Opera Gallery x Mandala Club Singapore
Mandala Club Singapore
September - 14 October 2021
In collaboration with Mandala Club, Opera Gallery is proud to present “Homage to the Masters”, a joint exhibition with works from Lita Cabellut and Manolo Valdés. On this special occasion, we celebrate these 2 Spanish artists and their outstanding bodies of work, informed and influenced by masters of the art world.
Exchange of artistic ideas and acknowledgement of influence have long comprised the tenets of creative production. By the time the 20th century came round and an emphasis on personal genius bloomed into the collective consciousness, originality underwent another permutation—appropriation. Artists created a new lexicon of post-modern commentary and imagistic anarchy, intentionally borrowing ideas from art history and reshaping them to create their own unique artistic identity. Whether it is through referencing imageries; or adopting artistic styles used across the long line of Masters throughout art history; or perhaps through the nuanced adaptation of subject portrayal, inspiration from the Masters is embedded in the creative process of most artists.
In this exhibition, we see the voices of legendary artists resonate through the imagery of Lita Cabellut, as she draws upon works from renowned names in Modern Art – Egon Schiele, Fernand Léger and Andy Warhol. Reinvigorated through her visionary figurative paintings, she has seamlessly interwoven both past and present into her practice. Her pictorial technique contains the distinct elements of German Expressionists, with her thick impasto painting technique striking the senses instantly. Similarly, we recognise familiar icons used in Manolo Valdés’ works, as he remarkably transforms and transposes these images into something new and contemporary.
Throughout his artistic career, Valdés has developed a particularly acute awareness of the importance of the image, particularly its iconic value. He constantly seeks to reinterpret great masterpieces, distilling the essence to achieve a degree of simplification, which emphasises the primary elements. Valdés has continued to take inspiration from works by key figures from art history including Diego Velázquez, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, utilising a broad range of raw materials to subvert, reinvent or reinvigorate these familiar images and their established contexts.
As time and history progress, so does the context within which the works are created and understood. One thing that remains central to the works of artists – masters and contemporary alike, is the subject of human condition, which constantly remains at the backbone of artistic creation. From Cabellut’s rhythmic manifestations of human vulnerabilities and intricacies, inspired by Post-impressionists like Manet and Van Gogh – to Valdés’ allusions to modern masters like Gauguin and Picasso in his portrayal of the human figure and their variation of forms, there is a need to constantly reimagine and renew our interpretations of what it is like to be human.