New Santa Cecilia’s book released
09 / 11 / 2017

Montserrat Publishers (Pamsa) and the Provincial Government of Barcelona have published the book Saint Cecilia of Montserrat. From 10th century to Sean Scully. It is the first volume to come out about the new Sean Scully Art Space in the church of Saint Cecilia, inaugurated on June 30, 2015. It is a formidable large book (21 x 28.5 cm) with 200 pages where the reader will find, in great detail, information about the entire process of reform of the old monastery to become a benchmark of international contemporary art.

The book proposes a broad look at the transformation of Saint Cecilia of Montserrat into five large blocks. The first chapter is the transcription of a well-documented article by Fr. Francesc Xavier Altés Aguiló (who died 2014); it details the various restorations that the building has had throughout its history until the intervention of architect Puig i Cadafalch between 1927 and 1930. The second section explains the archaeological research and is signed by Eduard Sánchez, who concludes that the temple of Saint Cecilia was designed in Latin cross plan and built between the second half of the tenth century and the beginning of the eleventh century; it embraces different constructive traditions and is considered early Romanesque or transitional building. The third area of ​​the book is the most extensive and is the one that the architect Xavier Guitart Tarrés dedicates to the intervention in the place, as technical director of the restoration of the monastery, a project in which he started working in 2010. This chapter, as throughout the book, incorporates numerous photographs, maps and graphics that allow readers to check the evolution of the works.

The fourth and fifth chapters are dedicated to the Sean Scully Art Space. Art historian Albert Mercadé, who worked with the team of the Montserrat Museum in the gestation of this center, tells the story of Sean Scully internationally career and the deep meaning of each of the works of his artistic intervention to complete a compact and inseparable set of the church. The last text is by Daniel Giralt-Miracle, an eminent art critic, who places the Sean Scully Art Space as an emblematic monument worldwide in the conjunction of Romanesque and contemporary art, and contextualizes it in relation to other references such as the Chapel of Rosaire by Matisse in Vence (France) or the Rothko Chapel in Houston (USA). Giralt-Miracle also refers to the important role of the Art and Spirituality Institute as an organism that stimulates reflection and cultural activity in this space.

The book is written in Catalan, and incorporates translations into Spanish and English, as well as an appendix with two QR codes that lead to audiovisual links: an extensive interview with Sean Scully in which the artist explains his intervention in Saint Cecilia (17 minutes) and also a series of 360° images of the interior and exterior of the church. The book can be purchased for € 29 in the establishments of Montserrat and also in the online store.