Manolo Valdés

Spain, 1942

Born in 1942, Manolo Valdés is a Spanish painter and sculptor. Co-founder of the influential Spanish Pop Art movement, Equipo Cronica in 1964 with Rafael Solbes and Juan Antonio Toledo under the dictatorship of the Franco regime, Manolo Valdés uses art as a channel of self-expression. He portrays the political and social obligations of the state with humor and irony. The group disbanded after the death of Solbes in 1981 and Manolo Valdés created a series of works that reflected his Spanish heritage.

His large scale paintings, sculptures and mixed media works are an open dialogue in reference to the masters of Art History. Valdés’ bronze sculptures which are inspired particularly by Velazquez, are especially prominent. Valdés’ expressive style is characterized by the incorporation of various materials in his artworks, paying attention to the surface texture and the use of tactile materials. In his paintings, oil is applied in thick layers and other materials such as twine, jute canvas, bitumen, and linseed oil, adhesives of all kinds and a wide range of natural pigments are incorporated.

Manolo Valdés was awarded the Alfons Roig in Valencia in 1984, National Prize of Fine Arts in Spain in 1985 and became an Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, France - one of the prestigious cultural honours in the country in 1997. His works are exhibited in public and private collections around the world: at the Fond National d’Arts Plastiques and the Centre George Pompidou in Paris; Fundación Caja de Pensiones, Barcelona; Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Valencia; The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1999, he was the official representative of Spain at the Venice Biennale. A significant solo exhibition at the Fondation Maeght was held in Saint-Paul, France (2006).

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