Published: October 10, 2006
The Cleveland Museum of Art will present the landmark exhibition “Barcelona & Modernity: Picasso, Gaudí, Miró, Dalí,” on view October 15–January 7.
Organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, in association with the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona, this is the first exhibition in North America to examine a 71-year period (1868–1939) when Barcelona transformed itself from a city of provincial culture into one of the most dynamic centers of modernist art and architecture in Europe.
“The exhibition will provide American audiences with their first substantial glimpse into Catalan culture during a period of immense social turmoil and creative achievement,” said William Robinson, CMA curator of Modern European art. “Coming to terms with this remarkable period in the history of art presents a daunting challenge to anyone who wants to unravel the complexity of Barcelona and Catalonia, subjects we may never view in the same way again.”
The exhibition features more than 300 artworks in a variety of media: paintings, sculptures, posters, photographs, textiles, furniture, decorative objects, architectural designs and models. Masterworks are being borrowed from museums and private collections around the world, including a substantial number from CMA’s permanent collection. Original documentary materials and innovative computer interactives will provide contextual information about Barcelona and its art.
The exhibition will examine the art of Barcelona between the September Revolution of 1868 and the fall of the Spanish Republic in 1939. The works are organized in nine sections that unfold in a roughly chronological sequence and explore the Catalan Renaixença, followed by sections devoted to various aspects of Modernisme, Noucentisme and avant-garde art of the Twentieth Century. The final section explores artistic responses to the Spanish Civil War.
Highlights of the first section include Ildefons Cerdà’s (1815–1876) “Plan for the Enlargement of Barcelona,” 1861, and Lluis Domènech i Montaner’s (1850–1923) iron sculpture, “Rooster Greeting the Dawn,” 1892, designed for the café-restaurant of the Universal Exposition.
Modernisme refers to a broad cultural movement that emerged in the 1880s and lasted into the 1910s. During this period, progressive artists and intellectuals in Barcelona opened up to foreign influences and embraced radical new ideas and art forms. Santiago Rusiñol (1861–1931) and Ramon Casas (1866–1932), the key founders of this new tendency in Catalan painting, turned to themes and subjects reflecting the new realities of modern urban life.
They were followed by a second generation of modernista artists led by Isidre Nonell (1876–1911), Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) and Joaquim Mir (1873–1940). Alexandre de Riquer (1856–1929) and Adrià Gual (1872–1944) produced notable modernista posters and graphic arts.
Highlights include Rusiñol’s oil painting “Café de Montmartre,” 1890, Mir’s oil painting, “The Rock in the Pool,” circa 1903; and Josep Llimona’s (1864–1934) marble sculpture “Grief,” 1907.
Noucentisme highlights include Picasso’s oil painting, “The Harem,” 1906; and Enric Casanovas’ (1882–1948) sculpture, “Persuasion,” 1912–1913.
Avant-garde art will include Miró’s oil paintings “Self-Portrait,” 1919, and “The Hunter (Catalan Landscape),” 1923–1924; along with Dalí’s oils “Accommodations of Desire,” 1929, and “The Dream,” 1931.
Other paint works will include Dalí’s 1936 “Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War),” Miró’s “Still Life with Old Shoe,” 1937, and Picasso’s “Bull’s Skull, Fruit, Pitcher,” 1939.
The exhibition will be travel to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City March 5–June 3.
For more information, www.ClevelandArt.org or 888-CMA-0033.
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