Destinations Magazine

Catalan Figurative Contemporary Art in Barcelona

By Stizzard

The European Modern Art Museum opened its doors in June this year with the mission of creating a space for contemporary artists that are into figurative art. The opening was carried out with the inauguration of the exhibition ’20th Century Contemporary Art’ and its original collections: ’20th Century Modern Sculpture’ and ’20th Century Catalan Sculpture’, that will be on until June 2012.

The museum and the exhibition are the pinnacles of the work by the Arts and Artists’ Foundation, that was created with the aim to support artists of contemporary figurative art, that needed their own spaces to exhibit their works and support for the diffusion of their works.

Figurative Contemporary Art Barcelona

Figurative art aspires to the direct creation of universal beauty and represents objective reality through shapes and colours. Even ancient man used to make figurative art, which can be seen in his cave paintings that represented portraits of everyday life, and how they used to live.

The process of figurative art is as long and complex as the very existence of man on earth. The process of refinement in art results in the art trends that correspond to ways of seeing the world and its representations.

That’s how, at the end of the 16th century, the Baroque style appeared on the scene which is derived from the word berueco and means irregular pearl, which was the art-form that had as its aim to exacerbate senses and sensitivity, highlighting feeling over reason in moments that the power, localized in the Church, was deflating due to the Reform and the weakening of the figure of the Pope.

After Baroque would appear as well as Rococo and Mannerism. Neoclassicism came with the French Revolution and its rejection of everything that hinted to monarchy and clergy. It’s a more severe art in its figurative representation and it leaves aside the typical paintings and noble family portraits to instill death, pain and illness as part of its representations.

Romanticism popped up with the rebellion and the romantic utopias on freedom. A classic exponent is Delacroix with his painting ‘Liberty Leading the People’ symbolized by a peasant woman showing her bare breasts whilst holding the freedom flag in one hand and a bayonet in the other.

Figurative art during the 20th century would have different expressions and trends that would be influenced by political and ideological changes.
Rafael Durancamps was one of the most important Catalan figurative artists and was born in Sabadell just outside Barcelona in 1891. Durancamps painted landscapes, still life and portraits. Despite his artistic style, impressionism influenced his painting after his time spent in Paris France, from where he came back to the Spain after the Nazi invasion. Durancamps painted throughout the 20th century and is one of the most well-known figurative artists of his time.

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