Juan Genovés

Juan Genovés is one of Spain's best-known contemporary artists, whose works created a stir in a country then run by the Franco regime. Born in Valencia in 1930, Genovés trained at the city's School of Fine Arts. His firm belief in renewing Spanish art led him to join very significant groups in the post-war Spanish scene: 'Los Siete' (1949), 'Parpalló' (1956) and 'Hondo' (1960). In the 1960s, after settling permanently in Madrid, the artist began to consider two subjects in his painting: the 'individual', which he depicted through collage, and the 'crowd', which he painted with flat colours and in a cinematographic style. Parallel to his artistic activity, Genovés was heavily involved in the opposition movements of the time against the Franco regime. Following the death of the dictator, he played a role in the recovery of Spanish democracy. His painting “El abrazo” (1976) has became a powerful symbol of democracy and it now hangs in the Spanish Congress in Madrid. Throughout his life he was a committed activist for social justice. Over the course of his long career, Genovés received an honourable mention at the XXXIII Venice Biennale (1966), the gold medal at the VI San Marino International Biennial (1967), the International Marzotto Prize (1968), the National Award for Fine Arts (1984), the Award for Fine Arts of the Generalitat Valenciana (2002) and the Gold Medal of Merit for Fine Arts from the Ministry of Culture (2005). The artist passed away in Madrid on 15 May 2020.

Juan Genovés in El Carmen, Valencia, 2013