Art / Architecture, Barcelona
Many people visit Spain to see the great works of Dalí. Exhibits run through the city all the time and his works can be seen in places like Montserrat all the way to Port Lligat where his former home is or the Gala's castle in Púbol it's hard not to find a place to study one of Spain's greatest artist's work. Look around or ask at the tourist centers. You're sure to find something.
Being a graphic designer myself I pay atention to this kind of things. BCN is really a trandy city in this aspec, you will find many exhibitions, studies, agencies, and the best spanish graphic design come from this city, I must admit.
You will notice that in the exhibitions posters, leaflets... and in many cool shops.
After looking at the caged birds in Las Rambla I spotted the free pigeon (no charge) so stopped to take a photo, at first I didn't notice the beautiful patterns on the buildings. Take your time in Barcelona and really admire the ornate buildings with their lovely art work in glorious colours.
Many of the old cobblestone streets of Spain have an enormous cache of art above the normal viewpoint. Little saint niches covered with glass were always at peculiar corners. A whole world of art and culture exists at ten feet, easily overlooked if you’re not aware of it. I think there could be a whole coffee table book with just the niches--fascinating.
Antoni Gaudi, a true Catalonia, 1852-1926, is one of the world's most recognized artists, noted for his portrayal of nature in all his works. Gaudi did things with a flourish and the term, gaudy, coming from Antoni Gaudi's works, meaning excessively showy, could well describe his works.
His most famous architectural achievements are the world famous and number one tourist spot in Barcelona, the cathedral Sagrada Familia (Gaudi worked on this project for 43 years, until his death) is still being built , the most beautiful and maybe even bizarre Park Guell with the twisting pathways with mosaics, sculptures, and elaborate fountains (you must sit on the mosaic benches that line the top of the park with a view of the city below), and his two eye catching buildings, La Pedrera (Casa Mila) and Casa Batllo, both on Passeig de Gracia and now open to tourists as museums dedicated to Gaudi. This is most assuredly the land of Gaudi.
You will see many of these wonderful little works of Art.
The idea came from Antoni Gaudi and he even went fo far that in the whole city of BARCELONA glass was gathered for these "pictures" in between white pieces of mosaic.
In fact everyone did his/her part to make places colourful and bright, especially the Spanish sun knows how to make them look like GEMS.
Barcelona is the city of Gaudi and Modernism: the Eixample is the largest 'open air' museum of Modernism in the world, and to celebrate its 150th birthday, this year Barcelona is preparing a year dedicated to the personality and work of Gaudi with an extensive programm of exhibitions, studies, seminars... which will be open to the public during this year.
The city's cultural agenda offers a large variety of shows, popular festivals (great events such as the Grec summer Festival from July to August), theatre, dance, music, opera, flamenco....
Interesting museums to visit: Museu Picasso, Fundació Joan Miró, MNAC (the largest collection of Roman art in the world), MACBA (periodical contemporary art exhibitions).....
I attach a little map of Barcelona where you can see most of the Modernism buidings.....
Don't miss the Sagrada Familia, the master piece of Gaudi.
Somewhere in a pannel I saw the following:
Thanks Gaudi for inspiring a thought.
For being a mirror where we want to reflect ourselves.
For discovering that in nature we find the beginning and the end of all forms.
For considering innovation as the only way to achieve perfection.
Thanks for incentive ourselves to overcome each day.
Because your work shows us that there is not any tool more powerful than imagination. With talent. With persistence. But above all, with the ability of dream other worlds. Impossible worlds.
You may enlarge this picture in order to read the explanations. Gaudi used known mathematical shapes like those I teach to my students... hyperboloids and paraboloids... Also you may see how a slight deformation of a simple square gives such a beautiful surface.
You see how the columns are made like a tree. A column with a square section, bifurcate in 4 branches also with a square section... it seems a fractal stuture... I wonder if Gaudi knew something about fratal objects...
I have seen there the nowadys computational universities studies on that... There was some large pictures inside the Façade of Nativity. I thought I would find it on the net... but I don't find them!!! Can anyone help me?
Spared all in the city you can find some sculptures of modern art, of course the most interesting are the ones made by Gaudi, many houses –like la Pedrera-, a park with his own works –park Guell- and a majestic fountain in the park de la Ciutadella made when he was a student of architecture in Barcelona. If you like art don’t’ miss the Picasso museum, a travel thru the different ages of the works of this artist.
Visit Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Parc de Montjuic. This museum is major depository of Catalan art. It is the most important center for Romanesque art in the world. Highlight of the museum is the collection of murals from various Romanesque churches displayed in apses, much as in the churches in which they were found.
visit Parc Güell, another Gaudi's masterpiece. Parc Güell is a strange, enchanting place where Gaudi’s passion for natural forms really took flight – to the point where the artificial almost seems more natural than the natural. The steps up from the entrance, guarded by mosaic dragon, lead to the Sala Hipostila, a forest of 84 stone columns, some of them are leaning. On the top of the Sala Hipostila is a broad open space whose centerpiece is the Blank de Trenadis, a tiled bench curving round its entire perimeter. Parc Güell is also included in the World Heritage List. See my Travelogue for more pictures...
One of the numerous versions and interpretations of Las Meninas by Velasquez. All versions are in one large hall with explanations of how to campare each with the Velasquez painting. Very interesting.