There is art all around you in Barcelona – from the decorative buildings to the varied sculptures, but during our trip we also wanted to visit some of the museums. Not being art aficionados, art galleries can be hit and miss for us, but when it’s right – we really enjoy the experience. Tate Modern in London and the MALBA in Buenos Aires are great examples, and we were hoping for something similar in Barcelona. A modern city influenced by Gaudi surely must have a lot to offer.
The Fundacio Joan Miro was founded in 1975 and holds over 10,000 pieces of Miro’s work.
I’ve always enjoyed Miro’s paintings. Of those I’ve seen, I’ve really liked his use of colour and imagery, so I was excited to visit the museum dedicated solely to his artwork. Walking around the museum, while we saw a lot of interesting paintings, we were slightly disappointed by the pieces on offer. Perhaps all the good pieces were out on loan in the world. Or we’re just ignorant and only like his more popular, colourful pieces. Each to their own.
It wasn’t all bad, as the highlight of the museum for us was the rooftop courtyard, which showcases some of Miro’s crazy sculptures with the Barcelona skyline as a backdrop. This was more like it, and it was great to be able to get up-close and personal with the works.
And the views weren’t bad either!
A bigger gamble was the contemporary art museum. I normally like the contemporary museums more than John, who gets enjoyment from making fun of the pieces. Sometimes I don’t blame him – a painted plain-white canvas for example is asking for trouble.
The building itself was stunning. Huge, stark and white.
But that’s where the joy ended for us. It might have been because not all the pieces were translated and so we missed their meaning, but nothing here captured our imagination. Apart from one ‘piece’, a short video documentary about UK wrestler ‘Exotic’ Adrian Street, but it was a fairly standard documentary so I’m not sure of it’s relevance in terms of ‘contemporary art’?
But you live and learn – we now know contemporary Catalan art is not our thing. At all. Not wanting to end on a negative, they did have amazingly comfortable beanbags!
The real arty highlight of Barcelona for us was the sculptures and statues around town. My favourite (and I’m sure Johns too) were the statues of the women. There was a lot of flesh on display.
And let’s end on a cheeky note.
What’s your favourite kind of art to see when travelling?