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Art in Barcelona: must-see exhibitions

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

© MACBA Collection. Dipòsit de la Generalitat de Catalunya. © Rafael Vargas
Santa Comida, 1984-1989

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.

Darío Villalba. Dry resplendence

Darío Villalba, a key figure in the art of the 1950s, has developed some very personal photographic works. The images extracted from archives and magazines, or made by the artist himself are out of context, fragmented and modified, whether with pictorial gestures or by manipulating the photographic technique. This solo exhibition, curated by Villalba himself, brings together works from the Suñol Foundation and from other sources.

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Fundació Suñol , Dreta de l'Eixample Until Saturday March 11 2017

Miss Van. Flor de Piel

French artist Miss Van, who has developed a large part of her artistic life in Barcelona, where she currently resides, started her career in 1993, when she was just 20 years old, creating street murals as one of the pioneer women in the world of street art. Now she's exhibiting once again in Barcelona, where she hasn't had a show since 2005, with 'Flor de Piel', which includes some 20 works, some of them never before exhibited and others that were recently shown in the Centre of Contemporary Art (CAC) in Málaga. 

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Víctor Lope , Gràcia Until Saturday March 11 2017

1,000 m2 of desire

Real and imaginary spaces where sexuality occurs in Western culture are the focus of the exhibition '1,000 m2 of desire'. From the utopias of Sade, to the Parisian 'maisons closes', the radical architecture of the '60s, hippie communes, Playboy clubs... The exhibition, which brings together architects, artists and researchers, explores how architecture typifies roles and practices, models sexual behaviour and activates desire.

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CCCB. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona , El Raval Tuesday February 28 2017 - Sunday March 19 2017

Christoph Weber. On Fold

If you're an English speaker/reader, you're in luck at the exhibition of Austrian artist Christoph Weber (Viena, 1974) at the ProjecteSD gallery because you won't find a single word hanging on the wall next to the artworks that you'll have to translate. Instead the key is in the title: 'On Fold'. Basically this is a series of concrete blocks that have undergone slight bends when supported on angular surfaces. The other key is in the notion of continuity, namely in the difference between before and after. The concrete, which is everywhere you look, is the result of shaping the paste until it dries. While the title refers to folding literally, it also refers to wrapping, and even breaking. 

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ProjecteSD , Eixample Tuesday February 28 2017 - Saturday March 4 2017

Antoni Miralda

Catalan Antoni Miralda is renowned as a food artist, a specialisation he's developed since the 1970s (coinciding with a move to the US) that studies food and its different impacts on societies across the world. His creations tend to be large-scale and this show will feature 14 of the projects he's undertaken in the States. Sculptures, drawings, photographs, visual recordings, sketches and other materials will feature, enabling visitors to witness how Miralda uses food to explore themes of nature and economics, as well as examining our changing relationship to food and its usage.

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MACBA. Museu d'Art Contemporani , El Raval Until Sunday April 30 2017

Camins encontrats ('Found Paths'). Joan Rabascall: Works 1975 & 2012)

The project 'Camins encontrats' ('Found Paths') aims to bring together two works from different times by one artist, and through this exhibition and dialogue to discover and delve into questions about art that arise as a result. In the first of two shows, you'll see two opposing works by Joan Rabascall, 'Franco hace deporte – Autopistas Concesionaria Española S.A.' (1975), and 'From the Big Bang to Big Brother' (2012). Putting one in front of the other lets viewers compare two positions, two situations, two moments that highlight fundamental questions of Rabascall’s artistic practice, while placing them in the new context amplifies views and questions about them. Both works, despite the technical and stylistic differences, denounce the excesses and hypocrisy of consumerist ideology, making use of the same procedures and languages ​​through which it perpetuates itself: the mass media. With this phenomenon, Rabascall’s work makes a statement about the emancipatory role of art.

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Fundació Suñol , Dreta de l'Eixample Until Saturday March 18 2017

MACBA Collection 31

This exhibition is part of the MACBA Collection series that finishes up with a cycle of itineraries that encompasses three areas: experience, time and conflict. The 85 works created by 50 artists between 1959 and 2014 question the various forms of conflict in the world today, and reflect on the relationship of art with itself and its ability to challenge reality. The most spectacular work is the installation 'Entrevendo, 1970-1994' ['Glimpsing'] (2013) by Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles, which is a giant wooden funnel with a fan that blows a spiral of hot air. Before you enter the smaller end of the funnel, you're given two pieces of ice – one is spiral-shaped and sweet, and one is curved and salty. You walk through the funnel toward its larger end as the ice pieces melt in your mouth. There are also pieces that look right at you, like '100 Jahre' ['100 Years'] (2001) by Hans-Peter Feldman, which features 101 portraits of people from ages eight weeks to 100 years old, all centred in the frame. And golden oldies like 'Corpo d'aria' ['Body of Air'] (1959-1960) by Piero Manzoni. Ethical, poetic... and a bit of fetishism.

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MACBA. Museu d'Art Contemporani , El Raval Until Sunday June 4 2017