Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art has been the catalyst in the urban regeneration of the El Raval district of central Barcelona, just off the Ramblas. If you’re staying in this area it’s well worth a visit even though you might find some of the exhibits rather weird.
Whether you’re a student of art, a fan of exceptional architecture or just looking to enjoy walking around a beautiful building that has something to offer at every turn, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary art can show you some of the best of the last half-century of art and expose you to some of the most extraordinary architecture to be seen in Barcelona.
The first thing that you are sure to notice about the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art is the contrast it makes to the surrounding city. Designed in the early 1990s by famed architect Richard Meier, this gleaming white building rises above the charmingly old-fashioned Barcelona neighbourhood of the Raval Quarter in Old Barcelona. With its enormous glass windows and strongly geometric architecture the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art is in itself a work of modern art. The entirely white interior and exterior combined with a system of windows and skylights that flood the building with natural light gives the impression of being a place thoroughly dedicated to the modern.
When you go to the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art you’ll find work in the permanent collections from nationally recognized artists like Paul Klee but the collection’s real strengths come from its collection of Catalan artists like Antoni Tàpies, one of Barcelona’s most famous artists.
Look for his sculptures in the specifically set aside permanent galleries but do be aware that the museum will rotate out its pieces from time to time. You can find his famous “Pintura Ocre” and “Rinzen” in a gallery devoted to his work. Similarly you’ll find Miguel Barcelo’s famous painting “Season of Rain no. 2” hanging on the second floor amidst work by some of Barcelo’s contemporaries, the finest modern artists of Spain.
The best way to see the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary art is simply to wander in it. In the past visiting exhibits have featured the work of Jo Spence and Peter Friedl and when you wander the halls, starting from the cylindrical atrium and heading up the walkways, you’ll be surprised and delighted by the exhibits you didn’t expect to see. Pick up a map on the front desk and lose yourself for hours enjoying the best that contemporary Catalan art has to offer.
MACBA: Opening Hours
The museum’s summer hours are from 11am until 8pm on weekdays, from 10am until 8pm on Saturdays and from10am until 3pm on Sundays. During the winter the museum is closed on Tuesdays and on weekdays is open from 11am until 7:30pm keeping the same weekend hours as during the summer. If you can, head to the museum on a Wednesday when admission is half price. The nearest underground stations are Catalunya and Universitat.