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by Fernando Vicuna

Journalist - Santiago

  T he Horizon 2020 Spanish Tourism Plan placed cultural tourism as a booming typology. According to this same study, in 2006, 10% of tourists who visited Spain did so for cultural reasons. An obligatory destination for tourists is Barcelona. It is not for less that for the City Council of the Catalan city, culture is a backbone of the city's offer and it is committed to a strategy in which culture is positioned as a differentiating and quality element. However, there are dissenting voices against this topic of city planning and culture.

   For Tomás Paredes, a prominent member of AICA, the Spanish Association of Art Critics, the art world in Barcelona is numb, inert. “In the best of cases, he is crouched, asleep, to wake up immediately or after a long recovery. The institutions - MACBA, Santa Mónica, Fundación Miró, Born CCM, CCCB, MNAC - disoriented, afraid of not being trendy, oblivious to their function, without visitors. The MACBA thing is devastating, why do they want more space if they don't activate the one they already have?


The galleries that I have visited, lonely, disoriented, discouraged and some with erratic proposals, but they are private businesses and with their money they can do whatever they want. Except for the Mayoral Gallery or Marc Doménech, little to comment on, of course! Of those I could see”, he adds. It is in this scenario perhaps that the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) stands out so much today on the Catalan scene.

Founded in June 2011, the MEAM opened its doors under the patronage of the "Fundació de les Arts i els Artistes", created in 2005 for the promotion of figurative artists. In the words of its founders, the MEAM thus became the first and most direct material expression of a trajectory of work and effort that the Foundation has maintained since its inception. The inauguration of the Museum was not the end of any stage, but rather the beginning of a path that, in a short time, has come to have an influence on broad sectors of international contemporary art.

The foundation

In June 2011, in the midst of the worst economic crisis and without any external help, it was possible to open the doors of the first center
cultural museum promoted by the Foundation, the "European Museum of Modern Art" (MEAM), located in an old palace from the 18th century in the Born district of Barcelona, in the most touristic point of the city.

The "Fundació de les Arts i els Artistes" was created in December 2005 by the architect José Manuel Infiesta and has its official residence in Barcelona:

The Foundation was born with the aim of counteracting the great and exclusive protection that the public powers carry out with so-called abstract art and empowering figurative artists who are automatically excluded from official initiatives. The creation of the Foundation was a first step to give shape to a more powerful project and not lacking in ambition: To succeed in influencing the direction of contemporary art, so that it ceases to consist exclusively of experimental tendencies, abstractions and video montages, and go back to figuration. A true art of our times, based on concepts so reviled in the last century as: Respect for tradition, cult of genius, study of the masters, perseverance in the artistic career, effort in the elaboration of the work of art, inspiration, genius, personality, individual creation, etc.

Founding director of the MEAM and President of the Arts and Artists Foundation was José Manuel Infiesta
(Barcelona, 1949 - 2021), was a great architect, as well as a writer, editor, patron and art collector.

His private collection began with pieces of marble from the 20th century. Over time it has been nourished above all by Catalan sculpture from modernism to the end of the 20th century, it has some 200 pieces, and European sculpture from the 20th century, a total today of 300 works.


For ten years the MEAM has been calling the Figurative Art award for disciplines, especially painting.
and sculpture, to which up to 5,500 artists from all over the world usually appear.

Sign me up!
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