Unknown sisters

Clichés about the affinity between Italy and Spain aside, it is true that cultural and artistic exchanges between the two countries are less intense than one might expect. In Barcelona, an exhibition, an urban installation, workshops and other initiative are an attempt to redress this lack of reciprocal recognition.

In Combat for the Love of Art

Anyone who enters the exhibition Cinc anys a les trinxeres (Five years in the trenches) by Jesús Galdón, kind of phylacterical mirror hanging on the wall, is immediately reflected in the doorway of the El Quadern Robat gallery.

Portrait of a Venetian Lady

One of the dreams of any antiquarian-cronopio is to have a famous client visit their shop and buy everything. The possibilities are minimal but, in this business, like in life, it could happen. In fact, it did happen to a colleague of mine the day that…

Time is on the side of the vanquished

Just when the United States once again demonstrate their untamed meddling in the internal affairs of South America and when Pedro Sánchez recognises and legitimates a self-proclaimed president in Venezuela, Macba is opening the necessary and timely exhibition Undefined territories. Perspectives on colonial legacies.

The Pluralistic Imaginary of La Capella

Global cities, futuristic dystopias and universal figures of the literary and linguistic imaginary all come together in La Capella in a group show with ten heterogeneous proposals around the idea of layers or of accumulated time.

Aesthetic as anaesthesia

He’s an international photographer with an impeccable reputation, and I’ve asked him a favour, as a friend: to accompany me to the World Press Photo Exhibition (WPPh). I’m interested in his personal vision of the tragedy. Because the WPPh is one big tragedy: in the photos almost no one is smiling.

The Other Catalans of the Biennale

There is life beyond the pavilion. The Catalan art scene in Venice nudge their way into institutional projects for the Biennale and also parallel initiatives.

Halloween at the Museum

There is a day for everything but if you want to attract young people you have to celebrate at night. And that is exactly what the “Museums Night” – the cool and fun version of the formal “Museums Day” – does.

Watch out for the Statues!

Pedro Azara’s project for the Catalonia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale confronts the viewer with their own emotional weakness with a series of visceral reactions of love and hate provoked by the images.

Memory, Pain… and Poletiquette

Mauthausen was again news. We talked about the weight of memory with Jesús Galdón, the author of the plaque that, through emptiness, recalls the victims of Nazi barbarism.

Exorcism on Paper

Fourteen works on paper are exhibited at N2 gallery by eleven outstanding artists, united by their “aesthetic tendencies broken by war, interior exile, different attempts to preserve their creative freedom and the dawning following the start of democracy”.

Twinkles and surprises

The world of art galleries is picking up, but more than that it is experiencing profound change. Not only are new galleries opening, but there are changes in the format, the business model, the planning and also the audiences.

The Invisible Magic of Quantum Physics

The ambitious exhibition “Quantum” which is showing at the CCCB attempts to explain the theory of quantum physics, including a dialogue between science and art.

Overflowing cities: too much mass tourism in Barcelona?

Who hasn’t flown to another European city on a budget flight and then stayed in an AirBnB? Who has never done “acritical tourism” or “place consumption” for a couple of days? It is not easy to raise the debate about the excess of tourism without falling into contradictions.

First Scan of an Illegal Abortion

Laia Abril has made the problem of illegal abortion universal and contemporary through her artistic project “On Abortion”, which is currently being shown at the Foto Colectania Foundation in Barcelona.

Damià Campeny in Mataró

“Reflextions. The Work of Damià Campeny”, at Ca l’Arenas of Mataró, is a show that emphasises the artist’s working method and his context.

10 Instructions for Bidding at Auction

Do you think buying art at an auction is easy? Well, you are wrong. Artur Ramon, who is an expert in the field, gives you ten basic tips to, at least, not make a fool of yourself in an auction.

Mutant Scenes at La Capella

La Capella is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a space for the promotion of emerging art. And it is doing so in episodes. Here we have the fourth.

10 Recommended Art Books

Essays, anthologies, guides, anecdotes, graphic novels…2019 has a host of bibliographic novelties on the topic of art. And the day of Sant Jordi is the perfect excuse to buy one (or more) of them. Here are our recommendations.

Three Art Books for a Desert Island (and 2)

In anticipation of the Day of the book for Sant Jordi, we asked our “Mirador de les Arts” contributors which three art books they would take with them on a desert island. Their answers are surprising.

Three Art Books for a Desert Island (1)

In anticipation of the Day of the book for Sant Jordi, we asked our “Mirador de les Arts” contributors which three books they would take with them on a desert island. Their answers are surprising.

Mechanism of Detachment

“Absències”, a small retrospective of work by Ramon Guillen-Balmes is on show at the Busquets Space of the Massana School of Art and Design.

The (double) Secret of Víctor Silva

A mysterious artist named Víctor Silva is exhibiting a series of small format painting at the Víctor Saavedra gallery, accompanied by their photographic reproductions in monumental proportions. Why?

Shall We Go on a Gallery Crawl?

When was the last time you stepped inside an art gallery? Can you name, from memory, the names of three art galleries in your town or city? Don’t worry, there is still time to retake the test.

Sweetly soft…

…comfortable, resistent, easy to wash. This is how , in the seventies, the new textile fabrics from the Mataró manufacturers were advertised. Mataró was a city specialising in the new textile modes and today exhibits its industrial heritage in the old Can Marfà factory.

Jordi Baron and snatches of time

Jordi Baron Rubí is an antiques dealer (third generation), collector of antique photos, and fine-art photographer. Each one of these facets feeds in to the other two.

Gabriel Cualladó is ours

As often happens with good books and films, the exhibition by Gabriel Cualladó at the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation stays with you for some time after your visit.

Berenice Abbott: Absolutely Modern

A wide-ranging retrospective at the Fundación Mapfre’s Barcelona gallery highlights the North American photographer’s commitment to freedom, modernity and creativity.

What to do about Brother Josep Maria de Vera?

Only very recently we have discovered the name of a now deceased Capuchin monk who was based in Barcelona and formed part of the considerable list of clerics recently accused of sexual crimes with children.

Sex, books and the lumpen

What connects gimp masks and an abandoned library? The Pink Panther and a blow-up doll? All is revealed in Evaristo Benítez’s exhibition “Décalage”, at Galeria Contrast.

AIDS Anarchive, documents that fill gaps

Intersexuals, radicalised people, homosexuals, guerrillas, HIV victims. We can say that thanks to the exhibit “AIDS Anarchive”, organised by the Documentation Centre of the MACBA, the museum is we are filling the gap.

Emotional Microvisits

The so-called microvisits to the “Poetics of Emotion” exhibition, which are offered by the CaixaForum every weekend, without the need for reservation and at no additional cost, are a simple and easy way to get closer to contemporary art.

The 1976 Venice Biennale as a Symptom

The cultural control of the Spanish and Catalan Communist parties took the baton from the window-dressing politics of Francoism. In the midst of the transition to democracy, the 1976 Venice Biennale bore clear witness to this.

Louise Bourgeois: a lesson in survival and freedom

Survival and vulnerability but also courage and freedom. This is the message that all Louise Bourgeois’ work exudes and for me she is one of the best artists of the twentieth century, out of both men and women.

I have been, I am and I will always be a Surrealist

That is how Juan Batlle Planas defines himself in an interview in the newspaper Clarín in 1965, just a couple of years before his death. In the Art Museum of Girona you can see the first exhibition of this artist – Argentinean but with his origins in the Empordà.

Political art. A Tricky balance

A few years ago I was able to visit the Proa Foundation in Buenos Aires. Ai Weiwei was exhibiting. The exhibit was called “Inoculación” and consisted of a large number of political works presented as a project of public and social intervention, as dissident art.

Roi Soleil: the limits of power

The eye of the camera has no compassion: regardless of whether you put in front of it. In the case of “Roi Soleil” Albert Serra once again opts for the agonising body of Louis XIV, embodied by another mythical body –that of Lluís Serrat, alias Sanxini, who he has used in almost all of his projects.

The Only Difference Between a Madman and Me…

The figure of Joan Obiols Vié (Granollers, 1918 – Cadaqués, 1980) is multifaceted. This recognised psychiatrist and academic, art collector and cultural activist in times of Francoist restrictions… has not had a complete exhibition dedicated to him until now.

Barcelona is falling. Fall and carry on…

Most of these last four decades of democracy have been spent creating a fake culture, using as a marketing ploy a country which urgently needed to demonstrate that it could hit the spot in terms of European culture.

Ignasi de Solà-Morales. Resistant Violence

“In fact, any architectural operation is an imposition, a colonisation which involves violence”. An exhibition at La Virreina reviews the intellectual and critical legacy of the architect Ignasi de Solà-Morales. You won’t be left feeling indifferent.

Sense and Sensibility at the CaixaForum

This interesting study, in exhibition format, addresses emotion though western art. Do we feel the same now as we did five hundred years ago? Is art able to lie and be sincere at the same time?

My Gothic Granny

The girl strangles the boy with her bare hands and stares into the camera. Her murderous eyes penetrate right through the photographer as her victim’s tongue hangs out of the side of his mouth. All framed by the darkness and shadows of the forest.

Je ne veux pas travailler

A group exhibition on time brings together philosophy and contemporary art at Can Felipa. With nine artists and a Heideggerian title that says “Waste time and buy a watch to do so!”

Our Artistic Relationship with Technology

“Our simple relationship with technology” is the exhibition organised by Mobile Week Barcelona 2019 as the star event in its parallel cultural programme. This exhibit is a reflection on the digital transformation of our society through 14 works by international artists.

Infinite Arts in L’Hospitalet

La Infinita, in L’Hospitalet, is a new space of multidisciplinary creation and is the brainchild of Jordi Colomer and his partner, the producer Carolina Olivares.

Paintings with Titleplates

Many of the old paintings hanging in city apartments have a small gold titleplates with the name of the painter – usually one of the Grand Masters: Murillo, Ribera, Velázquez, Zurbarán.

The Motor Car in Catalan Art

As a result of the age of its own invention, the motor car cannot have been a theme in art much before the turn of the twentieth century.

Lina Bo Bardi draws the future of the Miró Foundation

The Miró Foundation presents an exhibition of drawing by the Italian-Brazilian Lina Bo Bardi, one of the most important architects of the twentieth century, following the storm which has blown up over the dismissals and the losses of the institution.

The Final Edit of Isaki Lacuesta

“I have been making video installations for some time. They allow me to continue making films in different ways. Because in cinema films there are some things that cannot be done. Either because of the format, or the context, or the audiences, which have become very conservative.”

Venus and Adonis by Estudi Giró

One of the most famous paintings by Titian is “Venus and Adonis”, and it enjoyed so much success at the time that many replicas were made of it, with minimal variations. In the work, the artist does not focus on the myth portrayed by Ovid, but is a free version and one which, to this day, we cannot be sure whether it is of his own invention.

Barcelona is a Computer Game

When Barcelona had no share in the computer games industry, it suddenly often appeared as the setting for one. Now that it has become the unarguable capital of said industry, the computer games no longer appear. Does anyone know what is going on?

The World of Casas

The painter Ramon Casas was the great columnist for one of the most brilliant and convulsive periods of the history of Catalonia. The Gothsland Gallery has put on a magnificent exhibition of his work, which accompanies the presentation of the first volume of the Complete Catalogue of the artist.

Incombustible Guinovart

The density of techniques, materials and content which can come together in a single work of Josep Guinovart is almost infinite.

The Mini-landscape of Terra-lab.cat

Jordi Mitjà, Jon Uriarte and Ingrid Guardiola have taken the fourth episode from Terra-lab.cat –the visual laboratory of the region– to the Museum of the Empordà in Figueres and the Museum of Exile in La Jonquera.

Angoulême, the capital of comic

In this world there is a city almost as unreal as The Invisible Cities as described by Italo Calvino. This city is called Angoulême and the streets are Rue Hergé and Rue Goscinny.

Saliva, Sweat and Blood at the SÂLMON Festival

The SÂLMON Festival, which is in its seventh year with an extended programme, is always a stimulating event for measuring the pulse of new tendencies in dance, performance arts and contemporary live art.

When Dalí made up with his Father

An excerpt from the unpublished diaries of Rafael Santos Torroella reveals, through Anna Maria Dalí, what Salvador Dalí’s reconciliation with his father was like, having been expelled by the family for his relationship with Gala and the surrealist ‘sect’.

Mercy for the MACBA

To the now classic dilemma of “who do you like best, Mummy or Daddy?” the people of Barcelona have added “which do you prefer, culture or health?”.

Three Impertinent Young Girls

Now that the Facebook robot censors have put into practice the implacable and efficient, white and starched, orders of Silicon Valley puritanism, it brings to mind an interesting and strange controversy which took place in Barcelona at the height of the Primo de Rivera dictatorship.

The Purge of the Foundations

The artistic and hereditary fabric of Catalonia is extensive…and thinly spread, too thinly spread. Are the recent staff dismissals at the Joan Miró Foundation and the “strategic change” at the Antoni Tàpies Foundation, warnings of future suspensions?

An Explosive Dalí

Dalí rocks! He invented soft watches, the paranoiac-critic method, the museum as a theatre of experience and, even after his death, the exhibition in two acts.

The Lost Caravaggio

All antiquarians who dedicate out noble profession to antique paintings have dreamed of finding a Caravaggio.

Sergio Mora: expanded drawing and international success

Sergio Mora is able to express himself with as much freshness in a painting exhibition, an illustrated book either for adults or for all readers, a bizarre comic, an album cover or a subjective and non-neutral design for fashion or interiors. The book “Moraland” brings together a collection of his work.

The City Will Not Make Us Free

The Umbral project in the Barcelona metro: thirteen suburban artistic works on migration and its political, social and symbolic contradictions.

Commissioned Portraits (1)

Recently there has been some controversy about the portrait of the King of Spain by the portrait painter Hernán Cortés Moreno, specialist in this type of work.

Surcharges in Olot

Political art has a very bad press, when what should really have a bad name is art which says nothing.

Game over. Insert coin

“Sobrecàrregues” is an initiative of the Assembly of Artists of La Garrotxa. Every month the Assembly invites an artist to hand on the façade of Olot Town Hall a life-sized interpretation of “The Charge” (1902) – the best-known work by Ramon Casas.

The Whole of Tharrats

An exhibition at the Fundació Tharrats d’Art Gràfic commemorates the centenary of the birth of this artist from Girona and explores his multiple creative sides.

Tintin on the Moon

CosmoCaixa invites us to an exhibition that links Hergé’s comic “Mission to the Moon” (1950) with the Apollo 11 mission (1969).

Colonizing New Art Spaces

Jordi Abelló’s research to find new formats and places to share his pictorial and audiovisual creation leaves no stone unturned.

The Invisible Collection

I receive a strange telephone call from a woman who, by the sound of her soft voice, seems young. She tells me that her father has an important collection of drawings and invites me to see them Argentona.

Alicja Kwade: exploring space and time

At a moment in humanity when time has never been so difficult to find and keep, Polish artist Alicja Kwade (1979) invites us to pass through, listen to and observe space-time.

Mela Muter, finally!

An exhibition in the Art Museum of Girona brings us the visual and written work of this Polish artist who made her mark on Girona at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Dalí under the genius of Raphael

Raphael’s “Madonna of the Rose” leaves the Prado Museum to visit the Teatre-Museu Dalí, and make the dream of the genius from the Empordà come true.

The Most Christmassy Tradition of Barcelona

If there was ever a Christmas tradition that attracted more followers than the others, at least in the city of Barcelona, it would be to criticise the nativity scene in the Plaça Sant Jaume.

The face as a flag

Foto Colectania proposes the topic of identity through photography, delving into the extraordinary Walther Collection.

The voice of the weakest

Beyond violence, war and politics, there are people who suffer, lives destroyed and incurable traumas. Turkish artist Erkan Özgen give a voice to these silenced stories.

Vindications of Ismael Smith

In 1951 Isaac, Ana Maria, Ismael and Paco Smith Marí packed up the contents of their luxury mansion in Irvington, on the banks of the Hudson, and a favourite place of residence for the most accomplished New Yorkers.

The Hunter Hunted

That a hunter would wish to hunt another is an impossible mission. Second installment of the series “Stories of Antiquarians and Fame”.

The Knight’s Home

An alternative reading of the exhibition “The Splendour of Catalan Castles” at the Museum of Archaeology of Catalonia.

Bibliophilia and Process

Last Thursday in Barcelona there was an extraordinary auction of antiquarian books and manuscripts. The organisers Soler y Llach, are a reference in this kind of sale. Most of the lots were sold.

The Genius and Figure of Manuel Duque

From time to time the Vila Casas Foundation has little great successes despite the fact that they often become fogged by an excess of eclecticism and exhibitional hyperactivity.

Eppur si muove!

It is not easy to gain access to kinetic art from the world of screens and digital media. Accustomed to the paradigm of constant and liquid movement, kinetic art pieces and their commitment to the study of movement have something of an old-fashioned method, a mechanical process and a touch of magic. It is almost as if we are talking of another age.

Lee Miller, a Genius in the Net of British Surrealism

If there was ever an exhibition that we could say “has many different readings”, without falling into either clichés or exaggeration, it has to be “Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain”, which is currently on at the Miró Foundation in Barcelona.

Picasso Blue and Pink, in Paris

If Pablo Picasso had died in 1904, before moving permanently to France, he would still be in all the history of art textbooks in the world. The proof is the exhibition Picasso bleu & rose, at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Treasures on paper

Just as Jep Gambardella, the star of La grande bellezza, loved the smell of old houses, there are people that area fascinated by auctions of old books and manuscripts.

Toulouse-Lautrec and New Technology

An exhibition has just opened at the CaixaForum Barcelona with a misleading title, but one which is nonetheless worth seeing. If only to be the witnesses to one of the most important revolution in cultural history.

MACBA. 34th Time Lucky?

Since the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) finally opened its doors to the public in November 1995, there have been 34 presentations of its collection.

Stories of Antiquarians and Fame: a brief autopsy

“An antiquarian is a hunter of art works, somebody who seeks or chases pieces obsessively until they are bagged.” In this space, every month antiquarian Artur Ramon will give us a taste of his most impassioned professional experiences. #nofilters.

macaparana-barcelona or ethereal sensuality

Brazilian artist José de Souza Oliveira Filho, better known as Macaparana, exhibits for the first time in our country. A distinguished artist whose work makes constant refences to the “Paulista” geometry of São Paulo: a reference to the geometrical abstraction of the Russian constructivists.

Art for After the Shipwreck

Vicenç Viaplana exhibits a visual symphony at the Galería Marc Domènech with indirect allusions to the economic disaster of 2008.

Driving Miss Dalí

Blai Matons (Barcelona, 1934) worked as a chauffeur. From 1969 to 1977 he drove Salvador Dalí and his wife Gala in his Class E Mercedes.