Casa Garriga-Nogués is one of the most iconic buildings in Barcelona's Ensanche district: the Casa Garriga-Nogués, built by the architect Enric Sagnier at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century for the banker Rupert Garriga Miranda.
Fully restored, this space of 2,600 m2 located in the heart of the city, aims to position the Foundation Mapfre
as a major player in Barcelona's cultural network.
The program for the first season (Fall 2015 Fall 2016) starts with a painting exhibition, which will be followed by two photography shows: The opening exhibition The triumph of color: From Van Gogh to Matisse (10 October 2015 10 January 2016) will examine how European painting evolved during the period between Post-Impressionism and the avant-garde movements, asserting its status and ability to convey beauty through colour.
Two major retrospectives dedicated to two of the great names in contemporary photography will follow: the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto (1938) and the American photographer Bruce Davidson (1933).
THE DECISION TO OPEN AN EXHIBITION HALL IN BARCELONA
Barcelona has always been one of Europe's great cultural centers. The foundation's aim in extending their exhibitions to the Catalan capital is to become a new lead player in the cultural fabric of Barcelona (and Catalonia in general), to play a role in shaping the city's increasingly cosmopolitan dimension through the specific contribution that their proposals can make.
In other words, the foundation aspires to help enrich and expand Barcelona's cultural standing through the aforementioned themes explored in their exhibition program: international shows focused on the birth of modernism and its impact on the visual arts (with a particular emphasis on painting); major photography retrospectives dedicated to the grand masters of the 20th century and contemporary artists active today who have already attracted international acclaim.
Another important fact to bear in mind is that throughout the process of cultural modernization Barcelona has always shown a special sensibility toward photography: it is the place where many of Spain's leading contemporary photographers were born, and Barcelona audiences (and indeed Catalan audiences in general) have always been particularly receptive to photography proposals.
From this perspective, adding a regular program of major photography exhibitions to Barcelona's cultural agenda, as FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE plans to do, is something that ties in very directly and closely with the city's cultural history.
With reference to the choice of contents, initially these will be very closely related to the exhibitions presented in their Madrid venues, although there will also be proposals conceived directly for Catalan audiences that will not be presented in Madrid.
THE BUILDING : CASA GARRIGA-NOGUÈS
The new FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE venue is housed, under a lease agreement, in one of the most iconic buildings in Barcelona's Ensanche district: the Casa Garriga-Nogués, built by the architect Enric Sagnier at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century for the banker Rupert Garriga Miranda.
The building's address is Carrer Diputació, 250. It is in a central location: between Rambla de Catalunya and Balmes St. In this stretch of the Eixample one can find some of the most outstanding examples of architectural Modernism, associated with one of the most brilliant periods in the city's history.
The Garriga Nogués family lived on the first floor until the Spanish Civil War broke out (1936). It later housed a religious school and from 1986 was owned by Fundació Enciclopèdia Catalana (Catalan Encyclopaedia Foundation), which carried out the initial refurbishment. In 2008 under the direction of the architect Jordi Garcés, who had previously proven his skill in similar tasks in the remodelling of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona- the building was adapted by Francisco Godia Foundation, converting it into a modern exhibition and cultural area covering near 2.000 m2.
Its lease by FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE will permit the active use and public enjoyment of a prominent element of Barcelona's historical and architectural heritage.
Significantly, this option bears a great resemblance to the exhibition venue on Paseo de Recoletos in Madrid: the former palace of the Duchess of Medina de las Torres, built only a few years ahead of Casa Garriga-Nogués, in the 1880s. Since they coincide with the same period in which most of the paintings in their exhibitions were created, the two venues offer a perfect setting for a much more intimate contemplation of these artworks, allowing visitors to enjoy the type of experience that is rarely found in the halls of major museums.