Barcelona is a city with a special artistic atmosphere. All current and existing cultural movement has made its mark in some way in the cosmopolitan city par excellence.
After remarking its fully Modernist and maintain a presumable Gothic legacy (although sometimes based on rebuilding this style in the twentieth century), it is time that we now look at how Barcelona has embraced the new tendencies: the contemporary art, widely visible in the city.
El Raval: epicentre of contemporary art in Barcelona
Barcelona is a city of contrasts. That fact is staged to perfection in the Raval district. Living for a few days the essence of this multicultural neighbourhood from a studio on the Guardia street allows us to get immersed in a sea of different cultural styles, staged to perfection in the Rambla, which witnesses the classicism of old buildings constructed in brick with full functional character and elements belonging to the present era, like the cat of Botero, which stands in its south side.
What previously was known as the Chinese neighbourhood has become in the late twentieth century and early XXI century in the experimental field of what is known as gentrification: give value to disadvantaged areas by tidying and building new facilities made for the enjoyment of locals and foreigners.
So, in this way, El Raval became the perfect accommodation for the core comprising the MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art) and the CCCB (Contemporary Cultural Centre of Barcelona) in the north, and the Film Archive and the Rambla in the South area.
MACBA and CCCB: reflections of an unstoppable culture
We cannot sidestep when talking about these two contemporary art centres. Even before the Olympic Games that marked the city and also left contemporary landmarks like the Olympic Ring or the Olympic Port, Barcelona had been considered as the cradle of contemporary and avant-garde in Europe. However it is not until the mid-90s when there are not only one but two centres which gather the history and examples of the new arts.
The MACBA arises from the growing need to stay embodied the most contemporary Barcelona in a collection in a museum itself, designed by Richard Meier on the grounds which are shared with the former convent of Charity.
And just where the building of the House of Charity is located , the CCCB was established a year before the opening of the brand new museum as an engine and expression of the whole culture that follows this urban city and needed to be collected in an open and common space for locals and visitors.
Today, the axis formed by these two remarkable buildings is an area full of life constantly taken by skateboarders and gathering in a classic postal of the old Barcelona (the remains of the convent) and the most modern (the unpolluted set of white facade and glazed that appears in MACBA in contrast to the historic brickwork also culminated in glass on the CCCB), which is a summary of the essence of the Catalan capital.
An inexhaustible model of creating art
If we move to other parts of the city, we can reveal the recipe for success of contemporary art in Barcelona.
Peering from the roof of our apartment in Entenza street, we get a perspective in which the Miró Park is topped by an imposing sculpture of the great artist who followed the view of a former bullring which today houses the facilities of a modern shopping centre.
Even more remarkable is the contrast in the so-called 22 @ district, located in the Poble Nou district, a neighbourhood of fishermen and industrial tradition. There, between workshops and old factories converted into studios, imposing buildings of steel and glass as the famous Torre Agbar stand as an example of that past, present and future which perfectly goes hand by hand creating unmatched images.