Barcelona Cultura

Tiles and crafts. Contemporary artisan proposals


Open from June 8

Craft tiles take up a prominent place in Catalan ceramics between the 17th and 19th centuries. The origin, as the name implies, can be found in the representation of the most common trades in Catalonia, which the ceramists reproduced based on auca pictures, engravings and prints. Due to their quality, they are considered the best among those in Europe and are highly valued by museums and collectors.

Craft tiles are also a testament to popular history and life, when handicrafts were of great importance to society. Today, these square pieces, nearly fourteen inches on each side, with a white background and painted in various colours, display crafts that in some respects still persist. Today's artisans, faithful to tradition but with a contemporary outlook, create innovative, daring and creative objects.

This exhibition aims to show the evolution of these trades, now in the process of change and updating in search of new forms of expression, which have adapted to the times seeking new audiences and generated functional proposals that satisfy new tastes of society, as well as outstanding designs and artistic proposals. The craftsman's ability to complete the creative and productive process, and their knowledge of techniques and materials, gives the craft rare flexibility and adaptability in other areas of production.

The ‘Tiles and crafts’ exhibition presents a selection of tiles from trades and schools in Barcelona preserved in the Barcelona’s Museum of Design, and contrasts them with various objects by outstanding artists of the current panorama who use craft techniques to materialise their projects. From the past to the present of the craft sector, objects bring us closer to worlds that are not so distant: that of the artisan, the artist or the designer. A continuity lies in the fine line that separates these disciplines, a line that new generations of artisans are increasingly blurring.


David Places
Isabel Fernández del Moral

Exhibition fields

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Outstanding pieces

Ajuntament de Barcelona