Otrascosas de Villar-Rosàs Mainly a design gallery featured

The progeny of an advertising firm, Otras Cosas de Villar-Rosàs was set up simply with the idea in mind to showcase “otras cosas”, or “other things”. While not necessarily an art gallery, it leaves its creative manifesto open, and is home to a widely ranging program of architectural exhibitions, live music, screenings and graphic design. Step inside to one of its six spaces and be amazed by the spectrum of possibilities on display.

Cosmo Gallery Hungry aesthetes

Art may feed thought, but it won’t feed your stomach. Cosmo Gallery gracefully takes care of both concerns in a neatly designed part-café, part-gallery space. Delectable edibles bookend art immersion, and the cafe’s laid-back sofa-sphere make for a cozy spot to down the simple fare at Cosmo, such as hummus and guacamole, manchego cheese and Ibérico ham, fresh juices and weekend mojitos. And with your belly sated and head bedeviled by strong drink, soaking up the sumptuous visual art in the gallery will be a cinch. Cosmo’s curation includes a mixture of contemporary graphic-art and works by emerging newcomers, creating a meeting point for young artists looking to showcase their work in a professional environment.

Located right next to the university in a youthful, comfortable district of Barcelona, the friendly, neighborhood vibe of Cosmo reflects the community to which it belongs. Cosmo arranges art and education opportunities, while hosting regular concerts and pop-up stores in the gallery space.

La Central del Raval Bibliophilia at its best

A bibliophile’s treasure trove, La Central del Raval has handy bragging rights as perhaps Barcelona’s sexiest bookstore, cafe and shamefully-good event lineup, with cream-of-the-crop, humanities-based lectures and workshops several times a week.

Consider it a non-negotiable commitment to your inner lay-scholar. From highest-caliber graphic novels and coffee-table art books, to scholar-philosophers Foucault and Said, La Central offers hit-after-literary-hit. Its adorable, adjoining cafe is a handy pit stop for enjoying high-noon tea and cake.

Montcada Artistic vitality

In Barcelona’s cultural core, where a bunch of museums cavort, you can also find Montcada art gallery. A sizable range of contemporary artists of every kind regularly stop by to present their work to the art-versed audience of Barcelona.

The team here produce top quality exhibitions and care thoughtfully for their clients. Those wanting to enjoy special benefits like dinners with the artists or pre-openings can join the Montcada club, making it truly a place for intrepid art enthusiasts who are searching for a bit more than your random visitor.

Void Indie flicks for those who know

Opened in 1999 by Colombian cinephile Vicky Ramirez, this cinema club situated just off Plaça dels Angels offers one of the most complete selections of independent film to be found in Barcelona.

Titles are arranged in folders, archived by country (USA, France, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Eastern and Northern Europe, UK) and sub-filed under directors. New DVDs come in every one to two weeks. Apart from extremely rare independent cinema to more commercial indie flicks, Void also stocks a nice selection of television series (24, The Wire) and posters of classic movies.

For those who prefer to experience film in full effect, Void’s back section—Zelig—serves as a screening room, which parties can rent by the hour. As far as events, the video club also co-organizes the annual Betting on Shorts Festival. Check in for new releases and special screenings.

Fundació Antoni Tàpies Tap into Tàpies

This museum space—founded by the revolutionary Catalan painter Antoni Tàpies—is one of the premier art spaces in its district.

Architects Roser Amadó and Lluís Domènech Girbau renovated the unique building in 1990, originally a late 19th-century publishing house, with Tàpies topping the structure with Núvol i cadira (Cloud and Chair, 1990), a monumental piece made out of tubing that resembles a dreamily annular pencil drawing in three dimension.

MNAC High art placed high up

MNAC’s setting could hardly be more grand; the Palau Nacional, built in three years and opened in 1929, overlooks Barcelona from atop Montjuic mountain. Montjuic is also home to countless other attractions, including the Fundació Joan Miró, Museu d’Arqueologia and Olympic complex. Approaching it, you will commonly encounter people spilling out of large business conferences and temporary art exhibitions. Yet you’ll also find yourself facing the wonderful fountains, which erupt each evening in a spectacular light show along with a view that is just as breathtaking as in the daytime.

The museum itself houses the principal collection of Catalan art in Barcelona, spanning the Roman, Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance periods through the first half of the 20th century. The Palau Nacional would be worth seeing even without the accompanying interior splendor, but the full package makes the MNAC an indispensable experience.

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