Manolo Valdés - New Now New York Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Marlborough Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I am just a narrator who comments on the history of painting in various ways, using new materials: it is like a game that consists of changing the code and the key to the artwork."
    Manolo Valdés

    This striking group features three works by Valencia-born artist Manolo Valdés that reflect the artist’s singular treatment of media and his renowned engagement with art historical masters. Throughout his career, Valdés has consistently expressed his interest in Spanish artistic heritage through the interpretation of historical artistic notions, often as a commentary on contemporary political realities. Valdés has repeatedly turned to the work of Spanish master Diego Velázquez, for example, which is evident in Infanta Margarita (lot 40). The artist recontextualizes Velázquez’s famed representations of Margaret Theresa of Spain, manifesting her presence in Las Meninas and numerous portraits, translating details of the great painter’s works into his own contemporary vision.

    While each of the following three lots features female portraits in traditional formats executed in both two and three dimensions, the works also reflect the technical abstraction for which Valdés is known. In Joelle sobre fondo verde oscuro, Valdés builds his portrait in layers of burlap covered in vibrant swaths of impasto, resulting in a richly-textured, figurative composition. Similarly, in Lydia (lot 39) and Infanta Margarita, the artist has employed uniquely textured wood and marble surfaces respectively with a deliberate appearance of disintegration that emphasizes the organic materiality of the works. Though recognizable as traditional sculpting materials, the wood and marble are transformed by Valdés into contemporary figurative objects that confront viewers directly, commanding onlookers to participate in a fully immersive experience. Across all three works, Valdés expertly integrates distinctive parts to form a unique whole - each one a masterful example of the formal qualities for which the artist is known.

Property from an Important American Collection


Joelle sobre fondo verde oscuro

signed, titled and dated "M VALDES Joelle sobre fondo verde oscuro 2009" on the reverse
oil and twine on burlap
90 x 74 in. (229 x 188 cm.)
Executed in 2009.

$180,000 - 250,000 

Sold for $212,500

Contact Specialist
Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219
[email protected]

New Now

New York Auction 28 February 2018