Open since 1993, and holding a stable programme since 1995, the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea is located in the limits of the Old Town in Santiago de Compostela, within a space considered magic by Galician people. There lie as well the cloister of San Domingos de Bonaval, home of the Panteón de Galegos Ilustres, and an ethnographic souvenir of our history, known as the Museo do Pobo Galego, which is a metaphor and a bridge between our origin and the present. All these surrounded by an amazing garden, which used to be a cemetery before architect Álvaro Siza (assisted by Isabel Aguirre) undertook its restoration. Its metaphysical air is implemented by the overwhelming presence of water - characteristic of the Galician landscape - and by a number of planes and sizes, in a stimulating dialogue with those found in the Center itself.
The first asset of CGAC is its architecture. The building was designed by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza and finds a careful balance between the outer and innerspace. Showing great respect for its surroundings, while at the same time conveying a quasi-mystical sense with intense contrasts between the neat planes and the effects of indirect light. The resulting spaces are so beautiful from an architectural point of view as they are difficult when it comes to find exhibition solutions, which calls for an on-going (intimate or tense) dialogue between artists and architect. The viewer always profits from this dialogue, so characteristic of contemporary art, as he is allowed to witness the last stage of the encounter and thus feel those points and moments of true creative tension.
With its activities CGAC aims to point out at the artistic guidelines of the last few decades. The Center has held retrospective shows of internationally acclaimed artists (architect Álvaro Siza, Giovanni Anselmo, Christian Boltanski, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Vito Acconci, Ana Mendieta, Arnulf Rainer, Dan Graham, Giuseppe Penone, Jürgen Partenheimer, Robert Mangold, Helena Almeida, Rebecca Horn, Georges Rousse, Stephan Balkenhol, Alberto Carneiro, Antony Gormley, Richard Tuttle, Mona Hatoum), who have played an important role in the history of those years. But also the work of older artists or previous aesthetic turning-points (Medardo Rosso, Giuseppe Terragni, Marcel Broodthaers, Kurt Schwitters, Luis Buñuel, or turn-of-the-century Parisian painting...) Of course, one must not forget theme collective shows such as (Itínere, Signos y milagros, Imágenes y visiones, Outra mirada, Minimal Maximal, Lost in Sound, De Warhol a Cabrita Reis, Transfer, Mondophrenetic, Garaje, Oito relatos nórdicos), or critical revisions of the most outstanding names in Galician twentieth-century art (Maruja Mallo, Laxeiro, Leopoldo Nóvoa, Alberto Datas, Carlos Alcolea, Rafael Baixeras, Luís Seoane, Francisco Leiro, Jorge Castillo).
Notorious for their dynamism are the interventions and projects deviced by younger artists to fit the peculiarities of CGAC's space, come they from Galicia (Isaac Pérez Vicente, Antón Patiño, Antón Lamazares, Ánxel Huete, Jorge Barbi, Berta Cáccamo, Santiago Mayo, Vari Caramés, Pamen Pereira, Salvador Cidrás, Mónica Alonso, Xoán Anleo, Antonio Murado, Manuel Vilariño) or from abroad (Juan Muñoz, Perejaume, Nacho Criado, Anish Kapoor, Adolfo Schlosser, Hans Hemmert, Frank Thiel, Johan Grimonprez, Chema Madoz, Humberto Rivas, James Casebere, Tracey Moffatt, Elisa Sighicelli, Loris Cecchini, José Antonio Hernández-Diez, Florence Paradeis, Sarah Dobai, Darío Villalba, Peter Wüthrich, Efrain Almeida, Gillian Wearing, Ernesto Neto, Marine Hugonnier, Juan Navarro Baldeweg, Josiah McElheny).
The Centre aims at becoming, first and foremost, an active space. Therefore, lecture series, artist workshops, open discussion between artists and critics, a video platform programme, are part of its daily practice, and so does the information about our activities available on the Internet (www.cgac.org).