Public art in Barcelona

A new council site.

It’s generally accepted now that urban policy under Franco–at least from the mid-50s–was no worse than in most of Western Europe: trams disappeared, high-rise appeared, and city mayors became rich on contract commissions. One of the most notorious Spanish examples of the latter is Josep Maria de Porcioles i Colomer, who ran Barcelona from 1957 to 1973. Although he remains proverbial for his corruption, one of the good things his administration did was to bin the socialist/nationalist/fascist tradition of statues of moustachioed leaders and heroic workers in favour of depoliticised bourgeois public art, including a lot of abstract work, leading the way for Barcelona’s post-transition post-socialist administrations. Check this new council site and, in particular, stuff like Josep Maria Subirachs’ Evocació marinera (via Flaneuse).

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