Moco Masters: Julian Opie, Harland Miller, David LaChapelle (PRNewsfoto/Moco Museum)
The Moco Museum, an independent museum located in Amsterdam has announced the opening of a new venue in Barcelona. The Netherlands-based Moco Museum said that the new satellite facility would open its doors for the first time by the middle of October 2021. The location of the new Moco Museum will be a 16th-century palace, Palacio Cervelló, situated in the heart of the bustling city of Barcelona, known for its art, architecture and distinctive culture. Founded in 2016 with a mission for attracting broader and younger audiences to art, the Moca Museum has always sought to make fine art more accessible to the public. As such, opening a new branch in another country is very much a part of its mode of operation.
A New Chapter
After the Amsterdam model for Moco was found to be something of a success with the public, the so-called ‘inclusive museum’ sought to expand and chose Spain for its next venture. According to the board of the Moco Museum, the new base of operations marks the beginning of a new chapter for the museum as a multi-site cultural institution. This is because Moco has chosen to expand the overall exhibition space it has for some of its most iconic works of art, some of which have been produced by world-famous artists. In addition, the Moco Museum’s board identified what it saw as some emerging stars on the Barcelona art scene. As such, the chosen location suited Moco’s style greatly.
Since the Moco Museum first opened to visitors, the museum has been visited by nearly 2 million people in Amsterdam. According to the gallery’s records, visitors have been drawn to it from over 120 different countries, a reflection on both the museum’s popularity and the number of tourists who flock to the Dutch city each year. For many visitors, the Moco Museum represents a launching pad to access the wider world of contemporary art. The location in Barcelona, which also sees numerous holidaymakers and business visitors each year, will replicate this achievement, the museum authorities hope.
In a statement, the Moca Museum said that it was proud to welcome the wide-ranging and younger audience who visit them and fall in love with art for the first time. Part of Moca’s undeniable success is that it blends modern and contemporary art so well. If this is replicated in the Barcelona satellite museum, then it may be the model for further Moco ventures in other metropolitan cities around the world. According to the museum’s announcement, Moco Barcelona will feature works of art by the likes of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Banksy. Others it will have on display include Salvador Dalí, Damien Hirst, Keith Haring and KAWS. The museum also said that its galleries would feature artworks by Hayden Kays, Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama, David LaChapelle and more big names in the contemporary art scene. Furthermore, there will be digital and immersive art on offer to visitors, run by the likes of TeamLab, Les Fantômes and Studio Irma, to name but three big names in digital installations.
However, Moco Barcelona will not just share its artworks with the gallery in Amsterdam. Special exhibitions are also being organised so that each museum will have its own identity. For example, ‘Esplendor de la Noche’ by the Chilean artist Guillermo Lorca will be one of the only European solo shows for the contemporary artist in his lifetime. This show, which Moca Barcelona has slated for the near future, will bring together Lorca’s sense of magic and realism. The exhibition is being curated by Simon de Pury, a legendary auctioneer, art dealer and one of the leading figures in the modern art world. Another special show will be put together by TeamLab. This will feature only digital or immersive art in what is said to be the first dedicated exhibition space for NFTs in Europe.
About the author – Manuel Charr
Manuel Charr is a journalist working in the arts and cultural sectors. With a background in marketing, Manuel is drawn to arts organizations which are prepared to try inventive ways to reach new audiences.