Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pictures of Barcelona 1

Staying North of the Ramblas in the relentlessly trendy Jazz Hotel, muted, minimalist, cool music in the bar, pool on the roof, and a very decent buffet breakfast. But the towels and the bog roll are also a bit minimalist, and that's not a good thing.

We get the Picasso Museum out of the way first. Very disappointing. It's mostly very early work from his time in art school in Barcelona and later in Madrid. Worthy and conventional stuff. The only work that wasn't painted in his teens and early twenties is the crude and vastly overrated "Las Meninas", his homage to Velazquez. There are some gems though. A few of his blue period works and one self-portrait that catches him on the very brink of cubism ( one eye noticeably higher than the other). There are also a number of amusing pornographic doodles that caused some mirth amongst the scool kids who were being marched through.

Far more like it was the Foundacion Miro in the hills to the south of the centre. Here we were treated to the full range of Miro's genius, including sculpture and ceramics. You saw the evolution from Daliesque surrealism to his very own circumscribed world of women, birds, and the sun the moon and the stars. You also saw the older Miro become very gestural indeed and close to taking the piss with work such as "Painting for the Room of a Recluse", which is essentially a crooked line. A great museum with an excellent layout and a cooling glass of San Miguel in the garden afterwards.