The history of the Barcelona's Contemporary Art Museum (MACBA) goes back to 1959 when art critic Alexandre Cirici Pellicer championed the idea of creating a museum of contemporary art in Barcelona. Cirici and Cesáreo Rodríguez Aguilera headed a group which began to gather together a collection which would serve as the foundation of the future museum; an active platform for irradiating contemporary art.
The MACBA, designed by Northamerican architect Richard Meier. His architecture is clearly based on rationalism and alludes to the masters of Modern Architecture, particularly Le Corbusier, by
combining straight and curved lines to establish a dialogue between interior space and exterior illumination which filters into the galleries through large skylights.
The MACBA Foundation manages the permanent collection, which dates from the mid-20th century onward. There are three periods of modern art represented: the first one covers the forties to the sixties; the second spans the sixties and seventies; the third period is contemporary. The collections focus on post-1945 Catalan and Spanish art, although some International artists are also represented.
Opposite the main museum, in the medieval Convent dels Àngels for which the square is named, a chapel has been converted into a separate exposition area known as the Capella del MACBA, with regular video art performances. Entrance to this part of the museum is free. Another contemporary art museum, Barcelona's Contemporary Cultural Centre (CCCB), is adjacent to MACBA, and accessible both from the street and from the inner patio.
The surrounding square is a meeting ground in youth culture due to its reputation in the world of skateboarding, photography and cinema.