Manolo Valdés - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, October 5, 2016 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Galería Freites, Caracas
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Throughout his career, Manolo Valdés has incorporated his many influences, from both the art and the political world, to express his own personal interpretations of the ideas of art and its role in commentary on political realities and on the history of art itself. As founder of Equipo Crónica, Valdés employed the tools of Pop Art to question the Spanish dictatorship of Franco for two decades, and when the group dissolved in 1981, he reinvented his work to centre on art historical motifs, reinterpreting famous images of his predecessors in his own expressive style – and this present lot is an excellent example of this.

    Inspired by such artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Valdés employs various materials to create his pieces – in the present work he turns to various media on burlap to create a striking image of a woman in profile, at once rough as the material used and elegant. Valdés contrasts the composed pale face of the woman with a dynamic and bright headdress and a solid dark background, adopting the traditions of Picasso’s cubist portraiture to create this work. The artist reinterprets images he finds inspiring to produce an autonomous work: ‘I only interpret or comment on paintings and works that I love. It’s a matter of how to take a work by somebody that you like, which is why you pick it in the first place, and, from that, creating another painting.’ (Manolo Valdés in conversation with Anna McNay, Studio International, June 21 2016). Indeed, in reformulating the familiar imagery from the history of art, Valdés underlines its significance in our conception of art as an evolving body. ‘Paintings and art and creation never come from nothing; they come from other artists and bits and pieces of other works. Everything that comes out new is always a reading of something else that’s already been done.’ (Ibid)


A Menage a Picasso

signed and dated 'Valdés 2011' on the reverse
mixed media on burlap
175 x 119 cm (68 7/8 x 46 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2011.

£120,000 - 180,000 ‡♠

Sold for £106,250

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20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 6 October 2016