After an afternoon of enjoying a wide variety of local, craft brews at Cocovail, you will surely be in the mood for exploring some of the more cultural offerings that Barcelona boasts. There are more than 40 art galleries in the city. Each gallery is unique and they all offer a real taste of the culture and history. Some, like the Museu Picasso are dedicated to the life’s work of a sole artist. Others, like Sala Parés, showcase an artistic movement that has influenced a new generation of painters. These art galleries will also show you how important a sense of community is to the people of Barcelona. You can then come back to the bar and share your experiences with others over a craft beer and a bowl of house chicken wings.
This incredible museum is home to 150 sculptures, 225 paintings and more than 5,000 drawings by Miró. He is an extremely prolific graphic artist, whose work demonstrates the importance of simplicity. He particularly embraced the abstract and surrealist movements. If you are an aspiring painter or illustrator, then it's worth visiting to see how Miró tackles simple geometric shapes. For instance, if you want to learn to draw the moon, take a look at some of Miró’s graphic drawings inspired by space. His work demonstrates how going back to basics with drawing can help to make a piece of artwork really successful.
The organic forms of the moon and stars take up half of the exhibition space in the museum. There are also some excellent cubist and surrealist paintings to inspire you. On your way out, don’t forget to pick up a custom Miró pint glass from the gift shop for your refreshing evening beer back at the bar.
The Picasso Museum is far more mainstream and tourist-friendly. However, the galleries don’t just cover the few favorite and well-known paintings. The museum hosts an extensive collection that serves to document the life of an extremely talented visionary artist. Picasso was also known as “Lord of the Drinks.” He certainly did enjoy a drink, although his addiction to absinthe eventually drove him to insanity. Perhaps he should have tried a delicious Spanish beer instead. First opened in 1963, it is home to more than 4,000 works of art. The portraits of Picasso are particularly poignant and worth enduring the queues to see. There are some great guided tours, so you can learn more about the paintings and the history behind them, and there are also regular family events suitable for children.
On your way from the Picasso Museum, make sure that you stop at Sala Parés. It is the first art gallery that ever opened in Spain, back in 1877. The gallery has remained popular due to the forward thinking vision and dedication to the modern art movement. There are hundreds of works of some of the most successful Spanish artists, including: Xavier Rodez, Rafael Joan and Carmen Alvar. Along with both realistic and figurative paintings, there are also works of sculpture, photography and video art. There is a program of frequently changing exhibitions, so the work in Sala Parés always remains fresh and current.
Barcelona has a rich and colorful history, and this is reflected in the amazing diversity of the museums and galleries. Even if you have lived in the city your whole life, you can learn something new about Barcelona, through the art and sculptures of the resident artists.