The history of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) goes back to 1959. Then art critic Alexandre Cirici Pellicer championed the idea of creating a museum of contemporary art in Barcelona.

Cirici & Cesáreo Rodríguez Aguilera headed a group which began to gather together a collection which would serve as the foundation of the future museum; an active platform for irradiating contemporary art.
As various willing parties united to decide upon a definitive location for the new museum, the aforementioned group began a series of exhibitions (twenty three in total) of contemporary artists such as Moisès Villèlia, Antoni Bonet, Àngel Ferrant, Jean Fautrier, Albert Ràfols Casamada, Romà Vallès, Jordi Curós, Josep Maria de Sucre, August Puig, among others.

In February of 1963 the inauguration of the exhibition “Art and Peace,” which had clear political motives, made evident the existing limits of permissiveness, ending Cirici & Aguilera’s venture. A portion of the collection remaining in the museum was sent to the Victor Balaguer Museum in Vilanova i la Geltrú.

In 1985 Joan Rigol, the then Cultural Councillor of the Generalitat, took up the idea of a contemporary art museum, which he shared with other figures of importance within Barcelona’s cultural ambience, then headed by art coordinator Pep Subirós.

The text of the Cultural Pact, created through a consensus of both active administrations & promoted by Rigol, ratified the creation of a consortium made up of the Generalitat and the Barcelona City Council, deciding to house the museum in the old Casa de la Caritat (Charity House).
A few months later a change of the Council’s leadership put a hold on the project. In 1986 the Barcelona City Council, headed by Pascual Maragall, proposed that American Architect Richard Meier take on the project of constructing the new museum’s edifice & the City Council’s Cultural Department hired critics Francesc Miralles & Rosa Queralt to write the future museum’s definitive mission statement.

In 1987 the MACBA Foundation was established, presided over by empresario Leopoldo Rodés who pioneered private initiative in the project.

In April of 1988, the new museum was born from the creation of the MACBA Consortium which integrated the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Barcelona City Council, and the MACBA Foundation. In accordance with its statutes, the two public administrations that form a part of the consortium contribute the necessary resources to maintain the museum’s basic functions, while the MACBA Foundation is responsible for generating the capital necessary to establish the permanent collection. The objective of the consortium is the MACBA’s creation and organization.

The MACBA opened to the public on November 28th, 1995. Since then it has been directed by Daniel Giralt-Miracle (1988-1994), Miquel Molins (1995-1998), Manuel J. Borja-Villel (desde 1998)...

Shows featuring the MACBA Collection're visual journeys in which the visitor can consider its contents from various points of view, assisting them in their reading & understanding of Contemporary Art.
They aim to show, from a local point of view, the fact that historical narratives're constructed upon a basis of conflict between hegemonic and sub-alternative stances. The result of that is an aesthetic strategy that includes previously unpublished situations between the private & public, which reconstruct the past & the present & which, though a work of art’s action, facilitates unexplored relationships between historical or biographical events, artistic innovations, & a wider sense of the cultural community.

MACBA Collection shows are not simply based on chronological criteria, but choose to highlight specific moments in Contemporary Art History according to the past year’s acquisitions.

Art Museums

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