Viewing Room

Manolo Valdés

Anamorphosis
An accomplished painter and sculptor, Manolo Valdés (born in 1942 in Valencia, Spain) is one of the most celebrated living Spanish contemporary artist. He began his career in the 1960s as one of the founding members of Equipo Cronica, a Spanish manifestation of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s.When the movement ended in 1981, Valdes continued his own artistic exploration centred on the appropriation and reinterpretation of classical masterpieces: the quintessence of his work. Thus, drawing from Art History, he created his own striking and unique visual language using unconventional materials and conveying a perfect balance between line, colour, texture and scale.
“We build upon that which art history has placed in our hands”
Manolo Valdés

Manolo Valdés

Matisse como Pretexto en Amarillos y Rojos
2019
mixed media, 129,5 x 99,1 cm (51 x 39 in)

Manolo Valdés

Cabeza de Resina con Colores II
2019
Bronze, Resin and Steel, 104.1 x 91.4 x 30.5 cm (41 x 36 x 12 in)

Valdés comments on the juxtaposition between the static faces of his sculptures and their dynamic headdresses, stating, “I must admit that I adore the pronounced tension that is established between the two parts; it’s as if they were two entirely different sculptures. And the challenge is having them function as a harmonious whole, as well as allowing their initial different formulation to be seen not as something separate but as something enriching.”
“Artists traverse disciplines very easily, whether it be etchings, paintings or sculpture. Not just today, but even in the 20th century, artists like Matisse and Picasso were readily doing it. In my case, I take an image from another artist and reread or reinterpret it, so, on top of doing a painting, if I also make a sculpture from the same image, then the reading and interpretation of the original image will become deeper and more complex. I never know whether I’m going to be more interested in a painting or a sculpture, so I work on both simultaneously. There will be periods where I focus more on one medium, and periods where I focus more on the other.”
Manolo Valdés

Manolo Valdés

Matisse como Pretexto VI
2019
mixed media, 104,1 x 91,4 cm (41 x 36 in)

Installation view, Manolo Valdés, Anamorphosis, Opera Gallery © Manolo Valdés

Manolo Valdés

Matisse como Pretexto en Amarillos
2019
mixed media, 142,2 x 121,9 cm (56 x 48 in)

Manolo Valdés

Cabeza con Mariposas
2018
bronze, silver patina, 42 x 90 x 35 cm (16.5 x 35.4 x 13.8 in)

Walking through Central Park a few years ago, Manolo Valdés saw a woman sunbathing, with monarch butterflies swirling around his head. That image - along with an exhibition of tropical butterflies at the American Museum of Natural History and a Spanish expression describing people with a lot of ideas as having butterflies in their heads kindled something in the artist.
“All of a sudden, they were everywhere,” Valdés said of the butterflies in an interview with The New York Times. “That’s how ideas start. You never know when one is going to pop in.”

Manolo Valdés

Cabeza con Mariposas Azules
2019
resin and steel, 114,3 x 124,5 x 71,1 cm (45 x 49 x 28 in)

Manolo Valdés

Matisse como Pretexto en Blancos
2019
mixed media, 129,5 x 99,1 cm (51 x 39 in)

Installation view, Manolo Valdés, Anamorphosis, Opera Gallery © Manolo Valdés

Manolo Valdés

Infanta Margarita
2018
bronze, 130 x 107 x 69 cm (51.2 x 42.1 x 27.2 in)

Manolo Valdés captures Las Meninas by Velázquez, details them, diverts them and multiplies them. He explains: “What amuses me the most is to repeat the same image while transforming it. A single creation is not enough to tell everything. As with photography, several shots are needed to tell a story”.
Most materials Valdés employs in his paintings can appear rough-hewn; however, the image’s evocation is contrarily stately and elegant.

Manolo Valdés

Matisse como Pretexto con Mancha Verde
2019
mixed media, 200,7 x 185,4 cm (79 x 73 in)

Manolo Valdés

Mariposas Azules
2017
polychromated bronze, 42 x 70 x 17 cm (16.5 x 27.6 x 6.7 in)

Installation view, Manolo Valdés, Anamorphosis, Opera Gallery © Manolo Valdés

Manolo Valdés

Cabeza con Sambrero Rojo
2019
mixed media, 119,4 x 88,9 cm (47 x 35 in)

Manolo Valdés

Clio Dorada
2018
bronze, gold patina, steel, 114 x 255 x 90 cm (44.9 x 100.4 x 35.4 in)

Valdés’s work is featured in over forty public collections around the world, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Kunstmuseum in Berlin; and the Centre George Pompidou in Paris. The artist has been commissioned to place permanent monumental sculptures in cities such as Madrid, Bilbao and Monte Carlo. Valdés lives and works in New York and Madrid.

Manolo Valdés

Infanta Margarita
2018
aluminium 100 x 71 x 43 cm (39.4 x 28 x 16.9 in)

Manolo Valdés

Odalisque au visage blanc et orange
2009
mixed media, 96,5 x 137,2 cm (38 x 54 in)