On 26 January 2013, the Majorcan artist Miquel Barceló will inaugurate his first individual exhibition at the Galería Elvira González. This will also be the first time that Barceló exhibits in a gallery in Madrid in more than a decade.
The exhibition consists of new work, created mainly in 2012, a period during which Barceló has worked above all with ceramics. Although the artist has employed ceramics for many years, he has lately intensified this aspect of his artistic practice; in his own words, ceramics are “the best material for showing defects and imperfections”. As in his paintings, Barceló handles the chosen material with skill and ease, giving rise to impressive and transforming formal solutions.
As the artist himself has stated: The subject of many of these works is painting, how clay becomes painting, canvas, drawing. In short, a transmutation. Clay becomes painting and therefore flesh again.
The exhibition as a whole demonstrates Barceló’s artistic versatility and his unmistakable style, which have made him one of the most famous Spanish contemporary artists on the international scene.
Miquel Barceló (Felanitx, Majorca, 1957) came into contact with painting at a very early age thanks to his mother, Francisca Artigues, who loved to paint, and with whom Miquel shared this passion. He entered the Escola d’Arts i Oficis in Palma in 1972 and, from early on in his career has been considered one of the leading European artists of our era. He first received international recognition at an early age: at 24, he participated in the São Paulo Art Biennial in 1981 and, at 25, he took part in the Documenta exhibition in Kassel (Germany) in 1982.
Since then, his works have been included in the most prestigious international exhibitions, making him one of the outstanding Spanish artists to have emerged in the 1980s. In 1986, he received Spain’s National Fine Arts Award and, two years later, he installed his workshop in Mali, where he has pursued his fascination with Africa.
His work encompasses different media such as painting, sculpture and ceramics. He was the Spanish representative at the Venice Biennial Pavilion in 2009, and his work has been exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Macba in Barcelona and the Louvre in Paris.
In 2003, he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts in Spain and, in 2008, he inaugurated the dome of Hall XX of the UN’s Palace of Nations in Geneva. Most recently, he won the Penagos Award for Drawing in 2011 and was granted an honorary doctorate by Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.