Before America

Botero sculpture in Plaza de Colon, Madrid
Botero sculpture in Plaza de Colón, Madrid

Oranges litter the streets in Sevilla. It is the warmest city in Europe. Our hotel room has an outdoor shower on the patio. I took one this morning. We took one last walk across the bridge over the Rio Guadalquivir and then got on a high speed train to Madrid where it is ten degrees cooler. We had roasted asparagus and a mixed mushroom dish at a restaurant around the corner from our hotel. And then we wandered.

We found a gallery on the next block with some intriguing paintings, abstracts painted on a mesh over abstracts on board. The attendant there told us about a show, “Before America,”at Foundation Juan March so we walked over there into Salamanca, a neighborhood we had not yet explored. This isn’t a corporate sponsored foundation. Juan March was the richest man in Spain, “the Rockefeller of Spain,” “the last pirate of the Mediterranean.” With the richest of sources the show illustrated the influence of indigenous civilizations on what is now called the Americas, on art from Man Ray to Joseph and Annie Albers. There were no photos allowed but the foundation is offering a poster of my favorite piece.

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