Descobriment de Barcelona, 1987

Barcelona Discovery, 1987
Sculpture, 229 x 472.5 x 114 cm

The work was made during Anthony Caro’s stay in Barcelona in 1987, on the occasion of the Barcelona Art Triangle international workshop. With the support of the then Mayor of Barcelona, Pasqual Maragall, the established British artist, who was at the time President of the Triangle Arts Association, decided to hold a special edition of Triangle in Barcelona. Since 1982, this North-American association has been organising international workshops at Pine Plains, in the north of New York state, with artists from three geographical locations (hence its title): United States, Great Britain and Canada. In the course of a few days, artists work together sharing synergies and work processes. For the Barcelona edition, the workshop took place in the spaces of the Casa de la Caritat, an old charity home that was then still in disuse but would soon after be converted into the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), in the Raval district, which was then undergoing major reformation.

Barcelona Art Triangle took place in May 1987. Together with Anthony Caro, artists such as Sergi Aguilar, Txomin Badiola, Graham Boyd, Paula DeLuccia, Joan Hernández Pijuan, Jaume Plensa and Susana Solano were invited to share the same workspace. Each artist donated one of the works produced as a result to the Collection of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. Caro’s contribution was Descobriment de Barcelona.

In 2004, Descobriment de Barcelona was relocated outside the Faculty of Education on the campus of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. It is a monumental sculpture made of iron and other materials found in the urban waste of Barcelona. Its dimensions and lightness invite the viewer to walk through it. Caro built a large and asymmetric empty iron structure that acts as a five-metre-wide by two-metre-high frame against the background landscape. To one side, he added a cast iron railing from an old window or balcony.

While the unfolding of the line and the three-dimensional plane are constant in this artist’s work, incorporating a non-industrial element such as a balcony railing suggests the influence of Mediterranean architecture. When asked whether he noticed any difference working in a Mediterranean context, Caro replied: ‘I do. Here there is a different emphasis in the streets, things like balconies and very accentuated lights and shadows, which we don’t get at home.’ The very title of the work, Descobriment de Barcelona, reveals Caro’s impressions of working in the city.

Technical details

Original title:
Descobriment de Barcelona
Registration number:
Caro, Anthony
Date created:
Date acquired:
On loan
MACBA Collection. Barcelona City Council long-term
Object type:
Forged iron and steel
229 x 472.5 x 114 cm (height x width x depth)
MACBA Collection. Barcelona City Council long-term loan
© Barford Sculptures Ltdres Ltd.
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The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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