Miquel Barceló (born 1957) is a Spanish painter from Felanitx, Mallorca. After having studied at the Arts and Crafts School of Palma for two years, he enrolled at the Fine Arts School of Barcelona in 1974. A year later he returned to Mallorca to participate in the happenings and actions of protest of the group “Taller Lunatic“, a conceptual avant-garde group.
A year after his return to Majorca he had his first one-man show at the Palma Museum. Initially the Avant-garde, Art Brut and American abstract Expressionism influenced Barceló’s work; on the other hand he was always particularly interested in the Baroque paintings. Dubuffet inspired Barceló in adopting an experimental attitude.
Throughout the 1980s, he travelled extensively across Europe, the United States and West Africa – always returning to Paris which became a second home and where he set up a second studio. Extremely fascinated by Mali, a third studio was installed in Segou. The time Barceló spent in different countries, his nomadism or peripatetic habits essentially influenced and inspired his work, most strongly the impressions of West Africa: the power of its light, the scorching sun, the rocky landscape, the sea and rivers.
Within the impressions and influences of various cultures and multifaceted landscapes, his treatment of some of the great themes of classical painting and technical challenges, like perspective, color and the treatment of light and the composition, is recurrent. His painting from memory includes autobiographical quotations in a boundless exploration of new forms of expression, in which he extensively experiments with a wide range of materials, textures, light, color and pictorial procedures, with the mutation of the elements, liquefaction of objects and their transitoriness by fading away, metamorphosis and death. His work on paper, paintings, modeled work, sculptures and ceramics seem to be interconnected in a way that transcends time and space, even though they are always linked to certain spatial and temporal coordinates.
His participation at the “Documenta 7”, Kassel, Germany, in 1982 gained him international recognition.
In 2004 Barceló’s watercolours, illustrating Dante’s Divine Comedy, were shown at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Thus, he became the youngest artist ever shown in this museum. Another activity was the formation of a crafted mural of approximately 300m2. Barceló covered the entire chapel of Mallorca’s Cathedral with terracotta, creating a kind of second skin and decorated it with images related to the miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish. Beyond that, he designed costumes and the stage for Manuel De Falla’s opera “Tréteaux de Maître Pierre” in Paris and at the Festival of Avignon 2006 he is part of a performance with choreographer Joseph Nadj.
In 2008 it’s presented Miquel Barceló’s latest immense work of art in the UN’s Palace of Nations in Geneva. The work of art is a massive sculptural installation located on the domed ceiling of the building’s newly created Chamber XX of Human rights. The work consists of 1500 m2 of multi-colored stalactite forms for which the artist uses 100 tons of paint that appear to be dripping from the ceiling.