Thursday, January 7, 2010

Basel to Barcelona

(top to bottom)
Joan Miro Foundation
Muse d'Art Contemporiani de Barcelona
Sagrada Familia Cathedral

From Basel I traveled to Barcelona, Spain. Spent four days in the city before going to the artist residency. First time in Barcelona, wow. So much to see: Miro, Picasso, Gaudi, Tapies. From a city of museums I will mention just a few of my favorites. The first is the Joan Miro Foundation. The museum opened to the public in 1975. It was to be a site dedicated to the artist's work and also to provide a space to promote and publicize the work of contemporary artists. The Foundation's collection currently comprises over 14,000 pieces: 217 paintings, 178 sculptures, 9 textiles, 4 ceramics, and almost complete graphic works and some 8,000 drawings.

Another site for contemporary art is the Mueseu d'Art Contemporiani de Barcelona. The MACBA opened to the public in 1995. The building, which I found interesting but a bit sterile and institutional, is nested in the historic Gothic district. During my visit the two shows, ironically, where of Americans: Ray Johnson and John Cage.

Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) You can't think of Barcelona without thinking of Gaudi. His architectural genius and eccentricity ( love or hate his work) defines a major part of the urban landscape of Barcelona. Almost all of his works where executed in Barcelona including his masterpiece, Sagrada Familia. It is worth the entrance fee to tour his work. Don't miss the cathedral and Park Guell. If you've been in the presence of his work you know that words are not sufficient to explain what has been made manifest. All I kept thinking is that Frank Gehry seems so conservative.

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