The Current Art Scene in Barcelona — An Insider’s Thoughts

The average traveler knows Gaudi, maybe Domenech i Montaner and has probably never heard of Puig i Cadafalch. In one sense, this is great because Gaudi and was so thoroughly Catalan.In another sense, this isn’t so great because visitors miss out on Barcelona’s contemporary art scene. It’s like most of us are stuck in the late 1880’s and early 1900’s.

So, to catch us (and you) up on the local art trends in Barcelona, we asked art expert Joëlle Dinnage to talk about Barcelona’s burgeoning creative communities.Joëlle is part of Global Art Agency Ltd., the organizers of the  2014 Barcelona International Art Fair.

The Current Barcelona Art Scene

If looking closely while walking around Barcelona, you can easily see that the city is one big contemporary art gallery. I fell in love with the city from my very first visit when I was just a kid. The culture, the people, the food, the history, the creativity, the sun, the sea.

My business partner and good friend Natal Vallve was born and raised in this city and always tells me that every corner of Barcelona has creativity. He is so right! It was written in the stars that this city would be the city that I was meant to spend a lot of my time working to bring Contemporary Art to Barcelona.

Going Deeper Than Gaudí

There’s more to Barcelona than Antoni Gaudí and the Picasso Museum. The Contemporary Art scene of Barcelona today is huge, ranging from urban artists performing live-painting in the streets of the Raval district, to Contemporary Art events and Barcelona’s fast growing Street Art and Graffiti scene.

Searching For Street Art

The street art and graffiti movement is emerging in Barcelona. Not only the street art is fascinating, but also the hard to find contemporary and underground galleries and boutiques, and of course some local bars, which cater to Barcelona’s emerging urban scene.

An example of Barcelona street art

The Poblenou district has also got much to offer and encourage particularly younger artists to experiment with contemporary art. Raval, El Borne and the Gothic Quarter also are spots to catch some of the city’s street art.

Modern Art at MACBA

A personal favorite of mine is the MACBA – Barcelona’s Modern & Contemporary Art Museum. Their exhibition program offers visitors access to a complex vision of contemporary culture by local artists as well as international.

Photo courtesy of Matt Clark, Flickr Creative Commons

Currently they’re hosting the first solo exhibition by Xavier Ribas (Barcelona, 1960) who became known with his project ‘Sundays’, a photographic practice about the transformations affecting Barcelona as a result of the 1992 Olympic Games, which turned the city into a standard bearer for the service-sector economy.

Barcelona’s Best Galleries

Some of Barcelona’s best art galleries for contemporary art are Galeria 3 Punts, whose special attention is dedicated to new artists as well as those with an already established career. Seven or eight individual exhibitions are programed per year.

Photo courtesy of

ADN Gallery favors less-established contemporary artists, half of whom are locally based. It’s a great place to go if you’re hungry for raw talent.
Galería Trama, set up in 1991 as a complement to Sala Parés, is dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art. The gallery works with a group of established artists with a solid body of work as well as with emerging local and foreign artists.

Rediscovering Las Ramblas

But even wandering around, going towards the end of the busy Ramblas, you can find yourself bumping into a live contemporary art show. A row of local artists selling their contemporary works from stalls on the street in the Raval district. There is a mix of young and more established artists, many performing live-painting.

Photo courtesy of Kom Bo, Flickr Creative Commons

It’s the vibe and atmosphere that gets to you, as you can almost feel the creativity flowing through the air with the scenic backdrop of Barcelona’s architecture, the hustle and bustle of people, and tapas and sangria served on the terraces around you. A true feeling of one of the many vibes of the Barcelona culture.

2014 Barcelona International Art Fair



Want to combine both the classic Barcelona Art with Contemporary art? Visit the Barcelona International Art Fair 12-13 December 2014 at Gaudi’s Casa Batlló.

Local artists and 150 exhibitors from over 25 countries will showcase their contemporary artworks in the beautiful building, an architectural jewel by Gaudi

About the Author: Joëlle Dinnage

Joëlle Dinnage is an award-winning Dutch entrepreneur and helps organizethe Barcelona International Art Fair, which will take place December 12-13 in Casa Batlló.

Her ongoing projects include the yearly Oxford International Art Fair (St. Aldate’s, Oxford, UK) and her role as a curator at the Florence Biennial 2015.

Joëlle is involved in several charity projects. In December 2012 she traveled to Tanzania to organize ‘Charity Africa Showcase’. CAS resulted in donations used to purchase art materials, books and toys to help the orphanage of Bweju.

Together with her colleagues she did the same in 2014 for the orphanage ‘Save Blessing Child Home’ in Kathmandu, Nepal. For more information about Joëlle Dinnage and what she’s doing in the global art scene, check out her website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *