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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Barcelona views


Five days in Barcelona was just what was needed to relax and recharge batteries. Our hotel was just off La Rambla, so close to both Barri Gòtic and Port Vell. We used the tourist buses to get an overview of the city and find our way around while stopping off at some of the Gaudí sites we wished to visit. These included Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, Palau GüellPark Güell, Plaça Reial and the Sagrada Familia, as well as a day spent visiting Colònia Güell and its Gaudí designed Crypt. We also visited the Cathedral and saw exhibitions at the Diocesan Museum (Goya and his Inheritors. The Follies nowadays) and the Arts Santa Mònica (Pure Views: Transformations of Chinese Contemporary Art).

The Follies was the last important collection engraved by Francisco de Goya between 1819 and 1824. They are among the most difficult of his engravings to interpret, images with nightmarish visions, absurd scenes, personages that are not from this world, hidden obsessions revealed in his old age; mysterious and enigmatic, inscrutable and personal. Taking The Follies as its starting point, this exhibition creates a journey through contemporary art and current engraving linking Goya and 12 of his plates to 21 20th century artists including: José Manuel Broto, Eduardo Arroyo, Günter Grass, Martín Chirino, Luis Feito, Juan Genovés, Manolo Valdés, Luis Caruncho, Andrés Rábago (El Roto), José Beulas, Ricardo Calero, Julio León, Alicia Díaz Rinaldi, Darío Villalba, Luis Gordillo, José Hernández, Rafael Canogar, Jaume Plensa, Víctor Mira, Pascual Blanco and Guinovart.
Pure Views. Transformations of Chinese Contemporary Art, curated by Lu Peng, the prestigious Chinese art historian and director of the Chengdu Museum of Contemporary Art, is an attractive and comprehensive survey of Chinese contemporary art. Back in 1995, under the title From the Country of the Centre. Artistic Avant-gardes in China, this same art centre mounted a seminal display of key, innovative Chinese artworks of the day, one of the first exhibitions of its kind in Europe. Since then, Chinese art has evolved significantly.
Pure Views corroborates the developments experienced by Chinese art in the last thirty years. Starting from the final days of Socialist Realism, it charts the trend towards a diversity of techniques and styles, responding to the expectations of a new society that, at the same time, is reflecting profoundly on its tradition. The exhibition includes work by
Cao Jingping, Fang Lijun, He Sen, Hong Lei, Jin Jiangbo, Li Chao, Li Qing, Li Rui, Mao Tongqiang, Mao Xuhui, Na Wei, Qiu Anxiong, Shao Wenhuan, Shen Na, Shi Jinsong, They, Tu Hongtao, Wang Guangyi, Xie Fan, Yang Mian, Yang Qian, Yang Xun, Ye Yongqing, Yue Minjun, Zhan Wang, Zhang Jian, Zhang Peili, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Xiaotao, and Zhang Ya, Zhou Chunya.

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