Home' Scoop Homes and Art : SHAA039 Summer Edition Contents 122 HOMES & ART SUMMER 2013/14
Gallery crawl | Barcelona
Barcelona Pavilion was sympathetically
refurbished in 1992 to create a centre for
contemporary art. The old pavilion style of
the building was retained and the various
areas of the earlier factory were redesigned
as flexible gallery spaces and venues for
musical and theatrical performances,
screenings and a range of social activities.
It is both a spectacular sight for visitors and
a remarkable art experience.
Set amidst the narrow streets of the
old town is the museum celebrating Pablo
Picasso. Though seemingly modest, it
expands like a TARDIS once you breach the
confined entrance directly off the Carrer de
Montcada, a narrow and busy street rather
like Le Marais in Paris.
The museum occupies five large
townhouses or palaces that date from the
13th to 15th centuries, and contains more
than 4000 works by the artist. It is huge,
diverse and in some cases unique, with
extraordinary holdings of Picasso’s
early works and a massive group of
pieces from his Las Meninas paintings
in homage to the Spanish 17th century
painter Diego Velázquez.
Richard Meier’s building for the
Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
is situated close to the University and
because of its ramps is a very popular
site for skateboarders, who have made
it their own domain. Once inside, the
massive scale is overwhelming and the
galleries continue to unfold, floor upon
floor. It’s both exhilarating and exhausting.
Next door, the Centro de Cultura
Contemporánea de Barcelona is another
amazing refurbishment of an existing
building whose courtyard has created
a gathering place for students and
tourists. The huge gallery spaces on the
first and second floors can accommodate
individual exhibitions of a massive scale,
or smaller exhibitions of work by local and
And there is more, so much more.
Gaudi’s Cathedral La Sagrada Família is an
obligatory inclusion on any visit to the city,
and his park created for the Güell family
is sensational. Then there is the amazing
Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya on the
slopes below Montjuïc and, just outside the
city on a day excursion, is Salvador Dali’s
Museum in Figueres.
Although spectacular, the diversity
and richness of Barcelona’s museums and
galleries is further enhanced by the cultural
and social and economic life in which they
are enmeshed. It is the continuous cycle of
life and art that makes a gallery crawl in
this city a life-changing experience.
“Once inside the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona,
the scale is overwhelming and the galleries continue to
unfold, floor upon floor. It’s exhilarating and exhausting.”
The Fundació Antoni Tàpies,
with its expressive tangle of steel.
The Caixa Forum gallery can be found
in the Montjuïc area of the city.
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