The Best of Barcelona, According to Joan Miro's Grandson
For Joan Puynet Miro, the grandson of his namesake, Joan Miro, iconic painter and Surrealist pioneer, it’s all Miro all the time. Punyet is the face of the family—he is constantly crisscrossing continents to promote and maintain the legacy and work of his grandfather. Town & Country caught up with Punyet in Barcelona earlier this fall at the storied Majestic Hotel, where his grandfather was a frequent guest, to discuss a few of his favorite places and sites.
The Catalan capital is a home away from home for Punyet—the city is where the Fundacio Miro, the ultimate temple to Miro’s work, is located. Punyet, who is based in Mallorca, was in town to attend an intimate dinner at the Foundation to raise funds to restore one of his grandfather’s legendary tapestries. The next day Punyet was off to Paris for the opening of a Miro retrospective at the Grand Palais. Here, he shares seven of his not-be-missed spots in one the buzziest cities in the world.
“I know nothing about the trendy restaurants in Barcelona. I always go to the same places,” says Punyet. One of those is 7 Portes, the 182 year-old restaurant that is a standby for Catalan food. Their paellas are works of art. Paintings of famous Catalan painters, such as Modest Urdell, who was admired by Miro, and Picasso, hang on their walls. And Miro himself kept a cartoon about the restaurant in his library.
The Miro Foundation
“To start, the architecture is amazing,” says Punyet. “It was designed by Josep Lluis Sert who also did the American Embassy in Iraq, and he designed my grandfather’s studio in Mallorca. The building is about how form follows function. The foundation houses so many paintings and tapestries and it just this perfect marriage between landscape, architecture, and art.” NB: The collection rotates, so a repeat visit is well worth your time.
The Picasso Museum
“Picasso and my grandfather were extremely good friends, and I try and go to the museum twice a year. The museum itself is breathtaking and is near Barcelona cathedral. His sculptures are mysterious and breathtaking.”
Gaudi is synonymous with Barcelona and this modernist building, which is considered one of his masterpieces, is Punyet’s top choice for “seeing the genius of Gaudi.” “He [Gaudi] hated straight lines, which is really apparent in Casa Batllo. He combined nature and architecture in such a whimsical way.”
Laie Bookshop & Cafe
“My grandmother really wanted to help develop the creative culture in Spain. I like to walk and up and the streets with Spanish designers and see the city from their point of view. One place I always like to spot is the international book store Laie, which has a great coffee shop.
The Majestic Hotel
“My favorite hotel is The Majestic. The building is stunning and there is a great bar and restaurant.” (The 100-year-old hotel, situated on the prestigious Pesseig de Gracia, is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, and houses a world class art collection.)
Punyet, an art collector himself, is a big fan of the contemporary Galeria Mayoral. “The gallery is young and ambitious and they really develop artists,” he says. Currently on view is “With Rebellion Awareness is Born,” a look of Spanish art of the postwar period. The exhibit features Antonio Saura, whose work in the Guggenheim is pictured here, among other influential Spanish artists.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors