Barcelona is a city that's famous both culturally and artistically, home to two of the biggest names in surrealist art; Dalí and Miro. If you come on a trip to Barcelona and want to see the works of a famous Catalan artist... then which one do you see? Let's take a look at the work of both artists so that you can get the most out of your cultural visit to Barcelona and learn a bit more about Catalan art. Which of these two artists do you prefer? Tell us your opinion! Let the battle begin!!
Round One: Two Groundbreaking and Metaphoric Styles *ding ding*
Dalí's work arose during a period of expansion for the Avant-Garde movements of Europe. However, Dalí combined the Avant-Garde with Dadaistic ideals, inspired by the painters he admired like Velázquez and Zurbarán. From this, the birth of his unique style came to be, something very personal, unique, real, detailed, and above all, expressive. Dalí demonstrated that Avant-Garde and Classicism are not incompatible and that a high degree of symbolism does not prevent a work of art from being groundbreaking and Avant-Garde. His work is considered internationally to be one of the finest examples of surrealism, despite being expelled from the Surrealist Group for political and ideological reasons. Dalí knew how to create a symbolic and dream-like worlds, using the presence of various animals as references to ideas and concepts. Some of his symbols include the egg, long and thin legged elephants, and a melting clock, which are widely recognised around the world. He wasn't just a painter either, as an artist he dabbled in other fields like theatre, sculpting, fashion, photography, design, and film, working with directors like Hitchcock (Spellbound) and Disney (Destino).
The work of Miró also formed part of the Avant Garde expansion, with the artist being largely influenced by movements such as dadaism, cubism, and expressionism. Various artists at the time like Modest Urgell and Picasso served as driving force for his work, not always a positive force either, he is famous for saying "I will break their guitar", attacking the popularity of Picasso's art. Miró was devoted to painting, but also did some sculptures, engravings, and ceramics as his career progressed. Miró knew how to create worlds full of colour and symbolism, with the female form and birds recurring throughout his work. His main style is abstract, as he hated the idea that art was for the wealthy to use as a reflection of identity. Miró would likely frown upon this article for suggesting he was part of the surrealist movement, as he never truly considered himself to be a surrealist and simply believed art should be achievable with just a single line.
For his wide artistic activity, complex symbolism, and a masterful blending of various artistic styles into something very personal yet universally understandable... Round one goes to Dalí!!!
Round two: Art as a service to the public *ding ding*
Dalí was born and died in Figueres, Girona; which is the city where you can find the Dalí Theatre-Museum, opened in 1974. However, the artist could frequently be found in Barcelona, a base for his cultural activities and where he lived for some time. In this manner, he was heavily influenced by the intense artistic activity in Barcelona. The first ever exhibitions from Dalí took place in Barcelona and even today you can find a selection of his work in the city, like the Dalí exhibitions at the "Real Círculo Artístico" (Royal Artistic Circle) and at the Fran Daurel Foundation.
Born in Barcelona, where he was also buried, the city naturally came to form the headquarters of the Miró Foundation, which opened in 1975. His first ever exhibits were in Barcelona and today a a number of his works can even be found as you walk the streets of Barcelona , like the bronze sculpture Mujer on the patio of the Ayuntamiento , a ceramic mural across Terminal B of Barcelona Airport, various pieces at the Museo de Cerámica, Pla de l'Os on Las Ramblas, and the imposing sculpture Mujer y Pájaro at the Parc de l’Escorxador (or as the locals call it Joan Miró Park). In fact Miró contributed lots of art directly to the public.
For his extensive contribution to the art across the city of Barcelona, in various fields, and an undeniable influence and support for the integration of art into public life... Round two goes to Miró!
The Winner of the Battle
Whoops, there's a tie here! So whose works should you tour for your cultural visit in Barcelona? Well the answer is obvious, you need to see both! When you come to Barcelona, you can admire the work of Miró all over the city without having to detour, nor is a visit to the Royal Artistic Circle a hassle because it's in the city centre.
For the Dalí fans here though, you definitely need to make a detour to his hometown, Figueres; where you can stay in a cheap apartment on the Costa Brava before visiting the famous museum designed by him to house his work.