Autumn exhibitions at MNAC
When the cold weather hits Barcelona, the people who were previously swarming on the beaches and terraces are tempted to stay at home, wrapped in a warm blanket with a mug of hot coffee. Instead of this, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) invites you to leave your sofa for a very special cultural experience.
For the first time ever, it is bringing together the best works by female artists such as Lluïsa Vidal or Marianne Breslauer, and some 40 works by Picasso. Three major exhibitions that will be held in its galleries and which offer an alternative way to enjoy this season of the year.
Lluïsa Vidal. The Painter of Catalan Modernism
Exhibition open until 15th January 2017
Lluïsa Vidal (1876-1918) formed part of the younger generation of Catalan Modernist artists. As a painter, sketch artist and illustrator, her most outstanding work were her portraits, which were highly praised for her ability to capture the emotional state of her sitters.
This exhibition will show her best-known portrait works and some of her genre paintings, which are an important aspect of her work because of her frank and straightforward representation of the day to day life of women of her time. The show also includes her plein air paintings and her favourite subjects: fiestas, village dances, beaches and streets, nearly always with figures, in bright colours, captured with firm lines and bold brushstrokes.
There are also some of the smaller works that Vidal made with the idea that they would never leave her studio. These pieces reveal what lies behind the painting, the part we cannot see, they tells us its history and show us the importance of the first take, the sketches and trial runs that are required before the final work is achieved.
The show is competed by a documentary section with family photographs, letters, photographs of the painter’s works printed in magazines, books with her illustrations, reviews of her exhibitions in different newspapers of the period and the diploma she was awarded by Barcelona City Council in 1907 for one of her drawings.
Marianne Breslauer. Photographs 1927-1938
Exhibition open until 29th January 2017
Despite her short career as a photographer, lasting only 11 years, the legacy of Marianne Breslauer (1909-2001) is a remarkable example of what we refer to as “new photography”. Since her work was discovered in the 1980s, it has been shown at important individual exhibitions, the latest of which was at the Berlinische Galerie of Berlin in 2010, and this is the first time they have been the subject of a complete exhibition in Spain.
Marianne Breslauer was a member of a generation of women photographers who took advantage of the new freedoms that emerged under the Weimar Republic to engage in this activity. She was from an educated middle-class Jewish family, and her career came to end when the National-Socialists came to power in 1933, and she had to go into exile.
The MNAC has gathered together all of the artist’s work and placed special attention on the photographs taken in May 1933, when Breslauer travelled to Barcelona, Andorra, Huesca, Pamplona and San Sebastián in the company of the writer Annemarie Schwarzenbach. Altogether, the exhibition is a selection of more than thirty photographs from this journey, with other photographs taken in the time she spent in Berlin, Paris and Palestine.
Exhibition open until 26th February 2017
There are two dates that were decisive in Picasso’s relation with Romanesque art. In 1906, at a decisive moment in the transformation of his style, the artist spent some months in the village of Gòsol, in the Catalan Pyrenees. Nearly thirty years later, in 1934, he visited the collections of Romanesque Art that today make up the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, an event that was the subject of much commentary in the press of Barcelona at the time.
Based on these two dates, the exhibition revolves around three main themes. The first is the works that he painted in 1906 and 1907 and their relation to the Virgin of Gòsol. The second theme is related with the Crucifixion, which is a common subject of Romanesque art and occupied Picasso’s mind at different times of his life, especially between 1930 and 1937. The third theme is a recurring motif that is also present in the museum’s Romanesque collection: the skull.
The exhibition has been organized jointly with the Museo Picasso of Paris, and consists of some 40 works which can be seen in the Romanesque galleries of the permanent collection. It is not so much a question of establishing a mechanical link between the Romanesque works and those of Picasso, but an invitation to the visitor to seek the affinities that can be drawn between them.