CatenArt Residency, Barcelona 2015

June 27-30, 2015

Based in the Catalan artistic hub, this residency offered first-row access to some of the city’s prime artistic offerings to a group of artists and curators from France, Austria, Switzerland, Japan and the United States.

On day one, the group was introduced to the work of Antoni Tapiès and, later that day, attended the grand opening of Arty Show, the CatenArt affiliated art space located in the up-and-coming “Poblenou” neighborhood of Barcelona.

On Day two, we met Father Josep de C. Laplana, o.s.b., director of the museum of Montserrat, who offered us a detailed and fascinating insight into the monastery’s ongoing tradition of involvement with the arts, and guided us through its famed collection of modern and contemporary paintings.

On day three, we were thrilled to lunch with Etsuro Sotoo, artistic director of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, who provided us with a personnal and unique outlook on its construction and spiritual significance. That same day we visited the studio of Ignasio Aballi, winner of the Miro Prize 2015, whose work explores the passing of time and the lingering of memories. When you would think we couldn’t go any higher, day four was the high point of this residency: the inauguration of Santa Cecilia, a thousand-year old chapel that just found a new youth and splendor under the brush of world-renown painter Sean Scully. Father Laplana, commissionner of the project, honored our group with a personal guided tour, and Sean Scully himself met us at the chapel and introduced us to an installation he called “his most important to date.”

It goes without saying: this cultural festival was punctuated by Catalan delicacies and night-walks in the city’s medieval streets.