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A road winds up into the hills above Palma. In the days when Joan Miró lived here, it was covered with nothing but the orange trees and the hot pink wildflowers that cover the Mallorcan countryside. Today, high-rise holiday flats and luxury villas interrupt the view out to the Mediterranean, but nestled amongst the modern construction sits a monument to the unspoilt calm that Miró found when he settled on the Spanish island in 1956.

It is here, in the Miró foundation, that 11 unseen works by one of the great modernists of the 20th century have gone on show for the first time as part of new exhibition called The Thrill of Seeing. A group of sketches, colour studies, vast paintings and even metal printing palettes have been rediscovered in the archive and brought out of the museum cellars.

The works, says the foundation, will shed new light on the process Miró followed as an experimenting artist, offering new insight into how this giant of modern art thought through his own works. Sketches scribbled on torn paper enable viewers to see how some of his greatest works came into being. His palette, never before removed from the studio, hangs on the wall, blocks of blue, white and yellow paint preserved perfectly.

That process is further amplified by the juxtaposition in this exhibition of work by another artist, Josef Albers. The German-American painter, born in 1888, was rooted in geometry and rationality, almost diametrically opposed to Miró’s unrestrained style.

While the two painters never met, Nicholas Fox Weber, director of the Josef and Anni Albers foundation, came to Mallorca two years ago and was impressed by what he calls the “unspoken” similarities between the two seemingly contrasting artists.

“When I first came to the Miró foundation I was struck by the visual connections with Albers and I thought, well there’s no historical basis for it but I’m going to put his work next to Miró,” Fox Weber said. “I approached the director and she was spectacular in her enthusiasm and flexibility with which she has let me realise this project. People have this tendency to want to typecast artists in a very succinct way and the idea is to break both these artists out of that. This exhibition sets Miró’s paintings free.”

The Mallorca Miró foundation, which sits next to the house once lived in by the artist and still occupied by his grandson, houses more than 2,000 pieces donated by the artist in 1981, and complements the larger Miró collection in Barcelona. But while the most well-known works in the Mallorca collection are kept on the gallery walls, hundreds of drawings and prints are kept behind closed doors.

Works newly on show include a vast black and white painting that could easily be a part of his well-known monochrome series, as well as the metal plates that Miró used for his famous prints, which are works of art in themselves. One of the most personal works exhibited for the first time is a surrealist sketch of a family, drawn by Miró in 1974 on the back of a calender.

Fox Weber continued: “A lot of the smaller Mirós are not seen that frequently and a lot of the sketches have not been exhibited before because I retrieved them from the depths of the archives. This exhibition, by extracting them from this history and focusing on the process, on experimentation, has given these works a purpose not seen in exhibitions of Miró before. For once, you don’t have to discuss what the artwork is doing, it is just there to be enjoyed,” he said.

Miró’s grandson, who shares the artist’s name, praised the exhibition as “pure poetry”.

 

Fox Weber, who was a close friend of Josef Albers before he died in 1976, acknowledged that an exhibition, focusing not on art history or a certain time period within art but simply on visual similarities, could attract criticism but insisted that putting Miro and Albers, two seemingly unconnected artists, in tandem was about engaging a fun and freedom both artists utilised in their works.

He added: “You have artists making work and they are not thinking about themselves in a cannon, or categorising themselves. Albers and Miro are fascinated with connections, inter-relationships and sometimes purely maternal and sexual imagery so in my mind it makes perfect sense. These are two happy artists, it is as simple as that, and this exhibition is embracing that joy. By using Albers as a starting point it has enabled Miro, this artist we think we all know so well, to be seen in a different way. It has changed both of the artists, it has made the Albers gain some of that bursting energy of the Miro, while also drawing out the colours in the Miro. Both were very formal artists who liked letting go, loved accident, loved spontaneity and loved animating thing. I think putting them together makes you feel an even greater sense of energy.”

Elvira Camara Lopez, director of the Mallorca Miró foundation, said this was the first time works by Miró had been placed in such a context. “We have learnt a lot about Miró from this exhibition. We are so used to joining Miró to this organic idea, so to attach to this very structural artist, and see they had a very similar spirit and way of thinking it was wonderful,” she said.

“And to be able to bring out these works by Miró that have not been seen before from the archives, these very different works that still have a story and narrative, I am very proud to have done this in the exhibition and Nicholas is very proud as well.

She added: It’s something a bit unusual.

“I am hoping we can organise for it to travel to different countries, give people the opportunity to view Miró’s work in this new way, with this different story.”

 

US, Chinese and Russian buyers were among the most active foreign buyers in Spain in the first quarter of 2014, according to new data from the General Council of Notaries in Spain.

The number of Spanish properties bought by these nationalities increased by 88.9%, 83.1% and 62.6% respectively in the first quarter compared to the same period a year earlier.

Foreign buyers accounted for 19.4% of all Spanish property sales in the first quarter of 2014 and non-residents accounted for 47.9% of these.

The regions seeing the strongest rise in foreign buyers include The Basque Country with an increase of 43.3%, Catalonia up 41.1%), the Balearic Islands up 36.4%, Asturias up 34.8%, Andalucia up 32.5% and the Canary Islands up 23.8%. The number of purchases by foreign buyers in Madrid has also jumped significantly, up by 42.5% year on year.

Foreign property purchases are increasing with British buyers now accounting for 13.8% of all foreign purchases, French buyers account for 10.5%, Russians 8.4%, Germans 7.5% and Belgians 6.9%.

The average price of a property purchased by a foreign buyer continues to fall and currently stands at €1,486 per square meter, a fall of 3.8% year on year.

According to Kate Everett-Allen, head of international residential research at real estate firm Knight Frank, the growing presence of US, Russian and Chinese buyers is a sign that the Golden Investment Visa initiative, introduced in September 2013 may be starting to have an effect.

The scheme, designed to attract non-European Union investors by offering a two year residency permit in return for a €500,000 investment in real estate has already been effective in Portugal but until now there has been little evidence to judge its impact in Spain.

The Notaires report also shows which nationalities pay the most for their Spanish homes. Norway and Sweden came out on top in the first quarter of 2014, paying on average €1,935 per square meter €1,732 per square meter respectively.

Irish buyers paid more than British buyers, although both were around the middle. Romanian and Moroccan buyers paid the least, averaging €800 per square meter and €795 per square meter respectively.

Online searches for properties in Spain increased by 29% over the first three months of 2014 compared to the same period last year, data from Knight Frank’s Global Property Search has revealed.

Converting the searches into results, more than a fifth of all Spanish residential sales – 55,187 transactions – were made by foreign buyers.

For the first time in several years, demand is outstripping supply in the Spanish second home market, with more and more Scandinavian buyers in particular, looking for their ideal property in the sun, Knight Frank have suggested.

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director for Spanish house builder,  Taylor Wimpey España remarked on the proliferation of Swedish and Norwegian buyers in Spain.

“Buyers are taking advantage of favourable exchange rates and reduced Spanish house prices to purchase their dream second home abroad. Scandinavians now make up over a fifth of our buyers in Spain – a huge increase on previous years,” he said.

Knight Frank’s data has been supported by a real estate report made available from the Association of the Property Registries and the General Council of the Notary Offices, which has confirmed strong growth in the percentage of home purchases by foreigners with respect to the total home purchases in Spain over the last 4 years.

Furthermore, the report details the 10 principal countries purchasing homes in Spain since 2009 as: Britain, France, Russia, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Algeria and China.

Leading online Spanish property portal Kyero.com‘s latest analysis of the forever popular Spanish property market identifies just where and what foreign buyers are looking for in terms of Spanish second homes.

Kyero.com‘s enquiry report analysed enquiries made by email during the first quarter of 2014 showing that between January and June 2014 47% of enquiries for properties in Spain sat within the £50k to £150k price range with 39.8% of enquiries looking for an apartment while 33% desired a three bedroom property.

Furthermore, the findings show that by province, Alicante on the Costa Blanca remains the favourite location for foreign property hunters accounting for nearly 35% of enquiries made on Kyero.com.

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Manager at Taylor Wimpey España comments,

“The Kyero.com report provides an interesting insight into what today’s buyers want from Spanish property. There are numerous reasons why the Costa Blanca still ranks top of the list for property buyers. For Brits the easy to reach, reliable good weather plays a big part, swapping grey clouds for blue skies and the strength of the pound against the euro (currently at a 22 month high) means that visitors can get more for their money which has no doubt aided the increase in people snapping up attractive deals. ”

Pritchard continues,

“We at Taylor Wimpey España believe we can meet the needs of customers not only because many of our properties are located in the wonderful Costa Blanca region, but because we can deliver on property type and budget requirements as highlighted in the Kyero report. We have seen a rise in enquiries for second homes across Spain particularly amongst Britons, Germans and Russians and these are translating into sales – with British buyers showing a 24% increase from Jan-Jun this year in comparison to 2013!”

As a result of the Costa Blanca’s popularity, Taylor Wimpey España have launched another front line development in a joint venture with Grupo Inmobiliario Gomendio near Alicante.

Property buyers wishing to soak up the sun in this fantastic region should look no further than La Recoleta. These new apartments are located in a stunning location in Punta Prima, Torrevieja on the wonderful Costa Blanca, famed for its fabulous white sandy beaches.

La Recoleta’s Mediterranean style buildings, wide avenues leading down to the sea, immaculate garden areas and well-run services make this a perfect place to relax and enjoy the fantastic climate all year around.

The two or three bed apartments have a well-designed layout with private terraces for those all-important summer barbeques; afford beautiful views over the sea, swimming pool and private gardens from just €142,000.

According to the Kyero.com report three bedroom properties in Alicante with swimming pools are top of the list for holiday homes in Spain,and this development absolutely meets buyer’s needs, showing that Taylor Wimpey España are on point yet again, catering to demand across the Costa Blanca.

For more information please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. If you reside outside of the UK you will need to call 0034 971 70 69 72.

Marbella has been added to the list of cities in Spain that can open businesses on Sunday and certain public holidays.

The current law restricts businesses across Spain from opening their doors during these national days of rest. However, there are exceptions for certain cities and Marbella has been added to this list due to the increasing demand from tourism. Marbella is one of the most important tourism cities in Spain receiving visitors from mainly Russia, the British Isles, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

The government lowered the criteria for these cities. Before, cities needed to have a population of 200,000 and 1 million overnight stays per year. Now the limits are 100,000 residents and 600,000 overnight stays per year.

Ten new cities have been added to the list including San Sebastian, Santander, La Coruna, Oviedo, Gijón, Almeria and Jerez, Salamanca and León.

The list already includes 24 cities including Malaga, Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Bilbao, Cordoba, Alicante, Granada and Cartagena (Murcia), Madrid, Seville, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Palma de Mallorca.