Monumental Manolo Valdes Sculptures to Inhabit Monaco’s Casino Gardens for the Summertime

AdaThroughout this summer, and for the first time, the monumental works of the eminent Spanish sculptor, Manolo Valdés, will take pride of place on two mythical sites on the Côte d’Azur: the Principality of Monaco and Saint-Tropez. The Monaco exhibition, under the High Patronage of H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince of Monaco will be installed in the Monte-Carlo Casino Gardens and will feature seven massive bronze sculptures which will dominate the area. Four other sculptures will occupy several main sites in the city of Saint-Tropez, accompanied by a group of five sculptures, depicting Las Meninas, at the entrance to the citadel of Saint-Tropez.
The exhibition of monumental sculptures by Manolo Valdés is presented in conjunction with the exhibition of paintings by the artist, to be held at the Marlborough Gallery Monaco from 24 June to 18 September 2009 and provides an unique opportunity to discover the polymorphic work of Manolo Valdés. The exhibition at the Casino Gardens will end on 30 September (and in Saint-Tropez on 31 October). Sponsors include the Marlborough Gallery in Monaco and Monte-Carlo SBM.
Manolo Valdés, a great connoisseur of Art History, has drawn inspiration from a variety of influences over the years. Old masterpieces are the main inspiration for his creations, including works by great masters such as Masaccio, Ribera, Velasquez, Goya, Bonnard, Matisse and Picasso. Through his sculptures and paintings, Valdés recounts the major periods in the history of art, presenting new, independent and original work. Often focusing on specific pictorial details, he updates images from the past and stimulates our visual memory. His dramatic use and combining of various materials demonstrates his creativity and the importance he accords to the sense of touch. The effects of imperfection, tears, non-completion and welding which can be seen in his work and which have been carefully developed, reveal the texture of the support and reinforce the reference to touch, so central to the artist’s approach.
Born in 1942 in Valencia (Spain) Manolo Valdés enters the Fine Arts School San Carlos of Valencia which he left in 1958 to devote his life to painting. In 1964, Valdés formed the group Equipo Cronica with Joan A. Toledo and Rafael Solbes, one of the most important Pop Art group in Spain. Valdés and Solbes continued their association until the death of Solbes in 1981. Through Equipo Crόnica, Manolo Valdés participated in more than 60 solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions.
In 1982, the artist entered his artistic revision period, according ever more importance to texture and support. During this period, he became interested in the opportunities offered by volume and the three-dimensional variations in the iconography of Velasquez. Since 1983, he has been working with sculpture and, gradually, has found his own voice through an infinite number of materials such as alabaster, bronze, marble, granite, ceramic, silver and, above all, wood, which he appreciates for its irregularity and natural polychromy. In 1999, he started to reproduce the images of Velasquez in bronze. He has also created a series of impressive heads adorned with hats inspired by the paintings of Matisse: heads transformed into caryatids crowned by a mixture of unusual shapes and patterns.
The year 1999 also marked the beginning of installations with a project for the city of Bilbao. Then public commissions and temporary installations followed: La Dama de Elche designed for the city of Valencia, whose first large-scale model is placed in 2002 on Park Avenue; Las Damas de Barajas in the airport in Madrid; La Dama del Manzanares (13 meters high) in Madrid; Reina Mariana in Monte Carlo. Since then, his large sculptures have been exhibited in such cities as Biarritz, Munich, Bilbao and Murcia.
The artist has received many awards and commendations and numerous solo exhibitions and retrospectives have been devoted to him throughout his career, including in 2002 at the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao and in 2006 at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. In 2005 a major exhibition of Meninas was held at the Palais Royal in Paris and in 2006 a personal exhibition at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul de Vence. In 2007 his monumental works were presented at Bryant Park in New York and in 2008 in Las Ramblas of Barcelona. The same year two major exhibitions were held at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and the National Art Museum of China in Beijing.


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