Centre Pompidou Málaga: a museum in search of neophytes in the art world
In recent years, the capital of the Costa de Sol has become one of southern Europe’s most important cultural magnets, with an impressive number of 36 museums. However, the cultural offer of a tourist destination should be judged by its quality, not its quantity, the total number of museums thus being more of an anecdote than anything else. If we focus on the standard of the different collections of art that are on display in the city today, we’ll see that, in the last two decades, it’s really come up in the world. In fact, apart from certain capitals, very few cities can boast of being home to a quartet that can match the one you’ll find in Málaga, made up of the branch of the State Russian Museum of St Petersburg, the Centre Pompidou, the Picasso Museum and the Carmen Thyssen Museum Málaga.
Málaga’s Pompidou Museum: an iconic, colourful cube embedded into Muelle Uno
What sets the Centre Pompidou apart from the other institutions that make up the long list of art galleries in Málaga is its commitment to making modern art accessible to all. In fact, the museum itself makes it clear that its programme is geared towards people who don’t visit museums regularly.
The colourful cube is a draw for both strollers and travellers. The 16-metre-high structure is designed as a skylight, filtering the coastal light down into the building below. However, it’s merely the tip of the iceberg, a lighthouse drawing in potential visitors. The actual museum is below the ground, with 7,000 square metres of exhibition space spread over two floors.
Anyone who has, up till now, been reluctant to visit a museum of modern and contemporary art, has no excuse not to do so in Málaga. The Centre Pompidou offers guided tours specifically geared towards visitors who know very little, or nothing at all, about the topic, so this is the perfect opportunity to take a dip in this creative ocean. However, anyone who does know about modern art doesn’t need to worry, as you can visit the museum under your own steam or take their guided tours for ‘connoisseurs’.
The collection of the Centre Pompidou Málaga
It would be more accurate to speak about a semi-permanent rather than a permanent collection, as the Málaga branch of the Pompidou Museum (the first established outside of France) was opened in 2015 with the idea of remaining in the city for five years. However, there is a possibility that it will be extended for a further five years. In any event, the collection includes paintings, sculptures and works of art created and reproduced using audiovisual resources. One of the key premises of contemporary art is the exploration of new means of communication, with the concept becoming ever more important, whilst aspects such as technique and accurate representation are relegated to the back bench.
Equally, lots of works of art here at the centre encourage public participation or are designed as ongoing pieces, which means that a visitor, rather than just being an onlooker, can also act as an artist.
On the walls of the Centre Pompidou Málaga have hung, and still hang, works created by great artistic figures of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including Miró, Kandinsky, Frida Kahlo, Chagall, Magritte, Giacometti, Francis Bacon and, of course, Pablo Picasso.
The current collection centres around six pillars (Modern Utopias, The End of Illusions, Together, The Shining City, Imagining the Future and The Golden Age). Within these, some of the historical factors and events that served as inspiration for many twentieth-century artists are addressed, such as revolutionary ideas or world wars. Simultaneously, there is a reflection on the city of tomorrow, without losing sight of the desires and utopias that shall inspire it.
As you can see, the Centre Pompidou Málaga is a very different kind of museum. Visit it in the heart of Málaga’s port!
Information of interest
How to get to the Centre Pompidou Málaga
- Address: Pasaje Doctor Carrillo Casaux, no number. Muelle Uno [Quay 1], Port of Málaga.
- By bus: Routes 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 19, 25, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40, 92 (tourist bus), A (Airport express), C1 and C2 have stops close to the museum.
- Nearby car parks: The Muelle Uno shopping centre has a car park that’s open 24 hours.
Opening times of the Centre Pompidou Málaga
- Normal opening hours: The museum opens on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 AM to 8:00 PM (including public holidays), with last admission 30 minutes before closing time.
- It doesn’t open on Tuesdays, the 1st of January or the 25th of December. To check if it’s open on a public holiday that falls on a Tuesday, call the following number: +34 951 926 200.
- Special opening hours: On the 24th and 31st of December, the museum closes at 3:00 PM.
Centre Pompidou Málaga: Ticket prices
- Combined ticket (permanent collection and temporary exhibition): General: €9; concessions: €5.50. Members of large families, students under 26 and people over 65 years of age qualify as concessions.
- Ticket for the permanent collection: General: €7; concessions: €4.
- Ticket for the temporary collection: General: €4; concessions: €2.50.
- Free admission: People with disabilities (with identification), the unemployed, holders of the European Youth Card, minors under the age of 18, museum employees, members of the ICOM, and university teachers and students of Fine Arts or History of Art. Entry is free for everyone on Sundays after 4:00 PM (until closing).
- Audio guide: Visitors can make use of the free audio guide service, available in four languages (Spanish, English, French, and Russian).