In the main building of the museum, designed by Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, the visitor can find a collection of modern and contemporary art.
Previously the ground and first floor spaces were exclusively occupied by Moroccan artists, mainly from the Essaouira region. This has now evolved to allow a dialogue with other artists as in other exhibition spaces. The first entrance hall now still harbours two paintings by Mohamed Tabal from Essaouira and a large Boucharouite Tapestry but also portraits of the founders by Mati Klarwein, terra cotta low reliefs of them by Vu Cao Dam and a bust of Ben Jakober by Giuseppe Ducrot.
A new acquisition of a red abstract work by George Hairbrush Tjungurrayi leads the visitor into the next hall finding on the left a work by Yousef Ait Tazarin, then in the stairway a wooden Baga Snake form from Guinea, a smaller steel snake by Ben and Yannick Jakober and an 18th century engraving by Albertus Seba fill the void. On the right at the start of the stairs is the painting ‘Bush potato’ by Barbara Weir a pupil of the important Aborigine artist Emily Kwame Kngwarreye.
Entering the first room we immediately are struck in the Diwan by the large painting by another highly important Aborigine artist Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri. In this way we are showing the similarities and differences between the indigenous Australian and Essaouira artists.
In the first room on the first floor of the Hassan Fathy building, works by contemporary African artists are exhibited under the title Ex Africa semper aliquid novi. The artists are: Soly Cissé (Senegal, 1969), Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude (Zimbabwe, 1988), Thierry Oussou (Benin, 1988), Serge Attukwei Clottey (Ghana, 1985), El Anatsui (Ghana, 1944), Houston Maludi (Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1978), Kane Kwei / Eric Adjerty Anag, (Ghana). A twentieth century hunter tunic from Nigeria is also displayed. The innovative second room has on entering on the left a dialogue between the Essaouira painter Abdelmalek Berhiss and the Aborigene artist George Hairbrush Tjungurrayi with magnificent examples of both their work.
The next wall now ostentates three examples of the work of Mohamed Tabal – an early combine painting and the magnificent portraits of Arnold de Contades and his late wife Anne Marie, both donations of the couple's heirs. On the same wall there is a ceramic work also by Tabal depicting his origins as a Gnaoua artist
It also exhibits a selection of drawings and illustrations by the Italian artists Domenico Gnoli, made in Majorca and Rome between 1962-69, among these there are the famous series "The Monsters", for which the English author Robert Graves, who lived on Majorca in Deyá, wrote a text, and in 2013 it was exhibited in the central Pavilion of the Venice Biennial.
On the first floor you can also see a selection of more than 50 photographic portraits of key artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, in black and white and colour, by the renowned German art critic Werner Krüger, who kindly donate a part of his personal archive to the Foundation. Among the represented artists are: De Chirico, Kounellis, Moore, Tàpies, Tinguely, Beuys, Baselitz, Oldenburg, Ando, Newton, Schnabel, Vostell, Johns, Kiefer, Barceló, Serra, and Hartung.
This wing also contains a sculpture room, including works by Meret Oppenheim, Miralda, Takis and Alan Rath, among others, and artists’ chairs.
On the second floor, are the paintings on silk and sculptures by Vu Cao Dam (1908-2000), father of Yannick Vu, considered one of the best Vietnamese artists of the 20th century.
The eastern subtlety of this exhibition contrasts with the beauty of the polychrome “Mudejar” coffered ceiling of the last room, dated 1498 and declared "Heritage of the Balearic Islands", a unique experience that will delight those who are interested in the art of that period.
Following images, from top to bottom and from left to right:
-Ground floor, Ali Maimoune, M'rabet, Tahar Benjelloun, mezzanine first floor with paintings of Moroccan artists from Essaouira
-First floor, series of drawings "An afternoon of bulls in Palma de Mallorca", 1966, Domenico Gnoli, Takis, Meret Oppenheim, Artists’ Chairs, "Les Marocains" by Leila Alaoui (ground floor)
-Second floor, sculptures and paintings by Vu Cao Dam
From top to bottom and left to right, the works are by the following artists:
-Youssef Aït Tazarin, Mitjili Napanangka Gibson , Abdelghani Htihet, Yaritji Young
-Mohamed Tabal, Josie Kunoth Petyarre, Hamou Aït Tazarin, Emily Kame Kngwarreye
One of the most original collections in Europe, Nins, is formed by more than 150 portraits of children from the 16th to the 19th centuries from different European countries. After the initial contribution of the founders and with the help of others, the Foundation has been able to gather an important collection of artworks. The core of the Museum is the Nins collection, which began more than 40 years ago with a picture by Majorcan painter Joan Mestre i Bosch (1826-1893) Portrait of a Girl with cherries. These works are located in a former underground water reservoir converted into an exhibition space with minimum intervention and conditioned to house and conserve the paintings.
Internationally admired theater and opera director Robert Carsen who has designed major museum exhibitions in Paris: at the Musée d'Orsay, le Grand Palais, the Musée Galliera and the École des Beaux-Arts, as well as the Art Institute of Chicago (including a major exhibition about Magritte), and the Royal Academy in London, has now created the installation design for the our exhibition Nins in the Aljibe space in msbb and has staged the works on walls painted in different shades of red, ranging from pink to dark crimson. In the last room the central figure is the portrait of Anna of Austria as a child, later Queen of France. The whole exhibition evolves around that theme and it is a unique opportunity to contemplate this dynastic alliances between the Houses of Habsburg and Bourbon.
Most of the works represent members of European royalty or aristocracy during their childhood, although there are also some pictures from small provincial courts and of the bourgeoisie. The collection allows us to follow the evolution of fashion, accessories, toys and other items that were part of the daily life of the small sitters. Some of the works were commissioned to be sent to various European courts in view of a marriage, so they are part of a complex scheme of family and political alliances, aimed at ensuring the continuity of the main European dynasties, through commitment and marriage.
This exhibition is unique in Majorca.
Titles of the following images are, from top to bottom and left to right (details):
-Portrait of Louis XIII of France (1601-1643), c. 1616, Frans Pourbus The Younger (1569/70-1622), Flemish School, School (Inv No. 44)
-Portrait of Thomas Plumer Byde (1722-1789) and his brother John, Enoch Seeman (c. 1694-1745), English School, (Inv No. 669)
-Portrait of a Girl wearing a Black Dress and a White Ruff, c. 1625, Dutch School, (Inv No.441)
-Portrait of a Girl presumed to be of the Poulett Family, c. 1630/35, English School, (Inv No. 2)
-Portrait of a Boy aged 8, 1606, Gortzius Geldorp (1533-1616), Flemish School (Inv. No. 395)
-Portrait of Louis XIII of France (1601-1643), 1610, Frans Pourbus The Younger (1569/70-1622), Flemish School (Inv No. 511)
-Portrait of a Girl with a White bonnet, c. 1595, circle of Pieter Pourbus (1523-1584), Flemish School, (Inv No. 681)
-Portrait of a Little Girl with Cherries, c. 1846/8, Juan Mestre y Bosch (1826-1893, Majorcan School, (Inv No. 28)
The foundation has a program for lending works in the collection to other museums and up to now has lent a selection of the collection to the following exhibitions:
-Nins, del Rei Nin al Nin Rei, Centre Cultural de la Misericòrdia, Consell Insular de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, 27 February – 25 March 1991.
-Nins. La Història dels més petits, Torre dels Enagistes, Manacor, 14 October – 5 November 1995
-Nins. La Història dels més petits, Centre Cultural, Felanitx, 23 December 1995 – 14 January 1996
-Nins. La Història dels més petits, Sa Quartera, Inca, 2 – 25 February 1996
-Nins. La Història dels més petits, Centre Cultural “Sa Nostra”, Sa Pobla, 3 – 25 April 1996.
-Nins. Retratos de niños de los siglos XVI-XIX, Museo de Bellas Artes, Valencia, 22 June - 3 September 2000.
-Nins. Retratos de niños de los siglos XVI-XIX, Centro Cultural la Mercè, Burriana, 6 October - 12 November 2000.
-Nins. Retratos de crianças dos séculos XVI ao XIX, Fundaçao Armando Alvares Penteado, Museu d’Arte Brasileira, Sao Paulo, 18 October - 5 December 2000 (40 pictures).
-Kleine Prinzen, Kinderbildnisse vom 16. bis 19. Jahrhundert aus der Fundación Yannick y Ben Jakober, Kunst- und Austellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, 3 October 2003 - 4 January 2004.
-Principiños. Retratos de nenos dos séculos XIV ao XIX Colección da Fundación Yannick y Ben Jakober, Xunta de Galicia, Museo de Belas Artes da Coruña, A Coruña, 18 February - 16 May 2004.
-Golden Children. Four Centuries of European Portraits from the Yannick and Ben Jakober Foundation, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee, 24 September 2004 - 2 January 2005.
-Golden Children, State Historical Museum, Moscow, 15 December 2005 - 2 April 2006.
-Great Expectations. Aristocratic Children in European Portraiture, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, 15 February - 8 June 2008.
-Great Expectations. Aristocratic Children in European Portraiture, Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Alabama, 7 November 2008 - 2 January 2009.
-Great Expectations. Aristocratic Children in European Portraiture, The Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida, 23 January - 1 March 2009.
-Facing Destiny: Children in European Portraiture (1500-1900), Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York, 29 March- 25 May 2009.
-Von Engeln & Bengeln: 400 Jahre Kinder im Porträts, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria, 6 March – 3 July 2011
-Golden Children. 16th -19th Century European Portraits, Pera Museum, Istambul, 12 October 2012 – 6 January 2013.
-Príncipes y Granujas, Cultural Cordón, Caja de Burgos Obra Social, Burgos, 12 February – 28 April 2013.
Sa Bassa Blanca Museum (msbb) has a "zoo" comprising large granite works created by the artists Ben Jakober and Yannick Vu, located in the gardens surrounding the Museum. It consists of animals inspired by archaeological pieces that are located in various museums around the world. These models have been reinterpreted in granite, increasing their scale. The largest and most famous piece is "Dog", inspired by a small terracotta votive Haniwa piece of the Japanese culture of Kofun (S. VI to VII a.c.) that is located in the National Museum of Tokyo.
The Rams, Bull, Cat, Horse, Hippopotamus or Rhino, are some of the protagonists of this park that takes us to the world of myths, gods and legends of antiquity.
On the following images, from top to bottom and left to right, the sculptures are:
-Dog, Hippopotamus, Elephant, Cat
-Horse, Bull, Rams, Dogs
-Rhino, Black Goddess, Little People, Megaliths
James Turrell, "Juke Blue", 1968, Sokrates Gallery
Sa Bassa Blanca Museum is richer of one art highlight, installed in the Sokrates Gallery in spring 2017: The installation of James Turrell`s piece "Juke Blue" (1968). 49 years after its creation, this emblematic artwork reaches Mallorca, offering the exceptional opportunity for the visitor to enjoy this wonderful piece. A unique experience that will immerse the spectator into a deep state of contemplation, specific to Turrell’s works. The work on display is a clear reflection of his vision.
With no object, no image and no focus, what are you looking at? You're looking at you looking.
My desire is to set up a situation to which I take you and let you see. It becomes your experience.
The theme of the museum's gallery Sokrates revolves around the installation inspired by Einstein's formula that defines the relationship between Space and Time.
It is a place that requires us to rethink the traditional Museum concept, introducing us to other ways of presenting art and the interrelation of space and time. Here we find a museum presentation focused on the concept of art in a linear fashion, and striving to create links and spatial-temporal connections.
Space, in which cohabit works from very distant places and times, but that in a very particular way generates a dialogue and develops a discourse based on complementarities and entirety. The ethnographic pieces interact with contemporary works following the concept of the exhibition "Primitivism in 20th Century", produced by MOMA in New York in 1984 curated by William Rubin and the exhibition "The Magicians of the Earth" by Jean-Hubert Martin, at the Centre Pompidou and la Villette in Paris in 1989.
This underground room hosts a spectacular crystal curtain by Swarovski, composed of 10,000 pieces, a backdrop to a complete fossilised skeleton of a Siberian woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) dating from the Riss-Würm upper Pleistocene interglacial period.
Our initiative to bring to our visitors’ attention the dire pollution and terrible effects of global warming began with the intervention by Dolores Vita called CO2, that can be seen on the wall of the Sokrates space; it continued in the Sculpture Park by the intervention of the Moroccan group ‘Z’Bel Manifesto’, created with the plastic waste collected in a single day in Alcúdia town.
Now our focus on Non-European artists working on this theme pursues here in this space with a number of new elements. ’98.5’ is a large creation by the Moroccan Soukaïna el Idrissi, for which she weaves and sews 98.5 kilometres of cut ribbons from recuperated plastic to create a textile like checkerboard; then we find a new work by the African Moffat Takadiwa who uses cast off toothbrushes and bottle tops to braid and entwine, creating a modern multi-coloured wall tapestry, and completing this sort of triptych, we find the standing sculpture of the Moroccan Noureddine Amir called ‘The head of the Medusa’ made of recuperated metallic scouring pads painted a deep red. There is also a pedestal with 5 coloured vessels made from recuperated bioplastic granules by the Dutch duo Rutger de Regt and Marlies van Putten.
The dialogue between civilisations and epochs does not end there. The juxtaposition of African ‘masques malades’ with an equally distorted portrait by Francis Bacon, the huge Narwahl Tusk elucidating the tapestry of a unicorn and then near the entrance the 3 ‘Divine Proportion’ sculptures connect us to the end of the 15th century. On the other side of the room the ‘Divine’ manifestation of a 16th century Catalan Christ in interlocution with Ambrym idols from Vanuatu carved out of giant tree ferns, and a vitrine with other confessional artefacts from Peru, China, Egypt and France.
The assemblage of vessels made of old tires in present-day Morocco continue to be modelled on archaic forms.
The classical art works in the room are represented by the duo of masters – Miquel Barceló and Gerhard Merz, while the work of Ben Jakober and Yannick Vu figure through their pieces ‘The Golden Pacifier’, ‘Planta Cara’ and ‘Escudo’.
The kinetic installation "Butterfly" (1995) by the artist Rebecca Horn flaps its wings as soon as one approaches. It is a blue glowing morpho butterfly, native of South America, Mexico and Central America. This vibrating colour leads us to the highlight of the space which is of course the special room at the end built for James Turrell’s 1968 seminal ‘Juke Blue’ a mystic meditative experience in itself.
A journey that reveals another form of understanding art and its links with space and time.
Located in Alcudia, Majorca, Spain, Sa Bassa Blanca Museum (msbb) is a museum fully integrated in a protected area declared Wildlife Sanctuary.