Street view of Institut Valencià d’Art Modern.

©Penny Kidd/Lonely Planet

Institut Valencià d’Art Modern

Barrio del Carmen

This impressive gallery hosts excellent temporary exhibitions and owns a small but impressive collection of 20th-century Spanish art. The most reliably permanent exhibition on display is the Julio González collection. This Catalan sculptor (1876–1942) lived in Paris and produced exquisite work with iron that influenced later artists such as David Smith and Eduardo Chillida.

The González collection was a major reason for the gallery's creation and there are some great pieces here – the iron Masque d'adolescent is exquisite – and they are beautifully lit and displayed. Along with some classical nudes and busts in bronze, plaster, terracotta and stone, his offbeat iron forms are very much of his time and are sometimes reminiscent of the painted works of Picasso. The modest scale of González' pieces prefigure more monumental works later in the 20th century. The gallery's cafe makes a pleasant spot for a drink.

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