Picasso Museum of Barcelona

Barcelona City Council

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  • Paris-Barcelona (1888-1936)

    • Date 28/2/2002 to 26/5/2002
    • The aim of this exhibition is to demonstrate the impact of the artistic relationships between Paris and Barcelona from 1888 to 1937.
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      Its central theme being the dialogue established between the two cities or, rather, the mirror which the capital of France became for artists and the Catalan intelligentsia alike. This is therefore a unique occasion to present an important account of Catalan art at the end of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries.

      The exhibition centres on those aspects that have greatly influenced the development of the Catalan avant-garde, based on the models imposed by the world's art capital and true reference points for the formation of the most innovative Catalan culture. The presentation, which revolves essentially around the plastic and decorative arts, although also including architecture and photography, provides a vision of the period through the artists who lived among these two cultures.

      The presentation starts with an explanation of the two cities via the work of the Catalan and French Modernist architects who take as their starting point the view towards the Viollet-le-Duc. Paris was invaded by the debauched art nouveau of Guimard. Barcelona, with Gaudí, Domènech i Montaner and Puig i Cadafalch, as well as Busquets, underwent the explosion of Modernist architecture and decoration brought about by the modernisation of the city.

      The figure of Rodin was the starting point for a Catalan school of sculpture where artists such as Miquel Blay, Josep Llimona and Eusebi Arnau excelled.

      Pere Romeu's Els Quatre Gats, the Catalan avant-gard circle and the place that opened the doors of modernity and Paris to a young Picasso, makes reference to its source, Le Chat Noir, captained by Rodolphe Salis, with whom Pere Romeu worked and who collaborated with Ramon Casas, Miquel Utrillo and Santiago Rusiñol in Barcelona. These artists, intensely allied with the bohemian Montmartre lifestyle, established a close relationship between the two cities, to such an extent that the youngest generation - among whom at that time we find a very young Picasso, Nonell and Pidelaserra - were very eager to go to Paris, a sentiment that is reflected in their work, anchored as it is in the world of Toulouse-Lautrec, Manet and Degas.

      Ceret established itself as the epicentre of twentieth century art, becoming the place where Picasso, Braque, Gris, Herbin and Manolo Hugué met and exchanged their explorations into Cubism. As a result of the outbreak of the First World War, Barcelona became the refuge and meeting point of an important number of avant-gard Parisians. In the Galeries Dalmau in Barcelona, Picabia, Gleizes, Charchoune, Robert and Sonia Delaunay found the ideal atmosphere to develop their theories. These movements existed side by side with Noucentisme and its plastic approach to the "retour à l'ordre", with the emblematic figure of Aristides Maillol and references ranging from Cézanne and Puvis de Chavannes, drawn together in the work of Sunyer and Torres-García.

      The synthesis of these relationships established between Paris and Barcelona culminated with two of the most relevant figures of twentieth century art, Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí, both related to the Surrealist movement led by André Breton.

      The War years close the exhibition with the emblematic Pavilion of the Republic by Josep Lluís Sert, created for the Paris International Exhibition in 1937, in which were exhibited, among others, Picasso's Guernica, Miró's El Segador and La Montserrat by Juli González.

  • Jean Planque Collection: The story of an art collector

    • Date 10/102002 to 05/1/2003
    • In the early thirties, Jean Planque discovered the art of painting and, owing to a series of happy coincidences, managed to nourish his passion for pictures by working in Paris as adviser to the Beyeler Gallery in Basle. His curiosity and enthusiasm put him in touch with the greatest artists of the century, notably Picasso, Giacometti and Dubuffet, who treated him as if he were one of them.

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      The nature of this collection is specific, not only because it is made up of works by some of the leading artists of the last century, but most of all because it shows a rare coherence. It has been gathered by an eye enthusiastic about 20th century art, an eye concerned with revealing the secret of an art which, for decades, strove to change the usual way of looking, to wipe out the patterns of good taste established by tradition. Planque had spoken on more than one occasion of his agitation on discovering those 'childish scrawls' by Klee in the Basle Museum, of how later after meeting Picasso and receiving Dubuffet's teachings he had gradually become convinced of the need to 'unlearn' painting, in other words, to leave behind his preconceived ideas of it. His choices are those of an artist who is constantly competing with his masters. From Cézanne to Picasso, from Degas to Bonnard, from Van Gogh to Rouault, from Auberjonois to Schüpfer, from Dubuffet to Kosta Alex, a single concern guided his eye; to avoid concessions to imagery, to what is pretty, to what is vulgar; rather the opposite, to pursue a constant and exclusive search for efficacy, depth and solidity in pictorial language.