Manolo Valdés, ‘Laurel II’, 2013, Rosenbaum Contemporary

About Manolo Valdés

Declaring himself “a consumer of art and its history,” Manolo Valdés ranges deftly across mediums, producing witty, art-historically informed drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures that explore history and contemporary culture, politics and everyday life. Approaching each medium as part of an interconnected whole, Valdés asserts: “That is what art is all about—how to invent many projects from one single image.” Trained as a painter, Valdés grew up imbibing the works of Spanish masters like Diego Velázquez and Pablo Picasso, later becoming influenced by Pop Art. With Rafael Solbes and Joan Toledo, he formed Equipo Crónica group (early 1960s-1981), utilizing the Pop idiom to criticize Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in scathing paintings. References to Spain abound in his work, in portraits resembling its royalty, sculptures recalling Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, or in the recurring, semi-abstracted figure of the Infanta from Velazquez’s Las Meninas (1656).

Spanish, b. 1942, Valencia, Spain, based in New York, New York