From Tapas to Tapies

Feeling like the Michelin-tyre man, despite no dinner last night, we headed to the gym. A pretty average gym despite the newness of this hotel but better than nothing.

More Gaudi-mania, as a friend of mine calls it, with a visit to Parc Güell, another surrealist Gaudi vision, this time enmeshed in the landscape at the north end of the city. In addition to the Woody Allen homage to Barcelona, you can see it in another of my favourite films, L’auberge espanol, by Cedric Klapisch.

Like a two-humped dromedary, I could have done without lunch as well as breakfast but we trooped over to a more upscale, and not bad, tapas place called Ciudad Condal, Rambla de Catalunya, 18. They clearly put the anglos in the back room, a room dedicated to Coca Cola, the many shaped-colourful bottles festooned along the back wall; the Spaniards coolly sat at the long bar. The thing about tapas, of course, is that one orders too many of them.

After Sandy had a call and we conked out for a few hours, we headed to Fundació Tàpies,, a block or so from our hotel. I had always been ambivalent about Antoni Tàpies (b. 1923), whose work I knew a little (he always left me a little cold, tell you the truth) but this showing of his work in a gorgeous exhibition space, with his sculpture “Chair and Cloud” on top, made me re-evaluate him, somewhat more favourably. (In the 80s, you could have bought a Tàpies print for a song; not now I suspect.) I still had the same type of visceral reaction to his work I always have but I appreciate the reasons for it better. The space contains a beautiful library full of art books (by appointment only, of course). In the film we saw, he did give what I thought was a good piece of advice to young artists: “Read everything you can and try to grow spiritually.”

Had work to do, finished it just before computer glitches materialized so finished the excellent novel I was reading (“Dreaming in French” by Megan McAndrew) and called it a night.