Carmen Calvo Exhibition held in Picasso Museum Barcelona

2023.07.11 19:28:07 Jiwoo Ryu

[Image of the Artwork Las Meninas, Credit to Jiwoo Ryu]

Carmen Calvo, one of the most important artists in Barcelona, is having an exhibition of his artwork from May 5th, 2023 ~ September 3, 2023 at the Museu Picasso.

Carmen Calvo is both a contemporary artist and politician in Spain. 

As a politician, Carmen Calvo has been actively involved in Spanish politics across various positions within the Spanish government.

She contributed to cultural policy initiatives as the Minister of Culture and played a key role in government coordination and parliamentary relations as the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of the Presidency.


As an artist, she reflected the Spanish identity and cultural context through her mixed media artwork, exploring themes that are often connected to memory, history, and the cultural fabric of Spain.

Calvo’s works reflect her personal relationship with both art and the cultural politics of Spain.

She explores ideas of feminism and the female body as well as the concept of national identity and memory.

In many of her pieces, she transforms found objects and materials into visually compelling compositions by combining elements such as photographs, pieces of furniture, fabric, and other discarded items to explore themes of memory, identity, and the passage of time.

Her background in ceramics is also prevalent throughout the exhibit, and she demonstrates her ability to use clay as a medium outside of pottery in many pieces.

Carmen Calvo’s exhibition spans over seven rooms in the Museu Picasso.

The seven rooms demonstrate her talent in arranging archeological objects and her ability to relate her works to the history of Spain, while also expressing her opinion towards the historical events. 

In the fourth room of the exhibit, Carmen Calvo establishes her relationship with Picassos’s work in a series of modified postcards from the Picasso Museum called, El tiempo que apasiona [The Time We Will Fall in Love With]. 

The use of postcards is significant in their utilitarian and cultural value, and by reworking these postcards depicting some of Picasso’s most famous works, Calvo reclaims the meaning behind these works by manipulating them and using them as a backdrop for a collage.

Her most anticipated piece,  ‘A Cage to Live’, is located in the seventh room of the exhibition. This piece is based on a real life event that happened in 1997 that Carmen Calvo read about in the newspaper.

She was inspired by the news story of a seven year old girl being held captive in a cage for weeks, and created an interactive piece by designing a room that you can only see through “holes in the walls of the box”.

Carmen Calvo is an esteemed artist and won many awards including the National Plastic Arts Prize in 2013 and the Julio Gonzalez International Prize in her lifetime.

Her works reflect her love for culture, politics, archaeology and art. The intersectionalities of these variables are reflected in this exhibit.

The exhibition offers guided tours that cost 6 euros and also offers multiple languages such as English(10:30 am), Spanish(11:30 am), and Catalan (12:30 pm) on Saturdays. 

Jiwoo Ryu / Grade 12
Frankfurt International School