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Thursday, October 06, 2005

BCN Notes

Last week I promised notes on a few Barcelona art spots. Here are sound bites on three.

Parc Guell's gatehouse and the view across Barcelona to the seaParc Güell: Antonio Gaudí's work fascinates me because of its utter originality. His slightly warped melding of natural and man-made forms into built spaces (the park's gatehouse is at right) is unlike anything anyone had done before or since. His work on this park opens a dialogue between landscape and structural architecture that is conducted in Gaudí's own private language. I'm not sure I understand everything he says, but it sure is fun to listen.

The Picasso Museum: If you want to see Picasso qua Picasso, you're better off going to MoMA. But walking through the extensive collection of pre-Blue Period work here (donated by Picasso himself in 1970) allows you to see Picasso becoming Picasso in a way that you can't anywhere else.

National Museum of Catalunian Art: I'm prone to be suspect of collections that are assembled and curated for nationalistic purposes. So I was pleasantly surprised by the incredible quality, richness, and depth of work at MNAC. With pieces spanning the 12th to the mid-20th century, the museum's collection can really stand on its own against any historical collection worldwide--which is probably just what the Catalunian government wants me to say about it.

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