Carlos Pazos

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

The career of Carlos Pazos has always thrived on contradiction. A veteran Barcelona artist, he has long tried to distance himself from what his Catalan peers were doing. Although his name is widely known among artists, he is not well known to the public. Three years ago he was awarded the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas—the most important prize given by a Spanish institution—but little of his work is owned by museums.

Organized in conjunction with MACBA in Barcelona (its director, Manuel Borja-Villel, is the show’s curator), “No me digas nada” (Don’t Tell Me Anything), the enormous exhibition at the Reina Sofía, not only failed to clear up the ambiguities in Pazos’s life and work, it actually heightened them: Three hundred works on display revealed the artist’s desire above all to be in constant motion and to vary from the norm. The layout of this vast accumulation, including not only

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