Modernisme and More: The Beauty of Barcelona
Barcelona is a city of many different identities. Join Dr Jacqueline Cockburn as she delves into the its vast artistic history. From the hybrid style called Modernisme which looked back nostalgically to Islamic and Gothic times but also embraced new technologies and materials to the newly built area called the Eixample; the playground of architects such as Gaudi, Puig I Cadafalch and Domènech I Muntaner who were more than willing to indulge rich patrons such as Eusebi Guell - The course will investigate artists such as Picasso and Ramon Casas, Rusinyol and Nonell who depicted the underbelly of their city, the gypsies and dancers, the beggars and poor, the anarchists and the civil guard. To complete the six session course, participants will learn about the city that was ravished by a civil war and a dictatorship that rose up again in the 1980’s and flourishes now with a rich contemporary artistic scene in all the arts by taking a closer look at the artist Antoni Tàpies whose work reflects this modern contemporary world
Session 1 - Picasso early career and time in Barcelona
Born in Malaga in southern Spain, the young Pablo Picasso moved with his family first to La Coruna and then to Barcelona in 1895 where he went to school. In this lecture we will explore some of his juvenilia and see how his work developed as he began formal classes in painting. The impact of the city of Barcelona was huge for the young man; not just because he was now receiving an artistic education but also because through his encounters at cafes he was able to meet the prevailing Avant Garde which led him to move to Paris between1900-1904.
Session 2 - Miro leaving Barcelona
Joan Miró was born in the heart of Barcelona where the Picasso Museum now stands, Miró entered the artistic scene keen to follow the European trends which could be seen in exhibitions held at the Dalmau gallery in Barcelona. Unlike Picasso, who was a few years older than Miro, he was unable to move to Paris during the first world war and this caused him much angst and frustration. When he eventually moved he lived next to André Masson and quickly was caught up in the Surrealist movement. We will explore this trajectory and see how even though he had left behind Barcelona, he continued to think of his homeland.
Session 3 - Gaudi and Catalan Modernista Architects
Everyone loves Gaudi or at the very least has heard of him and recognises his iconic buildings. In this lecture we will explore some of his less well-known buildings in Barcelona and take a glimpse at the still unfinished Sagrada Familia but most of all we will uncover two other architects working at the same time and notable for their mixture of the new and the old. Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluis Doménech I Montaner constructed some of the most beautiful buildings at the turn of the twentieth century. These buildings are still iconic today and many of them are of great beauty and have important functions in the city of Barcelona.
Session 4 - Catalan Modernista Painters and sculptors
Modernisme is the Catalan term for art at the end of the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century. Painters and sculptors embraced new materials and themes which often emanated from Paris where they went to explore. Names to conjure with; Ramón Casas, Isidre Nonell, Santiago Rusinyol to mention but a few. These painters had extraordinary gifts and yet are still not well known today. They painted the often-turbulent world of Barcelona at a period of change; a city modernising into the twentieth century yet steeped in tradition.
Session 5 - Dali and Surrealist Encounters
The Surrealists loved the notion of the ‘chance encounter’ returning repeatedly to the words of the Count of Lautréamont; ‘the chance encounter of an umbrella and a sewing machine on an operating table. This is the stuff of our dreams. Yet as we shall see, the chance encounters they made in their lives helped to fashion their work and develop their approaches. Dali’s meetings with Breton, Breton with Freud, Dali with García Lorca, all of these encounters are celebrated in the work produced at this exciting time in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Session 6 - Antoni Tàpies; a meditation on the void 1923-2012
We will end with one of the most celebrated Catalan artists of our time, Antoni Tàpies. Born into a Surrealist world he later returned to their preoccupations but his city of Barcelona and its walls would frequently be the subject of his work as he began to explore the values of Abstraction and turn his mind to the United States. His celebrated Monument to Picasso will be considered in order to return to the beginning of this course, as will his wise words on art of the twentieth century.
This course will be delivered online via Zoom. All participants will receive information in advance about how to access the course and if any preparation work is required before it commences.
What you will learn:
• Knowledge of key artists of the period and the context in which they worked
• Key insights into looking at, understanding and discussing works of Catalan art
• Explore the landmarks which captured the imagination of painters
Please note that the virtual course session will not be recorded due to intellectual property rights.
Image: Antoni Tàpies, Hieroglyphics, 1994, World history Archive