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Mallorca has been a source of inspiration for many artists whose names are written in golden letters in the history of 20th century art. Joaquín Soroya, Santiago Rusiñol, Anglada Camarasa, Joaquín Mir and Joan Miró, among others, were captivated by the landscape and nature of the island and particularly by its unique light.
Caixa Forum "Gran Hotel" Can Balaguer Can Gelabert Casal de Cultura Can Solleric Chapel "Misericòrdia" Cultural center of Andratx Art Centre "s' Estació" Costa Nord Espai Ramon Llull - Casa de Cultura Fundació Barceló "Sa Nostra" Foundation Yannik i Ben Jakober foundation
This has been a contributing factor to the abundance of cultural centres and art galleries on the island. As a result, Mallorca enjoys an intense exhibition activity throughout the year. There is a rich variety of proposals ranging from museums and private collections to the bright young hopes of today’s art scene.
Palma de Mallorca has the largest number of centres with changing exhibition programmes. The buildings in which the exhibitions are housed are works of art in themselves. The Casal Solleric, an elegant 18th century palace, combines traditional Mallorcan architectural elements and European Baroque ornaments. The Town Hall bought the building in 1975 and converted it to hold exhibitions. It has retained that use ever since. It has two floors. The ground floor has two halls, a bar and a book shop, and the first floor is reserved for the larger exhibitions. It has a beautiful courtyard. The Archduke Louis Salvator described it as one of the most beautiful in Palma. From the courtyard you can admire the beautiful gallery with five arches and a wrought iron handrail made by the Italian artist Antonio Soldati. The exhibition programme includes painting, sculpture, graphic art, photography and the new formats of video art.
Fundació La Caixa is another marvelous building and one of the best examples of Modernist architecture in the city. It is worth visiting to admire the facade and the details of the ornaments. It was designed by Lluis Doménech i Montaner at the beginning of the 20th century to house the Gran Hotel, precursor of the island’s hotel industry. It holds a permanent exhibition by the Catalan painter Anglada Camarasa, who spent the second half of his life in Mallorca. The other halls house temporary exhibitions that are programmed throughout the year. It often holds exhibitions from important collections.
Interesting exhibitions by internationally renowned artists are also held in the Sa Nostra cultural centres, with headquarters in Palma de Mallorca and delegations in several towns; the Pelaires Contemporary Cultural Centre, which is located in the Convent of las Trinitarias; and the La Misericòrdia Cultural Centre, a huge building that was a homeless refuge until the mid 20th century. Ses Voltes, an old barracks built between 1771 and 1801, was also restored for cultural activities and now organizes temporary exhibitions of history, photography and contemporary artists.
As well as the aforementioned centres, there are many art galleries, most of them located in the city centre. A large number of galleries have formed an association. In September they organize the “Nit de l’Art”, an open door night in which gallery owners and artists launch the new season. In the past years, sa Pobla, a town located in the northeast of Mallorca, has joined the project and celebrates its own “Nit de l’Art” in October. The art market that takes place in Valldemossa on Sundays is also of great interest. Artists exhibit and sell their works of art at the market.
Other art spaces on the island are the Andratx Cultural Centre, one of the largest private centres devoted to contemporary art in Europe, and the Miquel Barceló archives in Artà, boasting comprehensive archives documenting the work of the Mallorcan artist. Furthermore, most towns and cities have municipal cultural centres that organize interesting exhibition programmes (Can Creu d’Inca in Capdepera, Can Jaume Antoni in Santanyí, Casal de Cas Metge Cifre in Inca and Torre de ses Puntes in Manacor.
As regards art galleries, the places with the highest concentration of galleries are usually the towns where foreign artists decided to settle. The towns with the highest number of galleries are Andratx, Sóller, Felanitx, Santanyí, Alcudia and Pollença, with almost ten galleries. Not for nothing Anglada Camarasa founded the “Escuela pollensina” (Pollença school) in this town. It put the name of Mallorca on the main European art circles and attracted many artists to this beautiful spot in the north of the island.
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