The Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera presents the first retrospective exhibition of Antonio López in Barcelona
The Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera presents the work of Antonio López (Tomelloso, Ciudad Real, 1936), the representative par excellence of the Spanish realist movement of the second half of the 20th century. Slow, deliberate and meticulous production, his work does not allow for simplifications.
Painter, sculptor and draftsman, López only has one starting point in reality, in which the process is as important as the finished work. As the artist says: "A work is never finished, but reaches the limit of its own possibilities". Depending on the subjects, he works on his paintings over the course of several years—sometimes, for decades, abandoning them and taking them up again—and with each brushstroke he distills the intertwining of the object or the landscape, until it captures the essence on the canvas. In his work, the artist tries to capture what remains of the reality that surrounds us, eliminating artifices and unnecessary details, as well as capturing the moment when light and objects reach, through the painter's gaze, the maximum possible degree of beauty.
The exhibition at La Pedrera is the first retrospective monographic exhibition of Antonio López to be presented in Barcelona, and brings together a careful selection of around eighty works—paintings, sculptures and drawings—from different public collections and private, such as the Sorigué Foundation, from Lleida; the Juan March Foundation of Palma de Mallorca; the ICO Foundation and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, in Madrid; the Hamburger Kunsthalle; the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others; which makes it possible to trace the trajectory of this artist over seven decades of work, from the first works of his youth, from the fifties, to his most recent production.
Structured in thematic blocks, the exhibition highlights that certain motifs on which the artist reflects persist and, at the same time, evolve throughout his career: domestic interiors, landscapes and urban views -mainly of Madrid-, the still lifes or the human figure.
The latter constitute the obsessions of the painter and sculptor. The detail, the corners, the stillness, the silence, the austerity are the protagonists of his personal grammar, in a work that expresses, from the intimacy of the domestic environment, universal human values. He tries to catch the ephemeral reality that surrounds us and capture a moment, an instant in which the light and the objects reach, for the painter's gaze who wants to immortalize them, the maximum possible degree of beauty. The artist, with a great mastery of space and light, often wants to transcend the everydayness of things and landscapes by stopping time to capture the eternity of the moment.
"My paintings are a personal experience, not a document. I work with an interpretative key that requires a lot of time, where the mobile does not fit. It is an essential law for me. The result is a reality that fills the picture with something that I may desire."
The exhibition is organized by the Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera, in collaboration with the Drents Museum (Assen, Netherlands), and can be visited at La Pedrera in Barcelona from September 22, 2023 until January 14 of 2024. The works are exhibited in the exhibition hall with the exception of Carmen Dormida, which is installed in the courtyard of Passeig de Gràcia.