In addition to Barcelona’s prestigious centres of contemporary art, such as MACBA, Museu Picasso and CCCB, numerous independent galleries across the city have become exciting meeting points for art enthusiasts and collectors alike.
From Modernist architecture to Joan Miró’s Surrealism or the abstract Informalism of Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona has a long-standing bond with the arts and visual culture that has transformed the city into one of the main cultural hubs in Europe. Here we explore some of the best contemporary art galleries and cutting-edge art venues in Barcelona, an unmissable cultural destination in Spain.
Nogueras Blanchard showcases interdisciplinary artists | Courtesy of Nogueras Blanchard
Nogueras Blanchard gallery moved from its birthplace in Raval to an industrial building in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, a working-class neighbourhood on the southern edge of Barcelona. The gallery nurtures a variety of emerging artists, building on the idea that art should be an interdisciplinary endeavour. Works range from the poetic observation of everyday objects by Wilfredo Prieto to Mercedes Azpilicueta’s performances, Ignacio Uriarte’s ‘sculptural drawings’ and Enric Farrés Duran’s literary installations. The gallery also has an annual open call for new curators.
Galería Senda supports and exhibits young emerging artists in Barcelona | Courtesy of Galería Senda
Galería Senda supports and exhibits the work of emerging young talent, both Spanish and international. Senda participates in prestigious international art fairs and promotes contemporary art through exhibitions of painting, sculpture, photography, installation and video. Founded in 1991, Senda opened a second location eight years later (Espai 2NOU2; now closed) in the artistic and cultural heart of the city, and continues to provide the perfect platform for young emerging artists in Barcelona.
Frank Lloyd and Harry Fisher founded the Marlborough Gallery in London in 1946. In the following decades, the pioneering gallery represented artists such as Henry Moore, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, and started its expansion all over the world, opening venues in New York, Tokyo and Madrid to create a wider international presence. Marlborough Barcelona was founded in 2006 and presents a solid programme of monographic, collective and permanent exhibitions, as well as collaborative shows in other cultural institutions across Spain. Marlborough represents a roster of widely respected contemporary artists from Europe, USA, South America and Asia.
The adn galeria is in the Eixample neighbourhood | Courtesy of Roberto Ruiz / adn galeria
The adn galeria is located in the busy Enrique Granados street, which is full of restaurants and bars. The gallery started as a hybrid platform between commercial mediation and cultural contribution and doesn’t shy away from from fostering a debate about modern society or featuring politically engaged artists such as Jordi Colomer, Núria Güell, Adrian Melis, Carlos Aires or the Democracia collective. The exhibitions display reflections upon the social context and the role of art in today’s world.
A wonderfully understated art gallery, ProjecteSD is best known for its innovative programme whereby it seeks to establish relationships between young, up-and-coming artists and those who are more established. By establishing a dialogue between emergent and renowned artists, they hope to foster discussion and the creation of innovative new art forms. ProjecteSD also aims to work with artists’ published books and is home to a growing collection of these editions, especially those of artists with whom they have collaborated.
Located in the heart of the central Raval neighbourhood and close to Barcelona’s contemporary art museum (MACBA), Àngels Barcelona is a well-established gallery that focusses on the most experimental art trends. It showcases works by renowned local and international artists such as Joan Fontcuberta, Pep Agut and Harun Farocki, using different artistic media to spark debate on contemporary culture. Conscious about their educational purpose, they also host in-gallery internship programmes.
3 Punts Galeria features a permanent collection in addition to temporary exhibitions | Courtesy of 3 Punts Galeria
3 Punts Galeria features a permanent collection and rotating temporary solo exhibitions of contemporary and urban art. They frequently display innovative and striking works such as Samuel Salcedo’s hyper-real yet surreal polychrome polyurethane sculptures, Shepard Fairey’s prints, Okuda’s colourful street-art enamels and Silvio Alino’s mixed-media collages. The gallery pays special attention to hip emerging artists and takes part in some of the trendiest art fairs in the world, such as Swab Barcelona, Estampa or KunstRAI Amsterdam. Bonus point: it’s a pet-friendly gallery, so you can bring your furry best friend with you.
A pioneer on Barcelona’s art scene since opening in 1976, Joan Prats Art Gallery takes part in some of the main contemporary art fairs in the world, such as ARCO in Madrid, Art Basel and Art Basel Miami. Albert Ràfols-Casamada, Carles Congost and Perejaume are a few of the artists who have exhibited their latest creations in this space, where all kinds of artistic disciplines have a say. Sometimes the gallery also hosts guided visits, as a commitment to the dissemination of art knowledge.
Galeria Estrany de la Mota is an underground contemporary art gallery | Courtesy of Galeria Estrany de la Mota
With 200 square metres (2,153 square feet) of exhibition area, Estrany de la Mota is a subterranean contemporary art gallery located in the dynamic Eixample district, not far from ProjecteSD and adn galleries. Opened in 1996, this art space features both established and budding artists, in an attempt to promote a dialogue between the two artistic generations. Ignasi Aballí, Martí Anson, Francesc Ruiz and Ana Prada are among the most renowned artists to have exhibited here.
Fifty Dots specialises in contemporary photography | Courtesy of Fifty Dots Galería
Specialising in contemporary photography, Fifty Dots showcases work by local and international rising photo talents such as Lídia Vives, Irene Cruz or Aida Pascual. Other than the exhibition area, there is a space dedicated to the sale of limited and certified editions. The gallery is also part of Unseen Platform, an international project for the promotion of boundary-pushing artists and the latest photography trends, and they take part in international annual fairs such as Fotofever París, MIA Photo Fair and Art Up.
Ana Mas Projects is an exhibition space born from the accumulated experience of the now-closed masArt and +R maserre galleries. Located in a spacious industrial building in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, it features all kinds of artistic trends and formats (such as graphic illustrations, sculpture, photography and mixed media). The gallery’s ultimate goal is to help artists develop their own individual styles and engage in long-term relationships with a group of core artists. They have created an overseas spin-off project for artistic promotion in San Juan de Puerto Rico.
Miscelanea is a a large multidisciplinary arts space in El Raval | Courtesy of Miscelanea
Miscelanea is a large multidisciplinary arts space. Located in El Raval, this cultural venue is a platform for emerging creators where art, design and audiovisual creations converge. The mixture of artistic visions aim to bring contemporary art closer to the public. The gallery’s distinctive agenda is always open to innovative and independent ideas, with 10 to 15 exhibitions a year by international and Spanish artists. Established in 2004, the gallery exhibits projects chosen both through an annual open show and based on the expert advice of the association’s curator. Miscelänea also hosts experimental electronic sessions, small-format concerts, audiovisual and stage shows, as well as festivals and workshops.