In the last twenty years, people have spoken a lot- perhaps exesively as all- about collecting: the collectors and the collections. This is due to a blended change in the apreciation of art and the world which forms and determines. From the seventies, gradually, without big stridences, the esthetic and sociologic value of the work itself was letting way to the value of the continent and those who propitiate the knowledge and circulation of the work of art. This way ,the museum was magnified ,its physical presence, - the architecture- as the determined value of the institution. And the art dealers,the art galleries, the critics and the theoretics and the collectors began to have a precise and determined weight faced with the work itself. This means that an artist touches the glory if he is introduced by a reputed critic or theoretic; if he usually exposes in one of the few art galleries of radical acknowledgement, if he is chosen by such organizer who gathers some of the artistic events, who gathers the international grey of refined sensibilities; an artist touches the glory when his works of art go in those collections that the refined sensibilities, on tow of an economic power showed with ostentation, consider one of the extremes of esthetic-social elegance.

Museum entrance

The boom and the insulting and slow implantation of these values inexorabily made that the interest by the collectors got one of its warmest moments in the history. We have crossed so desertic steppeds that the theoretics themselves threw the collector towards a high and glorious summit : a decisive value was confered without blending the socio-economic complex which surrounds the collector.

This decisive value has been corresponded by the critics and theoretics organizing a lot of exhibitions in whose enunciated we could read: ‘....from the collection...´They were engravings,assemblies, minimalist art, art....of this or that collector. This really established a perfect formula: it facilitated the work to the theoretics, it enforced the collector´s investment , it estimulated the libido of other collectors. Delightful eighties! People spoke less and less about the work of art but more and more about the whole structure that push and involve it. So, a substantial push could be done in the whole plastic arts boundary. And with this acknowledgement that was given to the collector, the fire was revived into a new way of patronage.There can be no doubt that the ostentation was promoted but, the approach to the artistic work was encouraged. Maybe never before in the history, a such searchers and purchasers legion of cultural properties had been set up.Never before, such a definite collecting art had existed. Enrique Lafuente Ferrari reminded us, in an essay about ‘La pintura y el colecciomismo moderno ´, that sentence from Ortega Gasset:‘the man is the unique animal for whom the superfluous is just the necessary thing´. And in this sentence, a large part of the man´s activity as a man is supported - almost all is superfluous- at the same time, that it is established in the ground of the collector´s passion. Lafuente added : ‘the art is the greatest example of this superfluity and so, it is a limit case of the human´. With the result that the passion of collecting was surely born with the first men and we documented it in the first civilizations.Even though it is certain that determined periods and determined countries have favourably treated the eclosion of the collectors.

room 1

A lot of essays are the evidence, at the same time that they get involved in long sociological disquisitions. Actually, the collector has a peculiar way of understanding and interpreting his environment. J. Miguel Morán and Fernando Checa iniciated like this their book about ‘El coleccionismo en España ´: the strange mental mechanisms for which a person can have the imperious necessity of corning and even treasuring all kind of objects in the way that the assembly of them could be a real image of the world and set up in confessed microcosmos; this is the theme. It is a good approach to the collector and to the collection. I haven´t had the opportunity to read - if it exists- a psycological study about the collector.Perhaps, I wouldn´t say that the collector has strange mental mechanisms, I would say they are peculiar, the same as all the passion moves. This passion can be consolidated in spiritual and material impulses. There are collectors for whom the esthetic values prevail and there are others for whom the economical and social aspects prevail - the prestige, the reconnaissance.And the ego complacency: enjoying with some objects that none has. But we are talking about personal motives that support the collector´s passion. Motives, all of them acceptable

room 2

We aren´t able to feel those feelings and sensations that the collector has in front of his collection, with the incorporation of a new work in his whole.We are not capable of feeling the same or similar way, in front of the work that the collector owns.His is unique.And that special enjoyment could be found in the same way at the state collector and at the private one: Napoleon, requiring works of art in all European countries and in Egypt to form the great Louvre, had parallel emotions like the ones of the collector who is looking for in small art galleries,who doubts in the purchase, who discusses the price.Both of them are amplifying the collection, both of them enjoy with the sensation of increasing the whole and the discovery of certain pieces. In this point, we connect again with Morán- Checa not only in the fact of the imperative necessity that the collector feels in treasuring but, in the point that the whole, which is being joined, would become a real image of the world and form a perfect microcosmos.There, we arrive at the crucial and essential point of the collector´s fervor: so, it is no reason to have a great number of works but to outline a concrete vision of a determined space.It is in this moment ,when the collector stops being a simple compiler and becomes a real creator. And it is here, when the materially superfluous becomes spiritually necessary. It is not important the motivation which has impulsed one person to become a collector.The motivation, we have seen, can be set down in spiritual, esthetics, material, social and economical impulses. Whichever the motivation is, the collector becomes a real creator. The collector searches, chooses,refuses: little by little, he is closing, with new pieces, a puzzle which has no previous plan, but the time and the intuitition are forming the work.It is in the fact of the creation of a world, a theory, a sensibilization where the collector finds his real passion and his reason of being. Never mind the collector´s socio-economic level, he always has a condition: the value of the work, the material value.The price is a condition that sometimes hinders the worthiest collectors to obtain a work.The price provoques renonces, arises doubts, establishes limits to the collector. This means that the price is not the only boundary which hinders the purchase of a new piece for the collection but it becomes the engine which guides a collection towards concrete slopes.

Sala 3
room 3
People have talked a lot about speculation in art and it has been practiced exesively. But the speculation has nothing to do with the collectors who follow their passsion, but with the parvenus who are found in all spheres of the activity even the cultural one. Then, the collector stops being a simple compiler and becomes an authentic creator. But we must remember Jean Baudrillard in his ‘Por una crítica de la economia del signo´he affirmed: the proper ego is always collected. So, the collector doesn´t choose the works not only for the themes,the colour, the esthetic,but also the extra artistic values are reflected in the collection: that work which has been refused for the price, that one which has been bought to be the first in the acquisition. In the psycological study or about the collector, we could see the causes which push him to collect, the justifications, but we could see also how the collector´s personality condition the collection and how it is reflected in its. In this point Germano Celant reminded us what, in several occasions, Panza di Biumo has repeated, one of the present greatest collectors: I have the conviction that my collection is a continuation of my thought, a concretion of my life conception.
room 4
I choose my artists when I feel a certain coincidence with my way of judging the life in their works.All collector could make a similar affirmation . When we talk about coherence in a collection, we are judging the whole works in an inverse way: we find it coherent in relation to the previous schemes that we have about coherence: its lineal development which doesn´t offer any cuttings or ups and downs. But ,actually, a collection offers another kind of coherence: the reflection of the collector´s personality.The collector shouldn´t develop any theory, any magisterial class, any historic route- he doesn´t need to have our coherence-; the rigour is that he has to be away from these schemes and, his philias and phobias, his debilities, his fallings in love and his divorces can be reflected in his collection. This subjectivity runs us into another shade of this present speech: the public and the private, in relation with a collection.One of the most frequent reproaches made to the private collectors- emerged from the reproaches of the socialist-marxist left- is their exclusivity,their distance of the citizenship, their solitary esthetic enjoyment of their collection and possessions. But , these reproaches are more and more inadequate.First of all, because we must remember that all the public collections and all the great world museums had their private origin - frequently in the monarchies and in the nobility´s collections. Secondly, because in the present capitalist system, the rules of the play push towards the public convertion of the private collections - the inherit rights,the donations- .Thirdly, because a great part of the collections, that contains wide and numerous works, are presented to the public in foundations or in special places given up by the museums.Thus, it is less defined the boundary between the public and the private, in this aspect. Now Francisco Daurella does this step, converting the private into public. And this follows with a long tradition of collectors who have created or amplified the museums. Catalonia couldn´t start from royal or nobility´s collections to establish its plastics heritage; it must have done a great effort to recuperate its artistic legate: an efffort that has been done by private people and by local firms. Two examples are illustrative: the present Museu Nacional d´art de Catalunya - popularly known as the Museu d´art romànic - has lived thanks to the support of the town hall of Barcelona, and the Museu Marès whose existence is due thanks to the versatile Frederic Marès who donated his collections. In Spain, in the last thirty years numerous collections have been created: set them up against the institutions of Madrid - big enterprises, banc entities and public entities- the Catalan collections, basically, emerged from personages belonging to the industrial world, with a great idealism and sensibility.They live the art as a proper territory and set up with it a dialog of complicities and tensions. They live the art as an intime belonging.

multipurpose room

Francisco Daurella is one of the personages. Along the last years, he has created this wide collection centered in the Catalan art. Among travels and cities of the wide world, it seems like the art gives its identity and sees to it that runs into its roots. There are few artists whom the collector wouldn´t meet in the street: Picasso, Miró, Dalí, Saura, Viola, Ponç, Navascues,Mompó,...The classicists. But they don´t form the collection - except the big whole of Picasso´s ceramics. The collector has opted for the alive artists, from whom he reads information every day of their exhibitions,of their wanderings and their questions. In this collection we can apreciate a strong passion for the approaching, the immediate, at the same time as a future bet. Even though the future doesn´t worry the collector, conscious of a present immerse in the pleasure and joy of the forms.

_Francesc Miralles._

How come?

Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 13
Tel. 93-4234172
Open Monday from 10:00 to 18:30 hours, Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00 hours.
December 25, 26 and January 1 closed.
torres ok