An artist’s haven – Majorca’s best galleries
Fascinating Majorca. For centuries, the magical lure of the island has been attracting up-and-coming artists from around the world. The island’s unique light, its pleasant climate and the Majorcan way of life is an enchanting spell that never breaks – Majorca is a muse. However, Majorca’s art scene also includes local names, such as Miró, the island’s most famous son. Strictly speaking, Joan Miró was born in Barcelona, but he did spent 28 years of his life here. The Museum Fundacio Pilar i Joan Miro gives visitors the chance to admire Miro’s atelier, which, upon Miro’s strict request, is exactly as it was. The museum’s charming café provides visitors with a breathtaking panoramic view out to sea.
More than 1000 artists have chosen Majorca as their creative refuge and living source of inspiration. The works of these artists, including the Majorca-born Toni Matheu, who goes under the name of Toni de Cúber, are on display in the island’s numerous galleries. His work, inspired by prehistoric cave paintings, is on show in his own gallery, the Can Puig, which is located in a former textile factory.
Palma is home to the best galleries and art hotspots. First and foremost, contemporary art has been exhibited on several floors of the palatial Galeria Pelaires since 1969, which also offers a private cultural centre, readings and a concert diary. Works on display include those of Tàpies, Saura, Motherwell, Calder, Moore, Millares, Manolo Valdés, Campano, Hernández Pijuán – and, of course, Miró. With an exhibition catalogue that includes Pablo Neruda (text and rough copies), Pelaires promotes Spanish art on an international level.
Young at art. Pop art and Hyperrealism in the Galeria K (partner to Galerie Kaschenbach in Trier). Located in the centre of Palma, the Kaschenbach has been exhibiting international art from James Rizzi, Sebastian Krüger and Peter Wolframm since 2009. Driesch: Klonaris Contemporary Art in the old town is housed in a palace dating back to the 16th century. Gallery-owner Theofilos Klonaris has an eye for internationally- renowned artists and also donates scholarships for up-and-coming artistic talents within the art academies. Don’t miss the figurative paintings, graphics, graffiti and photographic art.
Galería ABA Art Contemporani is a platform for young artists, whose biographies and works are showcased on the homepage and available for download. Enjoying close working relationships with collectors of contemporary art, the ABA Art has been exhibiting paintings, photography, graphic art, sculptures and video installations since 1997.
Why not look at things from a different angle? On the occasion of the Nit de l’Art, Palma’s galleries open their doors in the autumn for a night of art. In the same vein, the Palma and Pollença galleries of Galeria Maior also screen video installations on balmy summer nights. Galeria Maior hosts seven exhibitions of contemporary art per year, as well as experimental workshops.
Founded in 2001, the cultural centre in Andratx (CCA) is just 30 minutes from Palma and well worth a visit. Nestled in the unique landscape of the Tramutana mountain range, Andratx is Europe’s largest contemporary art centre – boasting more than 4000 square metres of exhibition space against a backdrop of pure minimalistic architecture. National and international artists alike live and work here for one month, donating selected works to the collection at the end of their stay.
Other centres of creativity: The artists’ village of Deià, Son Canals, and the diverse pallet of recent work regularly on show in the prestigious setting of the hotel La Residencia.
Stefan Beltzig appears to gravitate towards settings that are particularly prone to change. Although his works often portray snapshots, they also give the impression that they are in a state of motion. His studies of old men in Spanish cafés give the observer a feeling of belonging to a closed society. They not only give the impression that this way of life will come to an end when the men in the paintings pass away, but that village life itself will soon become a thing of the past when it is swallowed up by the fast-paced outside world.
At the beginning of the 1960s, he worked as an apprenticeship chef before working in this profession in the following years as he travelled the globe. Between 1970 and 1983, he owned and managed several restaurants before he broke away from this profession at the highpoint of his career. He dedicated a number of years to the restoration of an old pilot cutter with which Ernest Hemingway had occasionally sailed, and went on a number of educational trips, taking in the Danish islands, the Hopi and Navajo reserves in south-western America, London, southern England and Japan. He began exhibiting his paintings in 1992.
He returned to Germany in 2011, settling in the Lahn region after 28 years on Majorca.
Claudia Schmitt began ballet classes at the tender age of 4, up until the age of 15 when she took up classical guitar lessons. As soon as thoughts could run through her mind, she has been fascinated by anything to to with art and creativity. Using colours and shapes as a form of expression. Giving imagination a free rein. With her position of Events Manager at the Bodegas Castell Miquel wine estate taking up much of her time, she only began working on her abstract paintings in 2009. Claudia Schmitt is totally obsessed by painting and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Although she lacks time, she is slowly getting round to exhibiting her pictures.