Guardians of Emerging Heritage: Public Access Options to Private Collections
“Fundación Otazu” was established in 2016 by Guillermo Penso, CEO of Bodega Otazu and patron of the Reina Sofa Museum in Madrid, Spain. It is based in Otazu, Navarra, Spain, where his family owns a Winery, a millenary Señorío, or manor, which is not only still inhabited today, but also showcases a pristine romantic church from the 12th century, a pigeon tower from the 14th and a 16th century palace where the family still resides. Even though the old winery dates back to 19th century, Otazu´s links to wine go back to the 12th century when the property was part of the pilgrim road of Santiago.
The old cellar - a magnificent building dating back from 1840- now turned into a museum, hosts important pieces from Spanish artists such as Manolo Valdés, José Guerrero, or Baltasar Lobo, combined with contemporary masterworks of artists such as Liam Gillick or Leandro Erlich. But the collection it is also spread through out the winery and landscape: Jaume Plensa, Jim Dine, Alfredo Jaar and Leandro Erlich are already part of an sculpture park which dialogues in harmony with nature. At Otazu differentiating wine and art becomes difficult, since art is mixed with the atmosphere and tradition of wine making.
The mission statement of the Foundation is to promote and manage art activities, such as fellowships and artist’s residencies.
All the Foundation ́s activities are aimed to reinforce the interest of the family of giving back to society through knowledge and art and education. Establishing the Foundation within the property of the winery also helps to understand the dialogue between nature, art and industry, all three aspects basic in human inspiration throughout history.
Otazu Foundation aims, as one of its main goals, to bridge both art and wine from this perspective and to search new ways of creating paradigms for social recognition and communication. The Collection is made from artist that create art with the purpose of communicating and creating knowledge and new ways of seeing reality and the world through metaphor, metonym, abstraction, imitation, or action.The Kablanc Collection establishes a ground for culture and grow as the Winery is a terroir for the creation of good wine, the Collection aims to bring a fruit to society and spread the vision of artists that makes life better.
Besides collecting, we develop projects together with artists in a way that even the object “wine" can be transformed to the point of becoming an art work itself. This is the case of the “Vitral de Otazu” 2013 witch is a limited edition, wine specific, piece by Carlos Cruz-Diez. Other wine/art projects included “Genios de Otazu” where artists are challenged to reinterpret the millenary aesthetic of the wine wooden barrel in order to create a piece using their own language.During this process the artist also becomes winemaker artists, first harvesting and later deciding the final blend for his genius wine."
The main interest of the Foundation lay on Art and its relationship with nature and industry, Art and architecture, Europe and Latin America: the dialogue between practices in both continents as a way of bridging cultures and help to learning through this approach.
The biennale International Contemporary Art Prize tries to bring together relevant artists to compete in order to response to the landscape through a thoughtful proposal. Past participants include Alfredo Jaar (who was the winner of the first edition) María Loboda, Per Barclay, Sergio Prego. e rst jury was composed by Soledad Lorenzo (Spain), Joao Fernandez (Portugal) and Anibal Jozami (Argentina). And among future con rmed participants are Damián Ortega, Pedro Cabrita Reis, and Roman Ondák, all of them very well known artists and with whom the Foundation has a friendship relationship from which the participation in the competition is a starting point for future activities.
Recent acquisitions of the Foundation are pieces by latin american artists such as Gabriel de la Mora, Luis Felipe Ortega, Ignacio Gatita, Leandro Erlich, Iñaki Bonillas or Liliana Porter. Already considered as one of the most important new art collections in Spain, the strength of the Foundation will be, as it is with the winery, on its “terroir”.