Gallery News

Juan Genovés, The Interplay of Individual and Crowd
15 March - 17 April 2024

Juan Genovés' artwork, known for its unique interplay between the crowd and the individual, serves as a primary visual theme represented in his body of work. His creations have drawn global attention, and we are excited to showcase his artistic talent through our traveling exhibition, ‘Ágora’. This exhibition first began in Singapore in November 2023 and has now reached our gallery in Paris. In celebration of the second showing of the famed artist's work, we had the privilege of discussing his process, life, and approach to work with his son, Pablo Genovés.


The political dimension of Genovés' artwork emerges when considering the historical context in which it was created as artistic journey started during the Franco dictatorship era (1939-1975). His works explore themes of individuality and crowd dynamics, capturing the feeling of either blending in or standing out within a crowd. His art was deeply ingrained in his steadfast commitment to freedom and resistance against the regime. This commitment extended into 1960s when he began incorporating collage techniques and political realism elements into his work. Genovés' political beliefs remained a constant throughout his life, significantly affecting his artwork. His unwavering belief in democracy, social justice, and resistance against the Franco regime inspired the primary themes of his work: the individual and the group. Through his art, Genovés confronted and challenged the mechanisms of dictatorship, creating a lasting legacy.


In his artwork, Genovés often depicts crowds as restricted and restrained entities. His distinctive artistic style transforms the human mass into an anonymous, recurring subject. The artist's use of perspective, guided by the political message of this œuvre, plays a crucial role in establishing this connection. Each piece of art has been carefully crafted to be appreciated from both a distance and up close. At a glance, Genovés' art may seem simple, but upon closer inspection, a complex narrative and unique individual characters emerge, distinguished by objects directly attached to the canvas. The viewer's viewpoint is also significant in Genovés' work. Positioned above the crowd, the viewer perceives the crowd as a collective entity, establishing an omnipresence from which the individuals cannot escape. This perspective allows the viewer to appreciate the crowd's strength and movement, the artwork in its entirety, and the individual nuances that give each piece its distinct personality.


“The Civil War, when he was six years old, was a big trauma that forever marked him. He was a very happy person, but inside of him, in the studio, his inner life, he was a sad man touched by the trauma of the Spanish Civil War.”

- Pablo Genovés



Photography © Studio SLB

Videography © Lee Pretious