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The exhibition on Joaquín Vaquero Palacios at the ICO Museum in Madrid received more than 12,000 visits




12,269 people visited the exhibition on Joaquín Vaquero Palacios, making it one of the most popular in recent history at the ICO Museum in Madrid, the only one in Spain dedicated exclusively to architecture.

Joaquín Vaquero Palacios (Oviedo, 1900-Madrid, 1998), was an architect, painter and sculptor who approached the creative process in a global manner. This exhibition displayed the project which, after thirty years of collaboration with Hidroeléctrica del Cantábrico (now EDP), was embodied in five power plants in Asturias that were conceived as total works of art.

The exhibition, which was curated by the artist's grandson, Joaquín Vaquero Ibáñez, himself an architect, explored the work carried out by Vaquero Palacios at the power stations of Salime (1945-1955) - one of the best examples of Spanish industrial architecture ascribed to the Modern Movement - Miranda (1956-62), Proaza (1964-68), Aboño (1969-1980) and Tanes (1980).

Murals, sculptures, furniture, industrial design - alone or in collaboration with his son, Joaquín Vaquero Turcios, also an architect and artist - and even architecture, made Vaquero Palacios a multifaceted artist who was able to transform the enormous structures of these power stations into authentic 20th century industrial cathedrals.

Most of the visitors who used the guided tour service were from associations and cultural centres, although some specialised groups from universities, architectural associations and other educational bodies also attended. There was a large turnout by the Asturian public to the exhibition, as well as a slight increase in both foreign visitors and technical experts, particularly engineers. Unlike other exhibitions, foreign architecture students, especially from England, also attended.

The exhibition thus satisfied its ambition to unearth one of the most outstanding and, at the same time, unknown industrial legacies of Spanish art. It served to make the general public aware of the multifaceted work that Vaquero Palacios carried out at Hidroeléctrica del Cantábrico, now EDP. In fact, the Proaza plant, which was designed entirely by Vaquero Palacios, has seen a surge in requests for visits.

Anyone interested in finding out more about EDP's plants can request a visit through the EDP Foundation's visiting programme, which covers all of the company's production centres. Every year, more than 3,000 people visit these facilities.

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