Few cities can be compared to the art scene that Madrid hosts.
The capital has an impressive collection of museums exhibiting centuries of emblematic Spanish art enriching its culture and educating people. Additionally, the city holds culture centers devoted to promoting local exhibitions of all sorts, most of which are council run and managed. This shows the interest the council and city authorities have towards promoting its culture and its art culture.
On the other hand, art galleries around the city tend to derive towards contemporary and experience art as well as the hosting of urban events. The art movement does not only have a formal influence around the city, street art can be seen dominating many of the city streets, especially in smaller neighborhoods.
Paseo Del Arte, otherwise known as ´The Golden Triangle’ in English, is a distance of about one kilometer containing three of Madrid’s most iconic museums. The most iconic of being Museo del Prado housing over 9000 pieces of art including paintings and sculptures! It is recommended to do a brief research before setting foot into one of the most grandiose treasures of Spanish art.
Second, the Reina Sofia Museum is a passionate crossroads between the modernity and the tradition of Spanish contemporary art; most of which is influenced by, and thus hold the feels of monumental shifts in the country’s history. Finally, the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum takes you on a journey through seven centuries of the historical art of various European nations, movements and styles.
Other Types of Art
The city also holds many original buildings that in themselves attract attention, that host a number of contemporary art and cultural events throughout the year. El Matadero is an old slaughterhouse built in the early years of the twentieth century, converted into an arts and cultures center. The project was set up to reflect on the contemporary sociocultural environment of the city, supporting the building and promoting today and tomorrow’s culture.
Another example of a shift in management and ownership of a structure is La Tabacalera. The former Tobacco Factory was vacated in 2000 and remained abandoned and without maintenance nearly over the next decade, during which different groups used the space for artistic and bohemian purposes, some under squatting conditions. Between the years of 2007 and 2012, the building was under custodial battles between the council representatives and the so-called squatters. They reached an agreement to let the ´Self-Managed Social Centre´ manage around a third of the 30,000m2 factory.
If you are a fan of street art, Madrid has a progressively growing street art scene very much influenced by the city’s many underground cultures. Areas surrounding La Tabacalera, near Embajadores, are covered in street art created mainly by 25 different artists to give the neighborhood a urban nature theme, moreover there is a yearly project of renewing and maintaining the street decorations tackling different societal problems through their art. Malasaña is also another area known for its hip and underground culture, it oozes quirky art.