Barcelona’s Contemporary Art Museum re-arranges its collection with a new exhibition

The new exhibition of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), ‘Critical Episodes (1957-2011)’, shows the last decades’ deep and historical changes through art. This exhibition is the result of a new arrangement of the MACBA’s collection. It displays about 200 works by 64 artists such as Eduardo Chillida, Hans Haacke, Mike Kelley, Antoni Tàpies, Jaume Plensa, Susana Solano and Oriol Vilapuig, amongst others. MACBA’s Director, Bartomeu Marí, has highlighted that this new exhibition “brings out new works and others that were displayed a long time ago”. It also proves that MACBA’s collection is already “rich, mature and diverse”.

CNA / Margalida Amengual / Laura Quintana

November 13, 2012 11:09 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The world’s deep and historical changes over the last few decades through art. This is what the new exhibition of Barcelona’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) is showing through the 200 works displayed, made by 64 artists such as Eduardo Chillida, Hans Haacke, Mike Kelley, Antoni Tàpies and Jaume Plensa. The museum has rearranged its collection and has chosen some works to highlight historical changes in society from 1957 to 2011 in its new exhibition ‘Critical Episodes (1957-2011)’. Some of the works are new and others were displayed a long time ago. This exhibition proves that MACBA’s collection is already “rich, mature and diverse” according to the museum’s Director, Bartomeu Marí.

The new MACBA’s exhibition, ‘Critical Episodes (1957-2011)’, is displayed over three floors of the museum’s building and its 200 works are divided into six episodes that can be understood separately. According to the Director of the MACBA, Bartomeu Marí, each episode “offers perspectives on different moments in the history of contemporary art referring to sudden and profound changes that the world has experienced over the years”. “They are, in fact, the background or visions that can help us understand the profound and sudden changes that the world is living through right now”, added Marí. The selection, from within the whole of the MACBA collection, suggests some hints at what is now called a ‘systemic crisis’.

The six episodes of the exhibition are: ‘We must flee away from the content’ which harks back to a sentence from the American art critic Clement Greenberg and the  self-criticism of the sixties; ‘The art of the first globalisation’ which shows the result of this historic process; ‘Cracks’ which focuses on the idea of the individual; ‘Voyeurism, fetishism and narcissism’ which leads into the world of a new visual regime used to the conventions of the screen and cinema; ‘Work, power and control’ which revolves around new ways of life and capitalism’s production systems; and finally ‘Déconnage’ which recalls the role of the psychiatrist Francesc Tosquelles. Some of the 64 artists included are Eduardo Chillida, Antoni Tàpies, Jaume Plensa, Hans Haacke, Mike Kelley, Susana Solano, Ignasi Aballí, Lara Almarcegui, Nestor Basterretxea, Joan Brossa, Eulàlia Grau, Joan Hernández Pijuan, Pello Irazum, Pere Portabella, Perejaume, Dorothée Selz, Jeff Wall and Oriol Vilapuig.

“The decision to display this MACBA collection is part of the transformation of this museum, the adaptation to the current world that we want to start, but it also highlights that MACBA’s collection is rich, mature and diverse” stated Marí. This collection has been possible due to the acquisitions that the MACBA Foundation has made in recent years.

The exhibition also wants to pay homage to the 25th anniversary of the creation of the MACBA Foundation, which is the private contribution within this Museum’s consortium. In this context, Marí has affirmed that “the projects and institutions that know how to combine public investment and private contributions will have better conditions for continuing with public culture”.