MADRID. Miquel Barceló “Life of Octopus” 19 january – 30 march 2019. Elvira González Gallery

The exhibition will have 29 new works of which fifteen are canvases, twelve are works on paper and two ceramics. All these works have been made in the past two years and will be shown to the public for the first time.

Life of Octopus is the title chosen by Barceló and refers to his deep link with the sea, its nature and wildlife, and with the relationship between humans and the seas. A romantic and desolate vision. An unsettling stormy sea that seems to relate to the moment we currently live in. Some boats with people and some empty ones lost in the sea. A large multicoloured octopus of two meters presides over one of the exhibition rooms.

The exhibition will show other subjects in which Barceló has recently worked as drawings of Goethe’s book Faust, images of bullfighters and some classic stories and self-portraits.

On the occasion of Life of Octopus, a catalogue has been published by the gallery which, in addition to the works on show, will feature images from two notebooks that Miquel Barceló produced as he painted the works in the show. These notebooks as diaries, note the evolution of some paintings and also collect Barceló’s thoughts that range from everyday subjects and daily obligations to thoughts of philosophical and poetic nature.

“I’d lead a life of octopus.

At night eating crabs and prawns
Inside the barracks in the morning light,
I would hardly ever go to the Ciutat, or to mass, or to the
All day long I wouldn’t do a thing, I’d observe the shell collections of hairy crabs and limpets.
I would watch out for brunettes while entertaining myself watching a sip of suspended ink, lush (circumspect) always about to project a definitive black spittle and end any conversation

Notebook Alchi, Bangkok, París, Mallorca, Delhi, 2018. Miquel Barceló.Miquel Barceló”

Miquel Barceló (Felanitx, Majorca, 1957) started painting at a very early age thanks to his mother, Francisca Artigues, who loved to paint, and with whom Miquel shared this passion. He attended the Escola d’Arts i Oficis in Palma in 1972 and do his first solo show in 1974 at Galería Picarol (Majorca).

He began his studies of Fine Arts in Barcelona in 1975, but he quit to start his own pictorical career independently. He first received international recognition when he participated in the São Paulo Art Biennial in 1981 and in Documenta VII in Kassel in 1982, at the age of 25. Since then, his works lead him to become a model for contemporary artists who links his practice to the strong tradition of Western painting since the Baroque movement.

Living between Paris and Majorca, since the mid 80s, he’s been travelling to West Africa on trips which have nourished his myths and figures. Since the beginning of the 80s, his works have been included in the most prestigious exhibitions, making him one of the most outstanding Spanish artists in the international scene.
He has been exhibited solo shows in art relevant institutions like CAPC (Bourdeaux), IVAM (Valencia), Musée du Jeu de Paume , Centre Pompidou, Musée des Arts Décoratifs and Museé du Louvre (Paris), Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (Roma), Museu d’Art Contemporani (Barcelona) and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), among many others. (Elvira González press-release)


Image: Miquel Barceló