The great Spanish artist Valdés has made a comeback after 25 years away, bestowing us with 70 tremendous works at Museo di Palazzo Cipolla this Autumn/Winter
Till July 11th, Manolo Valdés’ epic collections are available to see at the Palazzo Cipolla museum in the city centre. A range of paintings made up of mirror shards, coarse fabrics or acrylic paints and various sculptures formed from wood, marble, bronze, alabaster, steel and iron await you at this vibrant and captivating display.
Alongside the earthy colours, grand shapes and textures, read about Valdés’ life story, his inspirational influences and philosophies written on the exhibition’s walls. Valdés likens himself to a hunter, ‘always alert, regardless of the situation. Museums, streets and images in general furnish the material for my works.’ On another wall he comments, ‘the images I always return to are endless.’ We are reminded of his determined, ambitious intentions for his creations.
Valdés’ work is unapologetic, eclectic and bold. He focuses on physicality, as a response to the digital age and the ‘world’s pervasive dematerialization’. His sculptures and paintings take up space, demanding to be seen in our current reality that is predominantly flat screens. Valdés also focuses on motifs of women, horses, Jesus Christ and everyday objects which are prominent to the physicality conversation. Valdés physically lives between New York and Madrid, consequently he has been largely influenced by both cities. Look out for the enchanting sculpture ‘mariposas azules’ inspired from a moment in Central Park when a swarm of butterflies landed on a statue’s head, thus capturing Valdés’ imagination.
Additionally Valdés’ imagination is fuelled by his appreciation for artists before him; he navigates through the historical masterpiece of Velázquez’s ‘Las Meninas’ – painted in 1656. Valdés experiments repeatedly with meninas, (women in large headdresses, hooped skirts and billowing sleeves), their silhouettes replicated through forms of various materials. In one room, many huge iron meninas fill the space; ‘like a friendly army,’ and in another room an azure blue, glass menina stands between wooden copies, surrounded by abstract portraits of other female faces.
Valdés does not claim to be a perfectionist and takes pride in his lively modes of art history recreation or object defamiliarisation. Additionally, what better way for his biographical story and masterpieces to be exhibited in Rome, the eternal, ancient city? As time itself is different in Rome; modern life cohabits with the ever-present historical. For Valdés, ‘an artist who juggles disintegrated linear time into hybrid works that are at once new and ancient,’ his themes compliment Roma, effortlessly.
Till July 11, 2021
Museo di Palazzo Cipolla
Via del Corso, 320 (centro storico)
Monday – Friday 10am – 8pm
Tickets €3 – €6