advertisement

This is one of the city's more exciting contemporary art spaces, in terms of both its setting and what's inside. Opened in 2002 in the Casaramona, an old moderniste textile factory designed by Puig i Cadalfach that was used as police barracks in the 1930s, the vibrant edifice features a red-brick facade and singular turret, to which the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki added a daring walkway, courtyard, and entrance. Inside, after passing the huge abstract mural by Sol Lewitt, the elevator whisks you up to three exhibition spaces connected by exterior halls. These change constantly, meaning that three very diverse shows can be viewed at the same time. Traditional past exhibitions have ranged from Rodin's sculptures to Turner's Venice.

A leading exhibition on until spring 2011 covers a 25-year retrospective of work by Mallorcan expressionist artist Miquel Barceló, who died in 2009. He produced a variety of ceramics, sculptures, oil paintings, watercolors, and sketches based on his worldwide travel experiences. Cuban artist Jorge Pardo created the baroque setting for minimalist pieces from the CaixaForum's permanent collection. The foundation puts on a lively calendar of events and performances, the latter focusing on world music and modern dance. There is an excellent bookshop in the foyer, open daily from 10am to 8:30pm (10pm on Sat). Isozaki is also responsible for the Palau Sant. Jordi, a major music and meeting venue further up the hill of Montjuïc. Built for the 1992 Olympics, it's a sprawling, metal-domed structure that hosts sporting events from basketball to tennis (including the 2009 Davis Cup) as well as big-scale pop concerts by the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Madonna.