Miquel Barceló

Miquel Barceló

Miquel Barceló 1987-1997

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.

3 April 1998 – 21 June 1998
Miquel Barceló
Miquel Barceló
Miguel Barceló was born in 1957 on the island of Mallorca, where he lived until moving to Barcelona to study at the Escuela de Bellas Artes Sant Jordi in 1975. During this period in Barcelona, marked by the end of Franco’s dictatorship and the transition to democracy, there was a renewed cultural effervesence signaled in art by a break with earlier political works in favor of a recovery of painting. Barceló’s paintings incorporate a broad range of techniques and media, transforming the flat pictorial surface of modernist abstraction into a space with its own topography of materials and a physical molding of matter. His first solo exhibition (in 1976) and entitled Cadaverina 15, in which he exhibited boxes containing decomposing organic substances thereby demonstrating his early interest in organic transformation and revealing the influence of the German artist Joseph Beuys. Barceló’s more painterly works often represent classical subject matter such as still lives, landscapes, and light studies, and signify the artist’s continual search for a new expressive formal vocabulary in painting. Creating many of his works horizontally on the floor, Barceló’s artistic process allows him a freedom of movement around the canvas that also indicates the influence of the American artist Jackson Pollock’s drippings. In 1982 Barceló achieved international recognition when he was chosen by the curator Rudi Fuchs as the Spanish representative for the international exhibition Documenta 7 in Kassel,Germany.
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Miquel Barceló
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