Manolo Valdés: Paintings and Sculptures, Pera Museum ISTANBUL
"Reinterpretation of Art History"
by Deniz Caglar
A leading figure of contemporary art, Manolo Valdés will be at Pera Museum, organized in collaboration with Marlborough Gallery New York, includes selected works of Valdés, his paintings and sculptures from the 1980s to the present day.
Following the dissolution of Equipo Crónica, the pioneering group of Pop art in Spain, which he cofounded, Valdés continued his career solo as of 1981. His works derive their strength from the masterpieces of the past, bear historic clues, colors, and textures, and make strong references to art history, carrying traces that extend from Velázquez to Zurbarán, and from Matisse to Picasso and Lichtenstein.
A leading figure in Spanish Pop Art and renowned particularly for the diversity of his technique and media, Valdés’ large-scale works, and quests in form, have proven him to be one of the great masters of contemporary Spanish art.
Valdés represented Spain in the 1999 Venice Biennale and has since been honored with exhibitions of his monumental sculptures in Beijing, Miami, Monaco, San Francisco and St. Petersburg. He is one of the few contemporary artists to successfully master the disciplines of drawing, painting, sculpture and lithography.
In 1964 Valdés, along with Rafael Solbes and Joan Toledo, formed an artistic team called Equipo Crónica. The collective used irony and art historical appropriation to comment on the Fascist regime of Francisco Franco. Toledo soon left the association but Valdés and Solbes continued to collaborate until Solbes’ premature death in 1981. Following Solbes’ death, Valdés reinvented himself creating the paradoxically muscular and refined expressive style centered on art-historical motifs, which he continues to explore today.
Valdés recreated and recontextualized some of Western art’s most representative icons, creating his own private language through a distinctive production of series, and playing with variations on certain themes. His potent works are instigated from masterpieces of the past, bearing historic clues of colors and textures with robust references to art and its history. Impassioned by artists of the past ranging from Zurbarán to Velázquez, Matisse to Lichtenstein, Valdés finds more than just inspiration in their paintings; he uses their work “as a pretext” (como pretexto) to create an entirely new aesthetic object – a painting or sculpture that, while clearly sourced from a known composition, is a uniquely brilliant work of art in itself.
8 May - 21 July