Miquel Barceló was born in Felanitx, Mallorca, in 1957. He studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Palma and in 1974 began Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona. At the end of the 70’s he introduced his first conceptual works close to the spirit, connected to the Llunàtic Workshop group in Palma de Mallorca.
On a first trip to Paris he discovered l'Art brut and abstract American expressionism. In the early 80's, his figurative painting with an expressionist tendency had a clear relationship with two major international artistic movements: the new German Expressionist painting and the Italian transvanguard.
In 1981, he took part in the group exhibition "Other figures" by the "la Caixa" Foundation in Madrid. Rudie Fuch offered to participate in Documenta VII in Kassel a year later. His work has been recognised internationally since then, with exhibitions in prestigious art galleries such as Whitechapel of London, New York Leo Castelli and Bruno Bischofberger of Zurich and art centres such as the Centre Georges Pompidou the MACBA, the Reina Sofia Museum and Art Centre and the Louvre.
Miquel Barceló is emerging as one of the most significant representatives of Spanish painters of the 80's and he is identified with a group of artists and takes over the practice of painting from a sensitive material. His long stays in different countries like Italy, Portugal, France, USA and Mali, decisively determine his work. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions. He received the National Arts Prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture in 1986 and the Prince of Asturias Award for Arts in 2003. In the same year, Le Promeneur-Gallimard editorial published a selection of books that he wrote in Africa between 1988 and 2000 under the title of Carnets d'Afrique.
Miquel Barceló travelled to Vietri sul Mare in 2001, a town in the province of Salerno (Italy), from where he works in a ceramics workshop on the project of the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca. Miquel Barceló stayed in Vietri sul Mare from January to June 2003, to complete the first phase of the operation of the chapel of Sant Pere in the Cathedral of Majorca. In April of the same year he opened the Miquel Barceló exhibition in the Balearic Islands, which was on display in five different areas of the four islands.
Between April and June 2004, the Louvre Museum presented a selection of original drawings made for the illustration of the Divine Comedy, in the Dante et Virgile aux Enfers of Eugène Delacroix exhibition. He returned to Africa in December. With the installation of the ceramic tile of the Cathedral of Majorca, the first phase of the project was complete. In 2005 he opened a solo exhibition at the C&M gallery in New York and presented The Cathedral under the Sea in the Frankfurt Book Fair, a book of photographs by Agustí Torres on the creative process of the Cathedral. In November and December the windows were placed in the Chapel of Sant Pere de Mallorca Cathedral so the second phase of the project was finished. It was opened in February 2007, and alongside this he was made Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of the Balearic Islands. That year Barceló was awarded the Sorolla prize at the Hispanic Society of America. Plastic intervention Miquel Barceló in the Dome of Room XX of the Palais des Nations in Geneva starts on September 10, 2007 and ends on June 10, 2008.
On June 6, 2009 the Spanish Pavilion was inaugurated at the 53rd edition of the Venice Biennale, for which Spain was represented by Miquel Barceló. From February to June 2010, Miquel Barceló presented the exhibition Barceló Sea in the CaixaForum in Madrid, and shows how the dome of the UNOG was set up, including photographs and audiovisuals by Agustí Torres, a model of the dome, the preparatory work and the Marejadilla 2002 canvas and 2008 Geneva notebook, the artist’s diary with water colours, drawings and texts. This exhibition moved to the CaixaForum in Barcelona from July 2010 until January 2011.