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Public Tender: Rita McBride exhibition MACBA, Barcelona

Arena image

Barcelona 's contemporary art venue MACBA, designed by Richard Meier , will have some of its architectural qualities probed by the work of Rita Mc Bride in an exhibition running from 19th May to the 24th September. McBride's work occupies a territory somewhere between architecture and sculpture.

Building on Michael Asher's famous 1973 piece in the Galleria Toselli, Milan, where he stripped layer after layer of white paint to reveal the pre-art, brown patina of the walls, McBride has stripped away temporary walls, skylight coverings and door closures to reveal the Spanish gallery as it was originally designed by Richard Meier 17 years ago. Time and use changes architecture. By installing Arena from 1997 (structure of wood and Twaron) in one of the spaces, she creates a dialogue between the piece and the newly revealed museum itself. It makes us think about signature architecture, its place in our society and its value.

There are five projects exhibited in all, each dealing in a different way with the concept of art in public spaces. One of the pieces has seen the reconstruction, within a gallery, of the ground (service) floor of Corbusier's Villa Savoye (1929-1931). By using a full scale model of this most famous house she comments upon the difference in scale between public and domestic architecture.

See this exhibition if you can!

front elevation view

side view of arena

detail of Arena


Mae West tower night

mae west tower day

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