Felanitx, Mallorca, 1957
Mixed technique on canvas, 200 x 300 cm
Acquired in 2002
The still life genre is one that Barceló has repeatedly explored. In the case of Des potirons, painted in the artist’s Parisian studio, the main interest of the work lies in its matter. The dense mixture of paint and wood pulp is applied all over the surface of the canvas, achieving a texture characterised by centrifugal rhythms and earthy properties. Barceló often introduces elements extraneous to painting in his compositions—such as the pumpkin seeds and cigarette ends in this work—that configure a sort of organic vanitas to evoke the transmutation of matter that alludes to the passage of time. Speaking of this painting in March 1998, Barceló said, "My new picture! — of pumpkins. I remember when I used to paint white pictures (...). It’s the same today with pumpkins, onions and tomatoes. It’s as if they were suddenly the only things one could paint (...). The same anxiety, the familiarity with the mechanisms, nothing changes." Miquel Barceló is one of the most prominent figures in contemporary Spanish art. After training at the School of Decorative Arts in Palma and at the Fine Arts School in Barcelona, he soon achieved international acclaim as a result of his participation in the 1981 edition of the São Paulo Biennial and in Documenta 7 in Kassel the following year. His sojourns in various European countries, the United States and Mali have marked a prolific career devoted to painting, sculpture, drawings and prints, set designs, murals and ceramics. [M.G.M.]
Independently of its permanent collection, the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum regularly organises temporary exhibition programmes.
Please consult the exhibition calendar for more information about the museum's latest proposals.
Usually classed as a realist painter, Antonio López (born in Tomelloso in 1936) is one of the most idiosyncratic artists at work in Spain after the Civil War. From the 1950s, he has produced drawings, engravings, paintings and sculptures, fashioning an oeuvre of a remarkable technical virtuosity that somehow seems outside time, despite focusing on the realistic representation of living beings and objects. López’s iconographic repertoire always springs from the reality of the visual world and oscillates between scenes of intimacy and the vast outdoors: portraits, still life works, interiors and domestic objects jostle with broad panoramic views.
In 1992 film director Víctor Erice shot the extraordinary El sol del membrillo (The Quince Sun), which concentrates on Antonio López’s creative process, on the intensity with which the artist contemplates objects. This act of rapt attention gives the film a halo of silence and a sensation of time suspended, which moves the viewer to a similar state of meditative absorption. the painter’s highly distinctive use of light contributes enormously to the dreamlike, metaphysical atmosphere, to the suggestion of the visible as a door, slightly ajar, to the invisible.
Despite his realist style, Antonio López has shaped an oeuvre independent from the other, more recent European realist or naturalist trends and from American hyperrealism. What he seeks in the reality that surrounds him are the quotidian aspects that awaken his interest; he works slowly and painstakingly towards his goal of capturing the essence of the sitter or of the objects or the land- and cityscapes portrayed. Curated by historian Guillermo Solana, art director at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, and the artist' s daughter María López, the exhibition will include a very complete overview of the oeuvre of Spanish artist Antonio López.
The selection of around 130 works, oil paintings, drawings and sculptures, represent his most recurrent themes: interiors, where the fantastic and emotive irrupt into daily life, the human figure, landscapes and the famous cityscapes of Madrid and Tomelloso, and his fruit compositions.Although works dated between 1949 and 2010 will be on show, the project concentrates largely on his output from the last two decades, which will include signature works like his earliest, slightly surreal family portraits, the legendary view of Madrid’s Gran Vía and the drawings of his studio. But attention will also be paid to more recent works, some of which are still unfinished and, logically, as yet unseen.
The exhibition as a whole will highlight the slow, meditative process by which Antonio López, one of today’s leading and most admired Spanish artists, arrives at his art.
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04|30|14 • 08|25|14
05|16|14 • 09|01|14
06|10|14 • 09|15|14
10|07|14 • 01|19|15
THE GUEST WORK
04|09|14 • 06|30|14
02|18|14 • 05|19|14
01|24|14 • 04|28|14