Sunday, November 27, 2011

Surprise in the Water Tower

Sala Canal de Isabel II
11/26/11 - Calle Santa Engracia, 125

I'd been eying the structure for months, and finally learned its purpose.  The defunct water tower built in 1911 looms over the Canal of Isabel II.  

The Sala Canal de Isabel II

In the 1980s, the circular tower was remodeled inside and took on a new function as a multi-level sala, or hall, for modern photography exhibitions.  The other day I dragged the protesting progeny to the excellent free exhibit “Juan Gatti. Contraluz.”  Do bring a passport or other form of ID to enter the complex; a guard will sign you in at the entrance on Calle Santa Engracia, 125. 

Gatti, an Argentinian graphic artist and photographer, moved to Madrid in 1980, at the beginning of the post-Franco flowering of art and culture known as La Movida.  He found work in Spanish fashion and film, and designed many of the colorful posters for Pedro Almodovar’s movies.  The first level of the exhibit contains Gatti’s inventive commercial work, including Vogue covers and portraits of celebrities.  The remaining 3 levels display his black and white photography on a grand scale.  A trippy, multi-media treat awaits you on the top level, as you sit back on a comfy lounge chair under the water tower’s dome.  My fifteen-year-old enjoyed it so much he stayed for a second viewing.  

They liked it! (Tower entrance)
 The exhibit “Juan Gatti. Contraluz” runs daily until 1 April 2012.


  1. Hey you made it to Canal de Isabel, this must be the closest to your flat! Your boys look well impressed! Helen

  2. Helen, I think you recommended it to me--this is a fantastic exhibit space!