Madness or art? Catalan city buys the labyrinthine Espai Corberó for 3 million euros | Catalonia
Like a three-dimensional painting by De Chirico or an Escher staircase to nowhere, the labyrinthine Espai Corberó near Barcelona defies architectural logic, being designed “without plans, obeying only space and poetry”.
“It’s not my house, it’s a place I created with the help of patrons and buyers to house my sculptures,” artist Xavier Corberó told art magazine AD shortly before. his death at age 81 in 2017.
Now, five years later, the site has been acquired for €3m (£2.4m) by local Esplugues de Llobregat council for use as a public space.
Eduard Sanz, the local mayor, said the council had acquired “new cultural facilities which would be of great benefit to the city”, without specifying exactly what the site – whose eight buildings occupy 2,000 square meters (0 .5 acres) – would be used for .
Espai Corberó became an obsession for its creator, being sculpture as architecture or, some would say, a huge madness.
Questioned by a visitor on the interest of all this, Corberó replied: “I continue to do. Just imagine something and feel the need to make it visible. That’s how art should be, or something like that.
“That staircase goes somewhere and it does a good job of getting there,” he added. “We do not care where It’s okay?”
Corberó, whose works are exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and who counted Salvador Dalí, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp among his friends, began work on the complex in 1968 and in in time it became his studio and a museum dedicated to his work.
The site comprises a series of 12 patios connected by 300 arches, creating an atmosphere that is both surreal and futuristic. There is an underground theater that seats 250 people.
At 19, Corberó, a native of Esplugues, formally renounces his heritage to devote himself to art without financial support. He sells his first work to Dalí.
In addition to the Espai Corberó, in 1972 he created a residential center with studios for artists modeled on the Bauhaus.
Corberó also designed the medals for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and, as the artistic assessor of the then mayor, Pasqual Maragall, contributed to the makeover of the city by persuading artists such as Anthony Caro, Roy Lichtenstein and Richard Serra to donate their work virtually for free. .
In his 2008 film Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Woody Allen used part of the Espai Corberó as an artist’s studio for the character played by Javier Bardem. The complex was also used for fashion shoots, but it is in poor condition and its only inhabitant is Midu Rica, Corberó’s widow.