Marlborough Fine Art is pleased to present Manolo Valdés’ first solo exhibition in the UK in over 10 years. Valdés has exhibited with Marlborough’s galleries for 25 years, primarily in New York, but also in Barcelona, London, Madrid, Monaco and Santiago.
One of the most significant Spanish artists of the last century, Valdés (b.1942, Valencia) works across drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. The exhibition brings together recent paintings, sculptures and works on paper that explore the artist's unique and distinct visual language.
Valdés began his training as a painter at the age of 15 in Valencia. During the 1960s, he formed Equipo Crónica, an artistic team that used Pop Art to question the Spanish dictatorship of Franco and the history of art itself. After the group dissolved in 1981, Valdés reinvented his work creating the figurative, expressive style centered on art historical motifs which he continues to be known for today. The artist lives between New York and Madrid and has exhibited extensively around the world, including representing Spain at the Venice Biennale in 1999. Major solo exhibitions of his work have been held at Guggenheim Bilbao (2002), Reina Sofía in Madrid (2006), State Russian Museum in St Petersburg (2008) and the National Museum of China (2008) among other institutions. Monumental sculpture commissions have been completed for Madrid’s Parque del Manzanares and airport. In 2010, sixteen large-scale bronze sculptures were exhibited in New York along Broadway and in 2012, the New York Botanical Garden exhibited 7 of his works.
Using his immense knowledge of art history, Valdés draws heavily on masters such as Velázquez, Rembrandt, Rubens and Matisse. He uses their practice as a pretext to bring significant historical works out of their original context and into the present. His figurative paintings combine materials such as thickly applied oil paint and hessian sacking, using a collage-like technique of cutting and sewing onto the canvas in relief. While perhaps best known for his prolific paintings, sculpture has been an integral part of the artist’s practice since his early career. Working in wood, aluminium, bronze and iron, Valdés’ sculptures reflect his aesthetic proposition as one of the most personal and thoughtful voices to address the history of art on the international scene.
The works of Manolo Valdés can be seen in numerous public and private collections including: Fonds National d’Arts Plastiques, Paris, France; Fundación Caja de Pensiones, Barcelona, Spain; Fundación del Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain; Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia, Spain; Kunsthalle, Kiel, Germany; Kunstmuseum, Berlin, Germany; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Internacional Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; Veranneman Foundation, Kruishoutem, Belgium.