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Art in Barcelona: must-see exhibitions

Art exhibitions you won't want to miss in Barcelona's museums and galleries

©Cortesía de ProjecteSD
Punk. Els seus rastres en l'art contemporani

Calling all lovers of painting, photography, sculpture, and art in general: this is your Time Out selection of the best exhibitions on in Barcelona's museums and galleries.

Vivian Maier. In Her Own Hands

The Fundació Foto Colectania hosts an exhibition of photos taken by this nanny who, since being discovered by chance a couple of years before her death in 2009, has captivated audiences with her images. The story of the photographic legacy of Vivian Maier has become part of her legend. In 2007, John Maloof, a young history researcher from Chicago, bought the belongings of an unknown woman called Vivian Maierin a small neighbourhood auction. What he couldn't have expected was that they contained an immense body of photographic work, more than 120,000 negatives, home videos and sound recordings, which would change the history of photography.  

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Fundació Foto Colectania , Sant Gervasi - Galvany Until Saturday September 10 2016

Anthony McCall: Solid light, performance and public works

New York–based artist Anthony McCall (England, 1946) has always had a real passion for passion and interest in film and performance. This passion declares itself in terms of experience, of exploration of the process, time, the materials of art and the activity of the audience. He came to work with light almost by chance, as a result of his reflections on cinema. His immersion in the use of the film has proved fundamental, and he utilizes cinema as an expressive structure. He works for the most part with three-dimensional sculptural projections, with which he generates space.

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Fundació Gaspar d'Art Contemporani , Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera Until Sunday October 30 2016

Bruce Davidson

This is the first retrospective of Bruce Davidson's work in Spain; Davidson is one of the most important exponents of the humanist photography movement, and a member of the Magnum agency. The exhibition looks back at the entirety of his career, more than 50 years of work, and features some of his most famous series, such as 'Brooklyn Gang', 'East 100th Street' and 'Time of Change: Civil Rights Movement'. In addition, the selection also includes his latest works, 'Nature of Paris' and 'Nature of Los Angeles'.

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Fundació Mapfre , Dreta de l'Eixample Until Sunday August 28 2016

Ignasi Aballí. Infinite sequence

If I say to you 'Don't think about the exhibition of Ignasi Aballí at the Fundació Miro'..., if you've already been to it, you'll think about it. And what about if you haven't? That's my dilemma. If I outline a series of pieces from the show and, as is habitual in conceptual art, explain to you what they're about, you'll create an image of something that has nothing to do with what you'll actually find. It's not the same to read a review about the religious painting of the 'Divine' Morales at the MNAC, than to read one about the exhibition of Ignasi Aballí at the Fundació Miró. Morales painted and Aballí metatheorises about the act of painting, of the act of looking and of the passing of time... which is another form of painting.

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Fundació Joan Miró , Sants - Montjuïc Until Sunday October 2 2016

Luis de Morales. Between the human and the divine

His name may not be as well-known as contemporary El Greco, but Luis de Morales was certainly one of the best Spanish painters of the 16th century. Dubbed 'The Divine' thanks to his concentration on works with religious themes, he painted using a style of extreme realism. Living at the time of the Counter-Reformation, and influenced by different schools including the Lombardy and Flemish ones, De Morales produced numerous portrayals of the Virgin mother and child, his meticulous, detailed approach creating rich, starkly memorable paintings that are very much of the Mannerist movement.

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Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC) , Sants - Montjuïc Until Sunday September 25 2016

Harun Farocki. Empathy

Two years after the death of Harun Farocki (Nový Jičín 1944-Berlín, 2014), this exhibition features the films and installations of an author who was also a film-maker, artist, critic and activist, and counted among the most important creatives of the second half of the 20th century. At the show, you can see a series of emblematic works that explore ways of working that respond to the demands of capitalist production, especially those that have demanded the mobilisation of more subjective and human aspects that previously remained on the sidelines. The notion of empathy, taken from a text by Harun Farocki, heads up the selection of works being shown at the Tàpies Foundation.

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Fundació Antoni Tàpies , Dreta de l'Eixample Until Sunday October 16 2016

Making Africa. A continent of contemporary design

Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design is the visual manifestation of an extensive ongoing research project by German curator Amelie Klein assisted by Nigerian art critic Okwui Enwezor. Featuring the work of 120 artists and designers from across Africa, the show is a creative celebration of all things ‘design’ can be, says Klein – myriad mixed mediums that refer to local and global concerns. Yet African design is also used as a critical tool, to uproot Western prejudices and represent the eclectic, high-paced social, economic, political and technological change transforming the continent.

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CCCB. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona , El Raval Until Sunday August 28 2016

Diàlegs de la mirada

We'll just come straight out with it. Fundación Suñol has one of the best contemporary art collections in the city. And for a while now the gallery has dedicated a whole floor of its building to showing selections of works from its own collection. Could it be a lack of funds? This time the excuse is called 'Diàlegs de la mirada' ('Dialogs of a look'). The pieces are gathered into sections that help us think about various issues related to the artistic work and the dialog that develops from perception. Looking: do we see them or do they see us? Covering: is something covered to make it visible? Values: from the poetic to the political. But none of this would work if the pieces weren't interesting.

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Fundació Suñol , Dreta de l'Eixample Until Saturday September 10 2016

Punk. Its traces in contemporary art

Punk was born in London and New York between 1976 and 1978 as an explosion of discontent and dissatisfaction towards a situation without a future, which immediately caught on and spread geographically. Featuring over 60 national and international artists, the exhibition traces a journey through the influence of punk in contemporary art and echoes the importance of its presence as an attitude and as a referent for many creators. It includes installations, documentary excerpts, photographs, videos and paintings, together with a section documenting the origins of punk and its vestiges in the present day.

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MACBA. Museu d'Art Contemporani , El Raval Until Sunday September 25 2016

Andrea Fraser. L'1%, c'est moi

What is it that we want from art? This is the question American artist Andrea Fraser ponders, and in her art she examines the motivations of so many involved in the field: artists, collectors, gallerists, patrons, directors, the public. Identified with institutional critique and influenced by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu's theory of social fields, Fraser's work is a critical analysis of the social fabric of the art world, and exposes internal conflicts, mechanisms and hierarchical structures. 'L'1%, c'est moi' is her first solo exhibition in Spain, and it features a selection of key works created over 30 years of critical practices, including text-based works, installations, videos, performances and documentation.

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MACBA. Museu d'Art Contemporani , El Raval Until Sunday October 2 2016