The City of Artistic Miracles
The essence of Catalan modern art from the modernisme to avant-garde
8 February – 5 April 2020
Tokyo Station Gallery
Barcelona, Catalonia’s capital, Spain, has been a major center of art and architecture, producing many artists well known in Japan and the world. There have been exhibitions highlighting masters such as Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí, but few focused on Catalan art as a whole.
The Japanese exhibition “Barcelona: The City of Artistic Miracles” is a major show featuring Barcelona and modern Catalan art, covering the period of 80 years from the 1850s through the late 1930s.
Tokyo Station Gallery (at JR Tokyo Station) will be the last venue of this travelling exhibit, after Nagasaki, Himeji, Sapporo and Shizuoka.
About “Barcelona: The City of Artistic Miracles”
The exhibition, presented in 6 sections, illustrates the effervescence of the radiant ‘Fin de Siècle’ Barcelona art scene, epitomized by such talents as Gaudi, Picasso, Milo and Dali, as well as Ramon Casas and Santiago Rusiñol.
Approximately 130 examples of various genres – paintings, drawings, sculptures, furniture and jewelry – will be on display as a testimony of Barcelona’s metamorphosis since the late 19th century.
The exhibits are mostly on loan from the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and other institutions in Barcelona.
Curation by Akira Kinoshita (prof. Showa Women’s University).
Six chapters of the Barcelona exhibition
*Titles are for convenience of our readers, not the original translation
I. Urban expansion and the 1888 Universal Exposition
The first chapter explores: Barcelona’s rapid urban expansion since the 1859 city planning; the Universal Exposition held in 1888; and the rise of Catalan cultural identity.
II. Cosmopolis – Light and Shadow
Light: Growing wealth and the rise of the bourgeoisie, who financed the creation of architectural masterpieces by Gaudi and others, and sumptuous works of art in Barcelona.
Shadow: Increasingly pronounced social disparity and labour disputes
III. Paris and the Modernisme
From the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, the Modernisme movement, inspired by new artistic currents such as Art Nouveau in France, influenced the Barcelona art scene widely, from architecture to literature and art.
IV. Els Quatre Gats (“The Four Cats”)
The café “Els Quatre Gats” (modelled after “Chat Noir” in Paris), opened in 1897 by Ramon Casas, Rusiñol and others, became a hangout for intellectuals and artists, including the young Picasso.
V. Noucentisme – the Mediterranean revival
In the early 1900s, artists turned to the Catalan traditions rooted in Mediterranean culture. Called the “Noucentisme” (Nineteen-hundreds style), the trend was clearly seen in the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.
VI. Avant-garde art and the civil war
Following Picasso, Milo and Dali moved to Paris and led Surrealism since the 1920s. Meanwhile, some Barcelona architects got inspirations from Le Corbusier. And in 1936, the Spanish Civil War broke out.
page 1 “About” / page 2 “Info”