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Top art exhibitions in Barcelona right now

These are the art exhibitions on in Barcelona's museums and galleries that you won't want to miss

By Aina Mercader, Ricard Mas and Eugènia Sendra |
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Takis. Champs Magnétiques, 1969
© Allison Chipak Takis. Champs Magnétiques, 1969

Calling all lovers of painting, photography, sculpture, and art in general: we know one of the biggest things to do in Barcelona for you is to check out the best exhibitions on in the city right now. This is our selection of what you won't want to miss in Barcelona's museums and galleries.

Barcelona's best art exhibitions

1
Paul Eluard per Georgette Chadourne
Photo: Saint-Denis - Musée d’Art et d’histoire Paul Eluard. © Georgette Chadourne, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2019. © Successió Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid 2019
Art

Pablo Picasso, Paul Éluard. A sublime friendship

Museu Picasso, Ciutat Vella
4 out of 5 stars

Artist Pablo Picasso and poet Paul Éluard met in 1935, and since then their lives and works were closely linked. This exhibition looks into the friendships and the intellectual environment that the artists shared through photographs, letters and drawings that reconstruct the scene of the cultural elite of wartime Europe. The exhibited works and many of the books and manuscripts on display show this artistic and intellectual exhange.

2
'Let's play: Ancient greek punishment'
Photo: 'Let's play: Ancient Greek punishment'
Things to do

Gameplay. Video Game Culture

CCCB. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, El Raval

The CCCB invites you to play in this exhibition dedicated to video games that goes back to the origin of video games, analyzing the language used and putting a value on the impact they've had on popular digital culture as well as art and society. You can make your way through in a traditional way, or you can interact with the machines via 28 game points. There's room for nostalgia here, with the first consoles, famous characters and landmark games, but also for discovering names and movements that have helped advance the video game universe, as well as various devices that have made us into a video game culture. Donkey Kong, Monument Valley 2, Pac-man, Super Mario World, Bubbles, Asteroids and many more await you.

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3
Laberint (1969-2019). Angels Ribé
Art

In Free Fall

CaixaForum, La Font de la Guatlla
4 out of 5 stars

The exhibition 'In Free Fall' (Catalan: 'En caiguda lliure') uses the image of falling as a metaphor for the times we live in, times of accelerated change, where the progressive dematerialization of images, narratives and objects that served as a foundation for our society has brought about a feeling of teetering on the edge of an abyss. The central piece, Àngels Ribé's 'Labyrinth', functions as a magnetic field around which 13 works orbit. The works in turn were created between the late 1960s and the present by a total of 11 artists, among them Dar Birnbaum and Dan Graham, Andreas Gursky, Georg Baselitz and Rosemarie Trockel.

4
'Beethoven's Trumpet (With Ear) Opus # 133' (2007), de John Baldessari
Photo: John Baldessari. Cortesia de l’artista, Marian Goodman Gallery i Sprueth Magers
Art

Sound Art?

Fundació Joan Miró, Sants - Montjuïc
3 out of 5 stars

'Sound Art?' investigates the fingerprint of the element of sound on 20th-century plastic arts, and looks into how much music played a part in the transition from figuration to abstraction, as seen in the paintings of Kupka, Čiurlionis, Delaunay, Survage, Miró and Tinguely, among others. Likewise, the exhibition is based on the inverse reality, on how composers from the second half of the century were inspired by the visual arts to let go of rigidity in scores and traditional methodologies of composition.

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5
'El Liceu', Ramon Casas
Photo: CaixaForum
Art

Opera. Passion, power and politics

CaixaForum, La Font de la Guatlla

Headphones on, absolute silence, like in an auditorium before the performance, and the voice of the conductor Josep Pons welcomes you to a journey through four centuries of history and eight European cities, accompanied by a soundtrack of fragments from operas. This is 'Opera. Passion, power and politics', an exhibition produced by the Victoria & Albert Museum that opens the new season at Barcelona's CaixaForum. One of the distinctive features of the exhibition is the immersive format – the soundtracks are activated and change as you move through the space, as in the 'David Bowie Is...' exhibition, also a V&A production. This project brings together 300 pieces, including instruments, sheet music and period objects, clothing, as well as audiovisuals and works of art.

6
Daniela Ortiz. Esta tierra jamás será fértil por haber parido colonos
Art

Daniela Ortiz. This land will never be fertile for having given birth to colonisers

Virreina Centre de la Imatge, El Raval
4 out of 5 stars

This exhibition of works by Peruvian artist Daniela Ortiz brings together a selection of 31 pieces made during the last decade, from her initial works, where she questions Hispanic Day as a celebration of colonialism, a warlike and onomastic exaltation of white supremacy, to a set of works that explore legalised violence against the migrant population, white privilege and aggressions by the upper classes toward domestic workers. Daniela Ortiz has thoroughly investigated all these processes and institutions on which the system of persecution, exclusion and criminalisation of racialised people is based.

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7
La Movida
Photo: Miguel Trillo, Madrid 1982 © Miguel Trillo VEGAP
Art

La Movida. A chronicle of turmoil

Foto Colectania,

Direct from the annual Rencontres d’Arles photography festival and evoking 1980s Madrid, the exhibition 'La Movida' comes to Barcelona to offer a visual telling of the counterculture movement that took hold during post-Franco Spain's transition. You'll see photos by Miguel Trillo, who chronicled Madrid's music scene; Pablo Pérez-Mínguez, in whose studio everyone who was anyone in the movement spent time in front of the camera; Ouka Leele, with her dreamlike and elegant style; and Alberto García-Alix, who captured the Transition from the streets, where the period was marked by drugs and AIDS.

8
Takis, MACBA
Photo: Miquel Coll
Art

Takis

MACBA. Museu d'Art Contemporani, El Raval

This is the first solo show in Barcelona for Greek artist Takis (Panagiotis Vassilakis), a pioneer in the creation of new artistic forms using invisible energies that surround us, like magnetism and electricity. Takis was born in 1925 in Athens, where he passed away in August 2019. He developed greatly as an artist while living and working in Paris, London and New York.

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9
Picasso Poeta
Art

Picasso Poet

Museu Picasso, Ciutat Vella

Thirty years after the exhibition 'Picasso poète, le crayon qui parle', which was on at the Musée national Picasso-Paris from November 1989 to January 1990, the Picasso Museum now gives a new generation the chance to get to understand the importance of poetic writings in Picasso's creative process. They set out to review the exhibition in a broader context, referring to new research on Picasso, the close ties between writing and painting, the textual work, where the pictorial work resonates, and, above all, the autobiographical content of this 'intimate diary', which also reveals the historical context and the complex personality of the artist.

10
'Vierantrohre (Square Tube)', Series D (1967-2018). Charlotte Posenenske
Photo: Estate of Charlotte Posenenske. Photo: Dr. Burkhard Brunn, Frankfurt am Main. Courtesy Estate of Charlotte Posenenske and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
Art

Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress

MACBA. Museu d'Art Contemporani, El Raval

This first monographic exhibition dedicated to Charlotte Posenenske presents an in-depth look at the practice of the German artist between 1956 and 1968, a short but intense period, when she was active in making art. Her work moves between minimalism and conceptualism, participatory art, performance, social practice and institutional criticism. The exhibition brings together her first drawings and paintings (her earliest experiments with mark making), aluminium wall-reliefs, and her last and best-known modular sculptures. The exhibition includes both the original prototypes of these modular sculptures as well as newly fabricated elements.

Discover Barcelona's Best Museums

Museu Picasso
Photo: Juan Ávila
Museums

The 11 best Barcelona museums

Among the best things to do in Barcelona is visiting the city's impressive collections of art in Barcelona's museums and galleries. Famed Spanish artists such as Picasso, Dalí and Velázquez, among others, run the gamut of the 'isms' – Cubism, Impressionism, Modernism and Post-Modernism... But in Barcelona's museums you'll also find plenty of collections that span from medieval times to the 1990s. Contemporary works by established and lesser-known artists are omnipresent too.

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