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Barcelona has a new museum on European Modern Art

The European Museum of Art houses 20th and 21st Century figurative paintings and sculptures from all over the world. It is located in Barcelona’s Palau Gomis, next to the Picasso Museum. The MEAM belongs to a private institution and aims at becoming a reference within European figurative art’s landscape.

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04 July 2011 11:17 PM

by

ACN / Margalida Armengual / Sílvia Jiménez

Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona has a new museum: the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM). This museum hopes to promote modern and contemporary art, and distinguish itself from other art institutions by specialising in figurative art. Located in the 18th century Palau Gomis, in Barcelona\u2019s Born neighbourhood and next to the Picasso Museum, the MEAM belongs to the Arts and Artists Foundation, a private entity chaired by José Manuel Infiesta. The new museum has started out with an exhibition of 230 works made up of 200 paintings and 30 sculptures by living artists. Infiesta explains that the exhibition \u201Cwants to increase the contemporary quality of the work to make visible the idea that contemporary art does not need to be abstract or experimental\u201D.


The Arts and Artists Foundation started to think about the idea of a European Museum of Modern Art around 2006. The economical crisis, however, brought a delay of eighteen months to that wish, as the initial aim was to open the museum at the end of 2009 or early 2010. Finally, last 8th of June, the MEAM opened its doors. The Foundation bought and restored the Palau Gomis (Gomis Palace), located in the Born neighbourhood, in front of the famous Picasso Museum, in order to locate the new centre of art.

Long ago, this palace was the mansion of a rich merchant called Francesc Gomis, and lately during Napoleonic occupations, was the residence of French general Lechi. The Gomis Palace survived to the Civil War degradation until its recent restoration, which has been recognised with the FAD award.

The MEAM opened its doors with its very first exhibition: \u201CContemporary Art in 21st century\u201D, consisting of 230 work from alive artists from the five continents, among them Carlos Saura Riaza, Eduardo Naranjo, Eloy Morales Ramiro, Enrique Collar, Golucho, Crzegor, Gwiazada, Jorge Gallego García, Juan Moreno Aguado i Teresa Guerrero Serrano. Most of them come from the Figurative Awards on painting and sculpture promoted by the foundation in December 2005.

José Manuel Infiesta, MEAM\u2019s Director, explained that this exhibition \u201Cwants to exaggerate the contemporariness of the work to make visible the idea that contemporary art does not need to be abstract or experimental\u201D, but that figurative contemporary art exits and respects classic materials and the job of the artist.

This first exhibition will last for a year and then will be substituted for an exhibition on European figurative sculpture of the 20th century. In words of the Director, there will be represented sculptors \u201Cvery little known, but very important and that have done an incredible work but have always been limited to specialised circles\u201D.

According to Iniesta the public \u201Cis a bit tired of so much experimentation because it does not get to touch anything it can understand\u201D. \u201CArt is made for public, for the people, and there is no need to understand it to savour art\u201D, said the director. \u201CWe must understand that art is more than a curiosity and that it can help us a lot, even to overcome personal problems\u201D, concluded Infiesta.

As it is a private entity, his director underlined the need for the museum to persist thanks to the takings of visits, at a price of 7 euros. In order to promote the new centre, there are planned different agreements with Barcelona Tourism Board, Artco Ticket (which works as a Museum pass for some Barcelona museums), and other cultural entities and educative centres, among others.

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  • The MEAM opened its doors within Palau Gomis (by M. Armengual)

  • The MEAM focuses on figurative art from the 20th and 21st centuries (by M Armengual)

  • The MEAM focuses on figurative art from the 20th and 21st centuries (by M Armengual)

  • The MEAM opened its doors within Palau Gomis (by M. Armengual)
  • The MEAM focuses on figurative art from the 20th and 21st centuries (by M Armengual)
  • The MEAM focuses on figurative art from the 20th and 21st centuries (by M Armengual)