Black Light: Secret traditions in art since the 1950s

16 May 2018 – 21 Oct 2018

Event times

From Tuesday to Sunday and bank holidays 11.00 – 20.00

Cost of entry

Admission to one exhibition €6
Combined admission (to two exhibitions) €8
Reduced admission to one exhibition €4
Reduced combined admission (to two exhibitions) €6

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This exhibition is about the influence that various secret traditions have had on contemporary art from the nineteen-fifties to the present day. It presents some 350 works by such artists as Antoni Tàpies, Agnes Martin, Henri Michaux, Joseph Beuys, Ulla Von Brandenburg, William S. Burroughs, Joan Jonas, Jordan Belson, Goshka Macuga, Kenneth Anger, Rudolf Steiner, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Francesco Clemente and Zush.

“Black light” brings together, in more or less chronological order, paintings, drawings, audiovisuals, sculptures, photographs, installations, books, music, engravings and documents by artists largely from North America, where secret traditions have historically enjoyed greater acceptance.

There are works by creators who are considered fundamental to the history of art, such as Antoni Tàpies, Barnett Newman and Agnes Martin, alongside less-known figures of the counterculture of the sixties and seventies. The show also presents young artists to reflect the renewed interest in these traditions.

The work of all of them goes to show the relevance and continuity of these habitually overlooked trends, in many cases regarding art as a possible means to a higher cognitive level, as an instrument of connection with a more profound reality, or as a form of knowledge in itself. These ideas are contrary, for example, to a purely formalistic understanding of abstraction.

Specifically, the exhibition also explores the influence of esoteric ideas on areas of popular culture, such as comics, jazz, cinema and alternative rock.

Art form Toggle


Enrique Juncosa

Exhibiting artists

Wolfgang Laib

Joan Jonas

Derek Jarman

Terry Winters

Aleister Crowley

Howard Brookner

Wallace Berman

William S. Burroughs

Nicolás Echevarría

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Marjorie Cameron

Chris Martin

Carl Gustav Jung

Sun Ra

Barnett Newman

Robert Frank

Forrest Bess

Alejandro Jodorowsky

Jonathan Hammer

Jordan Belson

Grant Morrison

Joan Ponç

Tania Mouraud


Antony Balch

Bruce Conner

Gino De Dominicis

Antoni Tàpies

Francesco Clemente

Philip Taaffe

Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys

Kenneth Anger

Carlos Amorales

Agnes Martin


Suzanne Treister

Ulla von Brandenburg

Matías Krahn

Fred Tomaselli

Louise Despont

Pedro Paiva

Ad Reinhardt

Henri Michaux

Collins Jess

René Daumal

Rudolf Steiner

Goshka Macuga

Brion Gysin

Frieda Harris

João Maria Gusmão

Harry Smith


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