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Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds Ocula Conversation Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds

Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...

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Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City Ocula Report Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City 15 Nov 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Under the artistic direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Miquel Barceló

b. 1957, Spain

Internationally recognised Spanish contemporary artist Miquel Barceló is an inventive manipulator of materials and surfaces, whether working in painting, drawing, ceramics, or sculpture.

Born in Felanitx on the island of Mallorca, Barceló studied at the Arts and Trades School in Palma de Mallorca before moving to Barcelona in 1974. Dissatisfied with his experiences at the Sant Jordi School of Fine Arts there, he soon returned to Mallorca, where he joined the avantgarde group Taller Lunatic and the artists' newspaper Neón de Suro. Thereafter Barceló began to gain international recognition following his participation in the 16th Bienal de São Paulo in 1981 and documenta 7, Kassel, curated by Rudi Fuchs in 1982. Two years later, his work was included in the high-profile group presentation An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture curated by Kynaston McShine at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. In the early oil painting Venus bruta sentita (1982), which shows an amorphous seated figure against streams of blue, Barceló applies the energetic brushwork and impasto that would come to define his oeuvre.

In the 1980s, Barceló travelled extensively, establishing homes and studios in Paris and Ségou. His experiences abroad (especially in Africa) inspired him to experiment with different materials, textures, and techniques now characteristic of his practice. While crossing the Sahara in 1988, for example, the artist was so fascinated by the intensity of the light that he created white paintings such as Huîtres I (1988) and Locus (1989), in which the impressively textured surfaces recall the rugged landscapes of the desert.

Barceló's oeuvre is diverse. In his paintings of 1990, such as La Suerte de Matar, he captures the energy of bullfight scenes by rendering the rings of the arena in thick impasto. This makes the surfaces sculptural. Barceló's still lifes, on the other hand, often show fruit as flat, abstract, and monochrome, as seen in the etching Lanzarote (Serie Pornografica): four plates (2000), while the ocean—one of his most recurring themes—is portrayed as a calm horizon (La Mer avec Nuages, 2002), stormy (Hasta el punto más lejano, 2018), or referenced through sea creatures like the octopus (Temor i tremolor, 2018).

Barceló has been working in three dimensions since the late 1980s. His iconic sculptures include Gran Elefantdret (2008), an eight-metre-tall bronze elephant balancing itself on its trunk. Between 2001 and 2006, the artist worked on a large-scale project to adorn the interior of Saint Peter's Chapel at the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Palma, using ceramics to depict the story of the miracle of Jesus feeding the multitude.

Miquel Barceló is nationally recognised. He was awarded the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award (now the Princess of Asturias Award) in 2003 and represented Spain at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. Selected solo international exhibitions include Miquel Barceló, International Museum of Ceramics, Faenza (2019); On the Sea, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg (2018); Sol y Sombra, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and Musée Picasso, Paris (2016); and Ardenti Germinat, Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich (2015). In 2004, he became the youngest artist to show at the Louvre in Paris, presenting his watercolour illustrations of Dante's Divina Commedia.

Biography by Ocula | 2019
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Featured Artworks

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Jaune avec Trous by Miquel Barceló contemporary artwork
Miquel BarcelóJaune avec Trous, 2002–2003 Mixed media on canvas
233.7 x 284.5 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
Douentza by Miquel Barceló contemporary artwork
Miquel BarcelóDouentza, 2004 Mixed media on canvas
175 x 190 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
Moi et Moi by Miquel Barceló contemporary artwork
Miquel BarcelóMoi et Moi, 2011 Ceramic
51 x 31 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
Grand Crâne Central by Miquel Barceló contemporary artwork
Miquel BarcelóGrand Crâne Central, 2006 Mixed media on canvas
280 x 350 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
En Fonds Sableux by Miquel Barceló contemporary artwork
Miquel BarcelóEn Fonds Sableux, 2004 Mixed media on canvas
180 x 211 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
Aufabia d’ossos de Peix by Miquel Barceló contemporary artwork
Miquel BarcelóAufabia d’ossos de Peix, 2017 Ceramic
61.9 x 39.1 x 24.8 cm
Almine Rech
Diptyque Vert-Citron by Miquel Barceló contemporary artwork
Miquel BarcelóDiptyque Vert-Citron, 1994 Mixed media on canvas
235 x 246 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
Courant Central by Miquel Barceló contemporary artwork
Miquel BarcelóCourant Central, 2013 Pigment and vinyl on canvas
74 x 105 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Miquel Barceló, TOTEM at Almine Rech, Brussels
Closed
5 September–18 October 2019 Miquel Barceló TOTEM Almine Rech, Brussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, By Fire, Ceramic Works at Almine Rech, New York
Closed
31 October–15 December 2018 Group Exhibition By Fire, Ceramic Works Almine Rech, New York

Represented By

In Related Press

Visiting the Prado Museum with Spanish artist Miquel Barceló Related Press Visiting the Prado Museum with Spanish artist Miquel Barceló El Pais : 7 June 2019

Where should we start? Van der Weyden, for example. I am standing in front of The Descent from the Cross. I often come to look at this painting. One day, after lots of visits, I realized that its intense presence was due to something very concrete – the subjects are enclosed within a very narrow kind of frame. If you look at the corners of the...

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Strike force: Mallorcan artist Miquel Barceló takes Salamanca by storm Related Press Strike force: Mallorcan artist Miquel Barceló takes Salamanca by storm Wallpaper* : 25 September 2017

Miquel Barceló hasn't eaten octopus or squid for four years. 'I would rather eat cat,' he declares. The Spanish artist has developed an affinity with the marine animals, meeting them in the Balearic Sea on his frequent dives ('I feed them a little,' he says with a twinkle) and bringing them into his artistic output. Here's one in an exuberant...

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