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The Museo del Prado is presenting the documentary The Spirit of Painting, directed by Isabel Coixet


The Museo del Prado is presenting a documentary produced by Miss Wasabi Films for the Prado with sponsorship from Samsung The Frame and the participation of Movistar+. The film takes viewers on a journey through the artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s fascinating process of creating and producing his work for the exhibition The Spirit of Painting. Cai Guo-Qiang at the Prado, which is on display at the Museum until 4 March.

The film, which documents the artist’s relationship with the spirit and spirituality of El Greco and his dialogue with the great masters in the Prado, will be first shown on Movistar Xtra on Monday 29 January at 10am and will be out on DVD in February.

“Will the spirits of the great masters arise from the void to create with me?” is the question that Cai asks himself when undertaking this exhibition project and one that finds its answer in The Spirit of Painting, a documentary by Isabel Coixet, one of Spain’s most international filmmakers.

The 50-minute documentary, filmed in 4K and produced by Miss Wasabi Films for the Museo del Prado, allows viewers to witness the process of devising and creating this exhibition project for the Prado. As such we become privileged witnesses to the dialogue that Cai Guo-Qiang establishes with the great masters in the collection, transmitted through Isabel Coixet’s distinctive gaze.

Using an intimate, moving tone, the commentary by Cai himself explains his thoughts, research and experiments with gunpowder as a pictorial material. Viewers come to understand how the artist depicts the past in the present by reinterpreting both; we experience the close relationship between spirituality and art; and are stirred - through Isabel Coixet’s images - by the purity of the artist’s colours, the smell of the gunpowder, the details of each painting, the sensuality of the uncontrollable explosions and the beauty and commotion in the magical moment when a work is completed, to the point of entering into the film itself. Here we encounter all the secrets of a work and its creator.

Filmed in various locations in New York and Madrid and with original music by Remate, this full-length documentary is sponsored by Samsung The Frame which, in the Art section of its digital television gallery The Frame, is featuring six works from the exhibition The Spirit of Painting. Cai Guo-Qiang at the Prado, in addition to a selection of works from the permanent collection entitled Museo del Prado Collection.

The documentary The Spirit of Painting will be first broadcast (in original version, subtitled in Spanish) on 29 January at 10pm on Movistar Xtra and will be out on DVD in February.

A short, 20-minute version of the film can be seen in the exhibition at the Prado, shown in Room D of the Jerónimos Building.

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