In Spain in the 1970s, a series of artistic practices known as “conceptual” or “alternative” gained unprecedented momentum and, in the words of Simón Marchán Fiz, “shift[ed] emphasis on the traditional artistic object towards conception and the project, towards the perceptive, interrogatory and creative behavior of the recipient” (Del arte objetual al arte de concepto). In the early 1980s a historian and two artists coincided in the need to analyze conceptual practices in the Spanish artistic panorama during the period from 1964 to 1981. These practices had been the object of attention and interest throughout the 1970s and had remained valid on entering the 1980s despite painting – rather than conceptual art – being the genre arousing attention at the general level of critics, public and market alike. That project would materialize in the exhibition entitled Fuera de formato, which took place in February and March 1983 at the Centro Cultural de la Villa de Madrid, curated by the artists Concha Jerez and Nacho Criado; the historian Teresa Camps, who had appeared in the initial curating team, left the project half-way through due to differences of opinion with the other two curators regarding its perspective.
This fonds brings together the work archive of that exhibition. Besides preparatory correspondence with artists who participated in the display and all manner of technical documentation relating to its organization, it includes an extensive series of photographs of the installation and many of the original plans, just as they were sent to the curators in charge of its production. In addition to the Zaj Group – invited as special guests – the featured artists were considered the leading figures in Spanish conceptual practices of the 1970s and 1980s: Francesc Abad, Ángel Bados, Eugènia Balcells, Nacho Criado, Leopoldo Emperador, Albert Girós, Eulàlia Grau, Concha Jerez, José Ramón Morquillas, Muntadas, David Nebreda, Pere Noguera, Carles Pazos, Joan Rabascall, Àngels Ribé, Francesc Torres, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina and Jaume Xifra.