MANOLO VALDÉS BLASCO (Valencia, 1942)
"Infanta V", 1985.
Cardboard and polychrome fabric dye.
Measures: 164 x 177 x 40 cm.
This 1985 work is part of a series dedicated to the Meninas, in fact, it is worth mentioning that a very similar work, made the same year, belongs to the collection of the Museo Nacional y Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. The protagonist of this work is the Infanta Margarita of Austria, following the aesthetic models established by Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo, Velázquez's disciple and son-in-law. Valdés' relationship with the representation of the Infanta arose at the beginning of his career, when he was part of Equipo Crónica. However, after the death of Rafael Solbes, although he continued to reinterpret historical figures of art history, Valdés began a change of aesthetic language, away from pop, by virtue of experimentation with tactile values, where textures have a leading presence.
Manolo Valdés introduced in Spain a form of artistic expression that combines political and social commitment with humor and irony. He began his training in 1957, when he entered the San Carlos School of Fine Arts in Valencia. However, two years later he abandoned his studies to devote himself fully to painting. In 1964 he founded the artistic group Equipo Crónica, together with Juan Antonio Toledo and Rafael Solbes, in which he remained until the latter's death in 1981, despite the fact that Toledo had left the group two years after its foundation. Since then he has settled in New York, where he currently resides and where he has continued to experiment with new forms of expression, including sculpture. Among the numerous awards Manolo Valdés has received are the Lissone and Biella of Milan, the silver medal of the II International Biennial of Engravings of Tokyo, the award of the Bridgestone Art Museum in Lisbon, the National Prize of Plastic Arts, the medal of the International Festival of Plastic Artists of Baghdad, the Decoration of the Order of Andres Bello in Venezuela, the award of the National Council of Monaco, the Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts, the Award of the Spanish Association of Art Critics and the Best Printmaking Artist Award, among others. Formally, Valdés creates a large format work in which lights and colors express tactile values, due to the treatment given to the materials. His work forces the viewer to delve into memory and search for significant images of the history of art. He is represented in some of the most outstanding museums around the world, such as the Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Metropolitan, the MoMA and the Guggenheim in New York, the Georges Pompidou Center and the Fons National d'Arts Plastiques in Paris, the Kusnthalle in Hamburg, the Kunstmuseum in Berlin and the Museo de Bellas Artes in Bilbao, among many others.