A Day with Picasso | May 13, 2009

So we met up with some rain this morning which cut us short on our scheduled walk. It also made for a really bad picture taking day, so I hope you’ll bear with me. We made it to a couple of sites like the Palau de la Musica, which is a pretty amazing old music hall that was recently renovated. They hold a lot of classical concerts and the like. The most interesting thing about the place is that it wasn’t designed so much for the music as it was to show yourself off. There’s a large covered entryway that was designed to allow a horse and carriage to take you right up to the entrance, and then an extremely elaborate set of stairs to exhibit yourself to the crowd. Just think of an even more ridiculous version of our modern red carpet and you’re not too far off.

We then spent some time in the most amazing public market in Barcelona, the Sana Caterina Market. It has this amazing technicolor canopy roof (above). The designers name is Enric Miralles. Everything the man touched turned to gold, but died young of a brain tumor. The market is also pretty interesting because it’s part of a housing project, an approach you wouldn’t see in the states. You can see a glimpse of the housing in the upper right of the above photo. The most interesting aspect of the housing is the organization of the exterior windows, a pretty stark contrast to the grid of appartment windows you’ll see in the rest of the city (below).

We finished the day at the Picasso museum, which ended up being a pretty great exhibit. I have mixed feelings about his artwork. I really like his early work, not so much the cubist surrealism that he’s so famous for. I guess the reason for that is that I always strive to be simple and clear both personally and professionally. I think I’ve taken a bit of flak for that in school because there’s an expectation of complexity and criticallity in works of architecture, particularly from academics. While I understand the rationale behind that mode of thought, I still contend that the ability to succinctly synthesize and express information is the measure of an artist. I had similar feelings as I looked over the thesis exhibit last month, and I hope my colleagues who read this won’t be too offended, but I found myself paying more attention to the subtext than the work itself for no other reason than the ideas contained in the work were not sufficiently clear without it. As amazing and provocative as the images were, I needed additional information to make sense of it. Similarly, I find myself looking for subtext in Picasso’s cubist work, while I feel that his early work (samples below) is beautifully clear, and I don’t think that it lacks in complexity or criticallity. The ability to express a relatively infinite amount of information with a very finite amount of pigment; the labor of an artist.


Posted in Barcelona_09

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About author

I'm a young aspiring architect. This blog is a record of my journey in this great profession.







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