The MACBA is an institution that combines the responsibility of looking back at the recent past (in art) and a role in building the future. It works through art and all while rejecting a single hegemonic narrative. 
The permanent collection of around 5,000 works (up from 1,100 works at the time of the museum's opening in 1995) 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.