The MACBA exhibition on Miquel Barceló (Felanitx, Majorca, 1957) took visitors on a journey through the main thematic series produced by the artist between 1987 and 1997, the period corresponding to his first trip to Africa and his subsequent immersion in the world of the Sahara. The geographical and cultural shift triggered by these journeys is reflected in Barceló’s work in the form of a profound renewal of his subject matter and techniques, and also in a shift of perspective. The African universe, writes Pep Subirós, the curator of the exhibtion: “reveals the relative nature of the Eurocentric references that had dominated his work until that time. It did not incite him to wipe the slate clean of his previous legacy, but to return to the deep origins; not to nothingness, but to that which is essential in art, in life, and in the work of the artist. It invited him to get rid of the bark and varnishes, to break free from pressures and fads... It led him to a rediscovery, not of the importance of the natural substratum – which he has never lost sight of – but the artificiality, the limits, the precariousness of all culture.”
The exhibition brought together over 200 works including paintings, drawings, wash drawings, travel books, sculptures, ceramics and an outstanding selection of bibliographic and videographic documentation.