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2016 marks the 20th anniversary of Matador magazine. Two decades merging art, culture and hyped trends in a cutting edge format, an outstanding design that has no comparison in the art world.
The R volume of Matador is entirely devoted to Botany, a world that has attracted the interest of many artists throughout history and still nowadays causes amazement everywhere. The magazine offers a fascinating journey collecting reproductions of unpublished documents and drawings from the first Spanish botanical expeditions in the XVIII century, photographs and writings from classical, avant-garde and contemporary artists who show their vision of an exciting world.
Matador R opening is with the Desideratum of Gonzalo Nieto, doctor of Biology from the Complutense University, CSIC research professor and former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, an unpublished text of the writer Belén Gopegui and the Matadors, which this time are the roses Harry Maasz, Barones Rothschild and Cécile Brunner, exquisitely photographed by Ciuco Gutiérrez.
Matador addresses Botany from different perspectives. This science development is illustrated with two essential historical documents, the Systema Naturae from Carlos Linneo and Tadeo Haenke colour palette, which turned out to be the first pantone in history. The botanical expeditions to América, which were the epitome of the scientific XVII century passion, are presented with a fantastic dossier of botanical drawings and dried vegetals from Ruiz y Pavón, along with a text from Antonio González Bueno, doctor of Biological Science from the Autonomous University of Madrid.
Additionally, Matador R features texts from legends such as Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland and also from contemporary experts like Pepe Carrión, professor of Plant Evolution of the Biology Faculty of the University of Murcia; Tod Stuessy, doctor of Systematic Botanical Philosophy from the University of Texas and Pedro Jordano, CSIC research professor at the Biological Station of Doñana.
The fascination that botany has awakened in the art world is shown through the historical creations of Arcimboldo, accompanied by an essay of Miguel Falomir, Deputy Director of Conversation and Research of the Prado Museum.
Besides, Matador R includes the most groundbreaking visions and points of views in Botany universe, such as Imogen Cunningham asthonishing flower images, intensified with powerful words by her granddaughter, the writer Elizabeth Partridge, and Paul Strand´s images of Cunningham´s garden, in the French region of Orgeval, presented by the curator, publisher and conservator of photography Carlos Gollonet.
Among the contemporary offerings there´s the Swedish photographer Helene Schmitz portrait of the violent spread of kudzu, one of the most aggressive species in the world, in the US, next to the essay The assassin embrace of nature of the Swedish poetess Marie Lundquist; the selection from Rodney Graham inverted trees series of with writings from Friedrich Meschede; the particular contemporary gallery of flowers of Stephen Gill, presented by Horacio Fernández; and the work of Rose Chalalai Singh photographed by Martin Bruno that shows how many cultures had used plant species in their staple diet, providing an endless variety of plants and fruits, often unknown or ignored, to the contemporary cuisine.
Lastly, the writers Llucia Ramis, Andrés Ibáñez and Aixa de la Cruz are in charge of addressing the ¨botanical dreams¨ through tree stories, The dry garden, The elder, Words, trees, perfumes and Neologisms, respectively.