BARCELÓ, Miquel

BARCELÓ , Miquel   (Felanitx, Mallorca, 1957)

Barceló is the son of a landscape artist in Mallorca. In 1972-74, he studied at the art school of Palma de Mallorca and at Bellas Artes de Sant Jordi in Barcelona. He would soon abandon his studies following a trip to Paris in 1970 where he discovered the art brut movement. A style that featured heavily in his early-published works and that formed part of the Taller Llunátic de Mallorca group.

Barcelo would become more known when Rudi Fuich showed his work at the Documenta VII of Kassel (1982) following Barcelo’s participation at the Bienal de Sao Paulo in 1981. Since then, his work has been included in some of the most prestigious international exhibitions and is also considered one of the major revelations of the 1980s Spanish art movement.

At the end of the 1970s, Barcelo’s enormous figurative animal-themed canvasses of expressionism incorporated the influence of Miró, action painting of Jackson Pollock, and the abstraction and art brut of Tàpeis. Later, this would give way to the more recognized work of forced perspective and dense graphic treatment that appeared in libraries, museums and cinemas.

Following a trip to Mali, Barcelo would discover Africa through the lives of people living in the desert. It’s the main developing theme in his work in recent years. His work continues to reflect a concern for nature, origin and its passage through time. In 1986 he was awarded the National Prize for Visual Arts.

As well as the many features to his work, he is inspired by nature highlighted through the use of dark and dense fillings.

The Mediterranean and Africa themes are two of the most important references to his work and in 1988 he set up his workshop in Mali. Barcelo is also inspired by literature and has illustrated many books and written the foreword for many of his catalogues.

More recently, Barcelo has advanced towards more abstract and academic work. He currently resides between Paris, Majorca and Mali (Africa).

  • Major Barcelo retrospective, Pompidou Centre, Paris, 1996.
  • Won the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts, 2003.
  • Watercolour exhibition to illustrate the Divine Comedy, Louvre 
Museum, 2004. Miquel Barceló was the youngest contemporary 
artist of his generation to exhibit at the Museum.
  • Cathedral of Mallorca, 2007. Elaborate clay work for the opening of the chapel consisting of two worlds: fruits of the sea, fruits of 
the earth. Headlines from the daily newspaper during this time 
were of the Majorcan artist.
  • In May 2007, work began on the installation of the domed 
ceiling in the Chamber Room XX, Palace of Nations in Geneva. This room named the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations room would host the meetings of the Human Rights Council.