On our trip to Spain (and Morocco and Gibraltar) we only spent one quick day in Málaga. It was at the end of our trip so we were pretty tired by this time. So instead of packing a bunch of things in, we just took it really slow.
We stayed in a great Airbnb that was in a great location for walking everywhere. We also didn’t have a problem finding parking.
Honestly we really didn’t do much. There was only one thing I HAD to do, and it was go to the Picasso Museum (Museo Picasso Málaga). Picasso was born in Málaga, which is why they have a museum dedicated to him there.
I loved seeing a lot of Picasso’s older work. I think people don’t realize how many years of artwork an artist will create before actually “making it” and becoming an artist that people want to buy and collect. Picasso was an artist his entire life.
While you couldn’t take photos inside the museum, you could take them in the special exhibition, which just happened to be Jackson Pollock! Plus work by other artists such as Lee Krasner and a Robert Motherwell. I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing special exhibition to be there!
Lee Krasner was Pollock’s wife, and in an interview in 1969 she said, “there is no question that he (Pollock) admired Picasso and at the same time competed with him, wanted to go past him.”
The main feature of the exhibition was Mural. A commission by Peggy Guggenheim which served as a huge turning point in Pollock’s career. You can learn all about Mural in this video. I also recommend watching this movie about Peggy Guggenheim.
It was said by Krasner that Pollock did it in one evening just a few nights before he was due to deliver it. Full mural is above plus a detail shot above and below.
It’s also interesting to me to see Pollock’s work before his famous action/drip paintings.
Portrait of H.M. 1945, Jackson Pollock. I couldn’t find a definitive answer to whom H.M. was, but read that it could have been his friends Helen Marot or Herbert Matter. However, mostly it was suggested that the initials may be those of Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick.
I was really drawn to La Grande Foule (The Great Crowd), 1963, by Antonia Saura. The artist said, “I wanted to reflect the clamor of a great mass of people.”
You can read more about the exhibition here.
After the Picasso Museum, we walked around the main areas of Málaga, passing the Alcazaba Teatro Romano. We didn’t have time to take a tour but you can see the theatre from just walking by.
The theatre was built in the first century BC, under Emperor Augustus, and was used until the third century AD. Subsequently it was left to ruin for centuries, until the Moors settled in Andalucía. In 756-780 AD the amphitheatre was used as a quarry by the Moorish settlers , to excavate the stone used to build the Alcazaba fortress — you can see some Roman columns and capitals in the fortress. Over time it became buried under dirt and rubble, and remained hidden there for almost five centuries. The theatre was rediscovered in 1951, when the construction of Casa de Cultura uncovered the first archaeological clues. The construction of the gardens was abandoned, and instead excavations began. (Info via Andalucia.com.)
After walking around downtown Málaga for a while, we decided it was time to eat. We had passed a place that had a large outdoor patio, so we went back and snagged a table. Perfect timing because right after we sat down a huge line formed and people were waiting forever to eat!
El Pimpi was just about the cutest place you could dream up. It has a great story too!
El Pimpi opened in 1971 and is inside an old 18th century Málaga mansion house. It is one of the longest-standing bodega bars in Málaga.
The name ‘Pimpi’ was a local Málaga character who used to help the crews and passengers from the ships that arrived at the city’s docks. They then became the first Málaga tour guides, famous for their service and good humor. (Info via the El Pimpi website.)
That was all for our short time in Málaga. We took the train to Córdoba the next day. But here are a few things you can do if you are headed to Málaga: Alcazaba of Málaga, Costa del Sol Beaches, Jardines de Pedro Luis Alonso, Museo Picasso Málaga, Museo de Málaga, Málaga Cathedral, Roman Theatre, Mount Gibralfaro, Guadalhorce, and Centre Pompidou Málaga.
Photos by Meg Biram. Do not use without permission.