Artistic Journey Between Joy and Sorrow at the Museu Marès

29/11/2023 - 13:30 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

Sculptures from the 12th century and video art from the 21st century guide the audience through a journey of timeless emotions.


The collections of the Museu Frederic Marès preserve many sculptures and artworks created between the 12th and 16th centuries. In the exhibition “Emotions: Images and Gestures from the Past and Present,” you will see them engaging in a dialogue with works by contemporary artists such as Bill Viola, Lucio Fontana, or Antoni Tàpies, demonstrating that human emotions, then as now, are one of the great themes of artistic creation. You can experience this from November 30 to May 25.

This exhibition takes place in Room 28 on the first floor of the museum, recalling how human emotions became a prominent artistic theme when Christianity focused on the passion of Christ and the mother of God, a guiding figure in an exhibition structured around three areas: pain, wound, and glory.

In various sections, you will witness a dialogue on human emotions between works from the past and those from the present, observing the relationship established between creations from two very distant temporal moments. Among the contemporary works that engage in a dialogue with centuries-old sculptures are video art pieces contributed by Bill Viola, a major figure in contemporary creation who, in the cycle “The Passions,” represented emotions with an almost medieval and Renaissance aesthetic. The same exhibition allows us to see informal and spatialist works by Antoni Tàpies and Lucio Fontana and includes a light installation by Javier Riera, a creation of our century.

With medieval and Renaissance works conversing with contemporary creations, there are references or poems by medieval mystics (from Juliana of Norwich to Angela de Foligno), providing insights into how certain representations, images, or gestures were interpreted in past centuries.

Works such as “Piedad, san Juan y Maria Magdalena,” from the late 15th or early 16th century (in the image. Museu Frederic Marès. © Photo: Artworkphoto. eu) or “Concetto Spaziale C 59 T 21” [Spatial Concept C 59 T 21] (Lucio Fontana, 1959. Collection of Contemporary Art “la Caixa” Foundation. © Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milano by SIAE 2023) coexist with video art pieces like the one shown on the poster, depicting a moment from Bill Viola‘s work “Study for Emergence” (2002; Photo: Kira Perov. © Bill Viola Studio).

If you want to take a historical stroll through human emotions, don’t miss the exhibition “Emotions: Images and Gestures from the Past and Present,” but first, check the information about the exhibition on the Museu Frederic Marès website.