Far from the conventional chronological order, the works in the exhibition Monocromos: de Malevich al presente are installed for this installation in series corresponding to colour environment. The dual-origin of monochrome art (the mystical and the specific) in its evolution during the twentieth century illustrates the division between the spiritual quest of a transcendental experience and the desire to emphasise the physical presence of the object as a concrete reality and not an illusion. The two opposite meanings -the specific object and mystical icon- blend into the first monochrome paintings of Kasimir Malevich, created on the eve of the Russian revolution.
The presentation of works from different periods, made by various artists from different cultures around the world in a series of colour environments, is a visual experiment with perception that raises important questions, as if the recontextualisation of the pieces changes its meaning, or as if the colours generate a psychological and emotional resonance which influences temperament and character. The idea of grouping the works by colour is also implicit in the ambition of many artists, particularly those from the School of New York, in order to create environments with their works in a space that plays the role of the chapel for contemplation. It was Henri Matisse was who first put this into practice with his Vence chapel. The relationship between the colour environment, spirituality and trance states holds a central place in the minds of several of the artists in this exhibition.
The purist aesthetic of Minimalism, largely monochrome, which is illustrated by Carl André, Donald Judd and Larry Bell demand the fusion of colour, form and material. The idea of painting an object in one single colour so as to unify it, as done by Louise Nevelson or Niki de St. Phalle was the antithesis of the purist, monochrome concept. Many of the works in the exhibition were created by artists who only occasionally paint monochrome works, such as Antoni Tàpies, Juan Uslé, Georgia O'Keeffe, Georges Noël or Sean Scully, or by artists who only painted that way for a specific period during their careers, such as Pierre Soulages and Frank Stella.