reports are fundamental to guarantee the highest standard for institutions, collections and professionals in the international community, as well as to support and defend the rights of art professionals. The pandemic has shown us the importance of being connected and working together closely in the art and culture sector to be able to cope with the limitations, lockdowns and economic impact of this critical time.