This donation will considerably enrich the Museums collections and consolidate MACBAs position as an international reference for the avant-gardes of the sixties and seventies. This is how Bartomeu Marí, Director of the Museu dArt Contemporani de Barcelona
, defines the importance of incorporating these works to the MACBA Collection. And he adds: The complicity between private initiatives like Méailles and MACBA will allow us to construct an increasingly singular Museum.
Philippe Méaille donates to the MACBA Collection: Paintings I no. 2, 1966; Paintings I no. 7, 1966; Paintings I no. 8, 1966; Geology, 196768; Potato Print Model 1, 1967 and Potato Print Model 2, 1967. These are works from the late sixties associated with the emergence of a discursive and dialogical art, at a time when a new type of artistic object was imaginable. I feel a responsibility to share my enthusiasm for art with the public and to help MACBA and other institutions in their missions to bring the best of Conceptual art into their collections. I hope this will encourage a wider appreciation of what is for me the most entertaining and exciting work produced by artists living today. For me, the art of collecting is like breathing, and to give or donate is just a natural extension of this process, says Philippe Méaille, the French collector.
The works are currently on show at the Museum as part of Art & Language Uncompleted. The Philippe Méaille Collection. The exhibition, which continues until 12 April 2015, includes over 500 works, many of which have not been exhibited since the sixties. Together they cover one of the most complex and belligerent artistic experiences of the second half of the twentieth century.
A linguistic turnaround for art, Art & Language
Art & Language are probably the most heterodox artists of the second half of the twentieth century. Their practice has always avoided the common places of artistic production: it began with the idea of collaboration, it was maintained through a conversational relationship and was made public by means of a magazine. In the early sixties, this gave art a linguistic turnaround by putting the accent on language, considered a simple appendix until then.
Founded in 1968 in Coventry, England, by Michael Baldwin, Terry Atkinson, David Bainbridge and Harold Hurell, Art & Language brought together the work that these artists had been developing collectively since 1965. A year later, the first issue of a magazine by the same name appeared, with reflections on the theoretical problems of Conceptual art. This and the successive issues became the place where the artists developed their proposals. Between 1969 and 1970, Mel Ramsden, Ian Burn, Joseph Kosuth and Charles Harrison joined the group, which eventually included over thirty artists. Since 1977, Art & Language has consisted of the artistic collaboration between Michael Baldwin and Mel Ramsden, together with the theoretical intervention of the art critic and historian Charles Harrison, who died in 2009.