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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

'El Liceu', Ramon Casas
Foto: CaixaForum 'El Liceu', Ramon Casas
By Aina Mercader, Ricard Mas and Eugènia Sendra |
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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
Feminismes!
Art

Feminisms!

icon-location-pin CCCB. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, El Raval
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This exhibition is really two in one: 'The Feminist Vanguard of the '70s'. Works from the Verbund Collection, Vienna' and 'Choreographies of the genre'. The '70s marked a decisive turning point in the feminist movement, and that agitation and the breakthrough art that helped redefine gender roles remain a source of inspiration for modern-day artists. The first exhibition presents 200 works by artists from Europe, North and South America and Asia that help to rewrite the history of art. The second puts the spotlight on current stories, told via some 15 works; feminism has expanded massively over the past 50 years, with the concept of gender as the focus.

2
Chernobyl. Zona prohibida
© Alejandro von Popolsky
Art

Chernobyl. Restricted area

icon-location-pin Galería Fotográfica ilmondo, Eixample
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This exhibition by Alejandro von Podolsky, Miquel Àngel Pérez Pérez and Quim Tomás shows their photographic works from their trip to the city of Pripyat, which was one of the most advanced cities in the Soviet era. It was built by employees at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and their families. In the exhibition you can see what Pripyat is like today, and how nature has come back little by little to the the space where humans once lived. It's just a peek at what a nuclear disaster is capable of and, maybe, it can help us understand our mistakes.

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3
Elmgreen & Dragset
Photo: Roberto Ruiz
Art

Elmgreen & Dragset. It's Not What You Think

icon-location-pin Blueproject Foundation,
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This exhibition from the artistic duo Elmgreen & Dragset (Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset) transforms the Il Salotto space at the Blueproject Foundation into a whole different environment: a sort of abandoned underground boiler room with pipes crisscrossing throughout. Thus Elmgreen & Dragset carry on with their usual practice of changing art spaces by turning the normally white gallery room into a setting that contrasts with the discreet format usually used to exhibit contemporary art. Industrial pipes of varying sizes and colours dominate the space, redirecting visitors' movements, since you have to step over, duck under, or walk around the pipes in order to get around.

4
'El Liceu', Ramon Casas
Photo: CaixaForum
Art

Opera. Passion, power and politics

icon-location-pin CaixaForum, La Font de la Guatlla
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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.

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5
Joan Brossa i la poesia experimental, 1946-1980
Art

The net in the forest. Joan Brossa and experimental poetry, 1946-1980

icon-location-pin Fundació Joan Brossa, Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera
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This exhibition reviews the different trends in experimental poetry that existed throughout Europe and America in the second half of the 20th century, when Joan Brossa's poetic language took shape. The show coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of the artist and aims to contextualise his work, putting it in orbit with other names that helped poetic expression expand. This ambitious exhibition includes about 200 pieces of original works, records, posters and postcards that used the language of mass communication to make poetry.

6
Lídia Masllorens. Sense títol
Photo: Montserrat Gimferrer
Art

Lídia Masllorens. Artist's Proof

icon-location-pin Espai VolART-Fundació Vila Casas, Eixample
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Prize-winning Catalan painter Lídia Masllorens presents this exhibition that brings together some 20 large-format pieces made between 2014 and 2019. The exhibition includes some of the artist's best-known works, her singular “portraits” and “non portraits”, where male and female characters are represented using the monotype technique. Masllorens depicts faces that show joy, pain, suffering, disappointment and effort. All these faces have been extracted from photographic montages produced by great contemporary stylists: magazine photographers who portray ideal male and female faces. Complementing this family of faces, the “Zoom” series, which consists of details that normally go unnoticed by the naked eye. Here, the artist demonstrates that it's the tiny details, where wrinkles, expressions and nuances hide, that bring her characters to life.

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7
Més enllà de les trinxeres (1936-1939). Fotografies d’Alec Wainman
Art, Photography

Beyond the trenches (1936-1939). Photographs by Alec Wainman

icon-location-pin Museu d'Història de Catalunya, La Barceloneta
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This exhibition on in the lobby of the Catalonia Museum of History shows more than 150 photographs by English-born Alec Wainman, who volunteered for the British Medical Unit in 1936. This exhibition is the result of a 40-year search to recover 1,650 lost negatives from the Spanish Civil War period that had been stored in a leather suitcase.

8
Ralph Bernabei. Art of Connection
Art

Ralph Bernabei. Art of Connection

icon-location-pin Galeria Esther Montoriol, Eixample
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Born in New York and living and working in Catalonia, artist Ralph Bernabei asks himself three questions that he tries to answer through his work. First: Is it possible to work in all dimensions of a space at once, going from plane to volume while keeping the connection between them? Second: Is there a dialogue between gesture, scribble and structure? Third: Can the colour red become an enormous therapeutic and symbolic force, capable of transforming consciousness? The answers are to be found in an Art of Connection, not only referring to the union or the link of formal and physical connections, but also between the works and the viewer in a humanism that offers another horizon for art based on union and integration. Art unites us.

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9
Maillol Horvat
Art

Maillol Horvat

icon-location-pin Espai VolART-Fundació Vila Casas, Eixample
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With this exhibition you get two shows in one: the terracotta work of Catalan sculptor, painter and printmaker Aristides Maillol, and the photographs that Croatian artists Frank Horvat took of Maillol’s terracotta pieces, suggesting a circular reading of each one. You'll see a total of 18 small-format terracottas and 59 photographs. It's a somewhat unconventional exhibition – both because of a shared space for two artists and also because it's as much about the works of a sculptor as it is about those of a photographer.

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

icon-location-pin MACBA. Museu d'Art Contemporani, El Raval
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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.

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