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Miquel Barceló (1957)

3rd third

Mixed media on canvas, 285 x 235 cm 
Private collection 
© Photo: Agustí Torres, 2020 
© Miquel Barceló, VEGAP, Málaga, 2021 

Leer Transcripción

There is evidence that tauromachy, or the art of bullfighting as it is known today, developed in Spain during the eleventh century. There are records of bullfighting events being held in places such as Ávila and Zamora as far back as the thirteenth century. The practice awoke the interest of painters such as Goya, Manet, Fortuny, Picasso and Dalí, owing to the visual power of the spectacle and its profound capacity to symbolize the duality of animality versus reason. This has formed part of the work of Barceló for decades and is a manifestation of his fascination with the mythology and archaic symbolism linked to this eccentric cultural practice. 


The so-called “soup” paintings, in which the ingredients of the painting are converted into visual whirlpools and accumulations of paste, characterize the work Barceló produced during the 1980s. A decade later, they gave rise to the bullrings when Barceló returned to color and the ellipses formed by hollowing out the liquid or paste from the center of the canvas and moving it towards the edges. This bullfighting scene from 2019 is “constructed” using very thick plant-based paper made from the bark of a species of mulberry from East Asia, in such a way that the image sprouts lumpily from the irregularity of the surface of the medium.