An on-line news service devoted to museums and exhibitions in New York City and vicinity. John Hammond, Editor Emeritus • Jonathan Slaff, Publisher • copyright © 2007
BARCELONA & MODERNITY: Gaudí to Dalí
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art
By Glenn Loney
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
Closing June 3, 2007
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) The Dream, 1931 Oil on canvas. 41 3/8 x 28 3/8 in. (105 x 74.5 cm)
The first use of the word & concept of Modernism--Modernisme to Catalans--surfaced in mid-19th century Barcelona, when amazing architects & designers began creating the most astonishing architecture and decorative-arts to adorn city villas & institutions.
The extensive & fascinating new Met exhibition briefly goes back to these roots, but focuses instead on the development of the concept beginning with the Universal Exhibition of 1888 and ending with the triumph of Franco's Fascist Falangists.
For those who think of Antonio Gaudí and his as yet unfinished & totally fantastic Iglesia de la Sagrada Familia when they think of Barcelona, this blockbuster show does not ignore such equally outstanding architects & visionaries as Lluis Domènech i Montaner & Josep Puig I Cadafalch.
[As your Roving Correspondent has been on two separate INFOTOGRAPHY™ photo-expeditions to Barcelona to document archivally the work of these three architect/designers, the architectural & decorative-arts aspects of the exhibition were of primal interest. Especially anything about Gaudí's Casa Milà!]
But for those who are only interested in Painting, Sculpture, & Graphics, all the Big Names are here: Lots of Picasso, Miró, & Dalí, plus many, many accomplished Catalan artists not so widely known beyond the Iberian Peninsula.
In fact, there are some 300 impressive artworks & artifacts in this show, not all of them by Catalans. Although this is effectually an Homage to Catalonia--or Cataluña--Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona House is also represented in models & photos. Then there's also the ''Butterfly Chair.''