Miquel Barceló with 'Metamorphosis' Installation, Malaga. | Museo Picasso


An exhibition of work created by the Mallorcan Artist, Miquel Barceló between 2014 and 2020 opens at the Museo Picasso in Malaga on January 27 and will run until September.

It’s only the second time that the Museo Picasso in Málaga has dedicated an exhibition to a contemporary living artist.

The ‘Miquel Barceló Metamorphosis’ Exhibition in Malaga takes its name from the Franz Kafka story published in 1915 and includes 30 ceramics, 13 paintings, 42 watercolours, 6 travel notebooks, a small sculpture and an installation composed of seven large bronzes that have been installed in the central courtyard of the museum.

The exhibition summarises the interests of an artist who, without abandoning painting, has explored the formal and conceptual possibilities of ceramics. This new series of large-format pottery made from superimposed blocks, which evokes classical architecture, deities and mythological characters of an unknown civilisation was created in his studio in Vilafranca de Bonany in Mallorca.

'Metamorphosis' includes large-format paintings, such as night landscapes, blue and black, with stormy full moon skies, in which movement and light resonate as well as a charred self-portrait, the result of scratching a black surface and paintings with animal reliefs alluding to cave paintings, which testify that for Barceló prehistory is as modern as any other era in art history.

There’s also 15 watercolours based on Kafka's story, two contemporary series of watercolours created during frequent visits to Thailand and India in the last two years and six travel notebooks from the Barceló’s trips to Asia on show.

An installation of seven large-format bronze sculptures, representing matches used and twisted after being burned is in the courtyard of the Museum.

A 300 page catalogue published in English and Spanish contains a conversation between Bernard Ruiz-Picasso and Miquel Barceló as well as texts by Enrique Juncosa and the Artistic Director of the Museo Picasso Málaga, José Lebrero. It's on sale at the Librería de la Pinacoteca and copies can be reserved at lalibreria@mpicassom.org.

Miquel Barceló was born in Felanitx on January 8, 1957 and studied at the School of Decorative Arts in Palma before enrolling at the Sant Jordi School of Fine Arts in Barcelona. But he returned to Mallorca after a few months and became involved in the avant-garde group ‘Taller Llunàtic’ helping to create their ‘Neon de Suro’ periodical.

During the 1980’s he was based in Paris and travelled extensively throughout Europe, the US and Africa.

He participated in the Sâo Paulo Biennial in 1981 and in the Documenta de Kassel VII in 1982, which launched him onto the international art scene and museums and galleries around the world started to take an interest in his work.

He has received a number of important awards over the years, including the National Prize for Fine Arts in 1986 and the Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts in 2003.

In 2007 he recreated the miracle of bread and fish in a ceramic altarpiece for Palma Cathedral and at the end of 2008 the Spanish Government presented a massive sculpture by Barceló to the United Nations Palace of Nations in Geneva.

The 1500 m2 work, which consists of thousands of multi coloured marine stalactites, is on the domed ceiling of the Chamber XX of Human Rights & Alliance of Civilisations and has earned Barceló international acclaim.

Barceló’s work has been exhibited in prestigious museums all over the world, including the Prado Museum in Madrid, the Louvre in Paris and the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Romes.

Like Pablo Picasso, Barceló’s ceramics, painting or drawing are variations, experiments of a whole.

"Each work is experimental, each work is an essay for another, which will probably never exist and I think that is as valid for my painting as for my ceramics or for anything that comes out of my hand," explains Miquel Barceló who says has received "a kind of generic influence, a way of relating to life, a way of being in the world from Picasso."

There are a number of things that these two artists have in common, including their interrelation between diverse techniques and artistic periods, their incessant way of working, their fascination with mythology and the archaic symbolism of bullfighting or book illustrations.

He’s influenced by a number of famous artists such as Caravaggio, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Goya, Paul Klee, Jan Dubuffet, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Antoni Tàpies and incorporates a variety of cultural references in his work, from baroque painting to American abstract expressionism, Italian arte povera and art brut.

Barceló has incorporated some highly unorthodox materials in his work, such as algae, food, milk, bleach, eggs and blood and the clay, dyes, barks and pigments he uses are considered symbolic of his passion for nature.