Saison des pluies nº 2, 1990

Raining Season no. 2, 1990
Painting, 229.3 x 285.5 cm

Miquel Barceló’s work belongs to the return to painting characteristic of the 1980s, which took place simultaneously in Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria and the United States. Together with artists such as Ferran Garcia Sevilla, Juan Navarro Baldeweg and José María Sicilia, Barceló became one of the representatives of Neo-Expressionism. At that time the artist incorporated unusual materials and thick layers of paint in his large-format paintings, including seaweed, volcanic ash, flour, rice and other foods, as well as various residues such as cardboard boxes and cigarette butts. In the mid-eighties he decided to discard these narrative elements to concentrate on the light, empty spaces and transparencies. It was the beginning of a process of simplification culminating in the white paintings, a very prolific series started in 1988 when he travelled to Africa and began to live and work in Mali.

Since then, Barceló’s painting has incorporated the experiences of an artist in contact with a new culture and different nature. Although formally he never abandoned the Informalist technique and continues to pour paint directly onto the canvas, the discovery of the African world altered the pictorial process. Barceló introduces the representation of landscape and natural phenomena, adds new iconographies, such as organic and animal forms, and widens the range of textures. Saison des pluies no. 2 is part of a large-format trilogy painted in 1990, on his return from a stay in Africa. It describes the rainy season in a series of three works entitled Saison des pluies no. 1, Saison des pluies no. 2 and Le Déluge. The titles (rainy season and deluge) evoke the flow of a river during a storm.

Made using the dripping technique, Saison des pluies no. 2 displays the influence of the English Romantic painter J.M.W. Turner. Rain occupies the whole canvas and blurs the traditional difference between background and figure. Barceló reinforces the dynamism of rain and the idea of a storm through incisions in the painting. At the bottom of the canvas, vegetal and animal forms are insinuated, while raindrops fall on the earth producing splashes and drips. The work captures both the diagonal movement of the water and the force of the storm, a daily experience that lasts for months in the tropics. Painted in grey, white, pink and earthy colours, the storm creates a feeling of melancholia. As well as capturing the heavy rain, the work encapsulates the liquid condition of paint and its capacity to evoke the passage of time.

Technical details

Original title:
Saison des pluies nº 2
Registration number:
Barceló, Miquel
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Vinyl on canvas
229.3 x 285.5 cm (height x width)
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Miquel Barceló, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

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