Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 204 - Museo Picasso and the Fundacio Antoni Tapies

Today was Sunday, and some of the local businesses near my hostel were closed for the day since it was the holy day, but then again, a lot of businesses close on Monday as well for some reason. Seems like there are a lot of days off in both Italy and Spain!

I did a little research on some of the museums nearby, including the Museo Picasso and Gaudi's La Pedrera and Castel Batllo and found out I could get into 7 museums for 25 Euro with a special card I could purchase at the different sites. I was researching whether it would be better to purchase the card or just go to each museum individually. Included with the card were admissions to the Picasso Museum and La Pedrera, but not Castel Batllo. I also researched which of the Gaudi exhibits would be the best value. They both seemed to have great reviews, so I decided to get the card, since entrance to the Castel Batllo was a ridiculous 16.5 Euro!

I took the metro to the Arc di Triomph, where I walked under the arc and south towards the Parc de la Ciutadella. The park was filled with people taking strolls, practicing Spanish Capoeira, walking their dogs, and even being tourists taking pictures of some of the sculptures in the gardens. Is seems that the city takes great efforts to ensure that there is enough green space for the people, and I don't think there is any shortage of it after my other walks in the city thus far.

I found my way to the Museo Picasso afterwards by following the signs marked at major street intersections – one of the things I love about this city since it's easy for a tourist to get to major destinations, and if lost, a metro is not too far away in any direction to hop and and get somewhere. I tried to purchase the card, but my credit card would not work, and I've been having random trouble with the card at different places. I've been trying to save my Euros for emergencies and charge everything on my card since I am running out of cash in my checking account and in my wallet as well. I decided I'd try to purchase the card at one of the other locations, but opted to hang around the area until 3PM, when they offered free admission on Sundays.

The museum was such a delight to visit, despite the fact that it was crowded to the max with tourists on the free day. The museum houses a collection of work by the artist himself throughout the years, from his childhood until his death. There were paintings as well as sculptures and pottery on display, and the exhibition had different rooms with an explanation of what was going on in his life at the time, what gave him the inspiration to paint the subjects he chose, and why he painted in the style that he did. I never knew of any of his work besides the typical abstract style paintings everyone recognizes, but he was a very accomplished artist prior to developing his own style of art. It was funny because the first room showcased his early childhood art, where he took some influence from his artist father. They say you could tell his paintings had childlike, uneducated strokes with hints of mastery, which they assumed was him trying to emulate his father's techniques, yet after years of studying and learning what it was to have “masterful” strokes, it seems he reverted back to childlike drawings in the way he painted his abstract and cubist art, which we all know and love.

The most interesting and fun part of the exhibit was a room full of his paintings and interpretations of a single painting by Velasquez called Las Meninas. He was a huge follower of Velasquez and copied over 40 paintings of the single art piece using his own styles, each completely different than the next, but still having that “Picasso” look to each of them. He explained how a painting, while being copied, could be completely changed by a different artist if he was painting from a perspective, even slightly removed from where the original painting took place (for the viewer). With a slight change of a few inches, visibility of different people in the scene changes, and the effects of light changes, and in the end, you could come up with an entirely different scene that could be surprising to the artist himself. It was quite fascinating to see his versions of the single painting. Definitely a must-see exhibit to appreciate the genius of Pablo Picasso, who educated himself fully through the years in Spain, before deciding that he was tired of learning about art in school and seeked his own style afterwards.

Afterwards, I made my way to the MACBA (Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona) and CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona) since these two were near each other and included in the museum pass. I thought it would be easy to navigate my way through the streets with the street signs, but it took quite a while to figure out where they were located because they were hidden from the main streets near the city center. MACBA ended up being closed today, so I went to CCCB. The museum was holding a World Press International Photographic exhibition, but there was a long line since it also had free admission on Sundays, so I decided to come back another day.

It's been a long day of walking and getting lost, and I wanted to see at least one more museum for the day before closing time, so I headed to the Eixample district to see if I could visit Gaudi's La Pedrera or the Fundacio Antoni Tapies. I stopped by Gaudi's Castel Batllo, where numerous people were there to take pictures of the building as it was lit up after dusk.

I managed to get my museum pass at the Fundacio Antoni Tapies, which included the artists own work along with a temporary exhibit called In the First Circle with a collection of works by different artists all relating to language, the voice, and sound. I didn't know too much about the artist, but he is one of the most famous Catalan artists and creates informal art, using non-artistic objects in his paintings. Basically, all I saw was a bunch of stuff together on canvases... I definitely needed an audio guide when looking at his art, but it was nearing closing time so I quickly went through the exhibit blindly. Definitely get the guide if you visit...

Tomorrow I'll head to MACBA and La Pedrera since most of the other museums are closed on Monday.

Museo Picasso

Picasso - Portrait of Jaume Sabarte's with ruff and hat

Picasso's Interpretation of Velasquez's Las Meninas

Arc di Triomph

Parc de la Ciutadella

Antoni Tapies

Ketchup Sandwich

Gaudi's Castel Battlo

No comments:

Post a Comment