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Gold Fever. Scenes from the Lives of the New Bourgeoisie. CaixaForum Girona
Girona, 4 May 2011
“The banker’s overflowing coffers, no doubt, released gold dust, which entered the apartment, the spirits, gilding everything: thoughts, memories, desires.” In his novel La Febre d’Or [Gold Fever], Narcís Oller (Valls, 1846 – Barcelona, 1930) describes the economic and social ascent of the new Catalan industrial and financial bourgeoisie. Taking this book as its inspiration, ”la Caixa” Foundation presents the inaugural exhibition at CaixaForum Girona. Accordingly, the show seeks to trace the cultural changes that took place at the turn of the 20th century, focusing particularly on the “exquisite opulence” that so delighted the new elite class of those days.
The works selected for this exhibition, which will make its absolute debut in Girona, are by a score of artists, including Masriera, Casas, Miralles, Ribera, Mestres and Cusachs, amongst many others, their style ranging from Realism to Modernisme (as Art Nouveau was known in Catalonia).
Following the sequence established in Oller’s novel, Gold Fever. Scenes from the Lives of the New Bourgeoisie, which features more than seventy pieces from private collections and major public museums all over Spain, is divided into two different sections. In “The Ascent”, visitors will learn about the customs of the new social class, whose members engaged the leading artists of the day to paint their portraits as a way of asserting their status. The works in the second section, which is entitled “The Fall”, reflect the moralist theses that underlie Oller’s novel, illustrating the contradictions that this new bourgeois class falls into as a result of their burgeoning wealth.
The exhibition Gold Fever. Scenes from the Lives of the New Bourgeoisie, curated by Miquel-Àngel Codes Luna, will be open to the public at CaixaForum Girona (C. dels Ciutadans, 19) from 6 May to 15 August 2011. Subsequently, it will travel to CaixaForum Tarragona, where it will open in September 2011.
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