Bryant Park

Manolo Valdés At Bryant Park: Renowned Spanish Artist Exhibits Works At Bryant Park

Friday, March 2, 2007
No. 14

New York City Parks & Recreation, Bryant Park Corporation, Instituto Cervantes, and Marlborough Gallery are pleased to announce Manolo Valdés at Bryant Park, an exhibition of monumental bronze sculptures by the renowned Spanish painter and sculptor, Manolo Valdés. The exhibition features six works arranged amongst Bryant Park’s beautifully scaled open space and neo-classical architecture. The work is on view from March 1 through April 15, 2007.

The exhibition consists of four sculptures depicting female heads, their calm facial composure and structured equilibrium offset rhythmically by dynamic ornamental head-pieces. Two of the four works, all of which measure over thirteen feet high, are debuting in Bryant Park. Accompanying these forms are two groups of elegantly imposing figures based on Diego Velázquez’ Infanta Margarita and Reina Mariana from the painting Las Meninas. In these works, Valdés draws inspiration from an art-historical motif, as he does in much of his work, using his own visual language to skillfully play tribute to one of the great masters.

Valdés’ approach to art is to use the past and present "como pretexto." He focuses not on the subject, but on the way the art is created. For Valdés, the subject is simply the first step. As explored in his regal sculptures in Bryant Park, his work is about the process and journey in creating the art.

Valdés has received honors and commissions from Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and Venezuela. In 2005, a large exhibition of his sculptures of both Infanta Margarita and Reina Mariana opened to critical acclaim in Paris at the Palais Royal, then traveling to Switzerland and Spain. In 2006, several of these sculptures were featured at the Desert Botanical Garden in Arizona, the first West Coast venue for Valdés’ work. In 2002, as part of Parks & Recreation’s public art program, Valdés exhibited a monumental bronze sculpture entitled La Dama on Park Avenue. Currently a traveling exhibition entitled Manolo Valdés: Monumental Sculpture, is on view in Córdoba, Spain. Through 2008, it will tour through Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Bilbao and Saragossa.

Valdés completed two of his most important commissions to date in 2003: three monumental bronze sculptures, Las Damas de Barajas, which was created for Madrid’s highly acclaimed new international airport, and La Dama del Manzanares, which presides majestically over Madrid’s Parque del Mazanares and is his largest sculpture at 45-feet high. In 1999, Valdés was the official representative of Spain at the Venice Biennale. Recent retrospectives of Valdés’ paintings, sculpture and graphic work have been held at the Guggenehim Bilbao in 2002 and Madrid’s Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in 2006. An important solo exhibition at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul was also held in 2006.

Valdés’ work may be found in more than 40 public collections, including the following: Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany; Menil Foundation, Houston, Texas; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Modern Museet Art, Stockholm, Sweden; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

Parks & Recreation’s public art program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, collaborations with arts organizations and artists have produced hundreds of public art projects in New York City parks. Committed to art exhibition by emerging and established artists, Parks has supported projects ranging from international exhibitions in flagship parks to local, community works in neighborhood parks and Greenstreets.

Bryant Park Corporation (BPC), a private not-for-profit company, was founded in 1980 to renovate, finance, and operate Bryant Park. In addition to providing security and sanitation services, and tending the park’s lush lawn and gardens, BPC provides public amenities and activities, including movable chairs and tables, café umbrellas, restrooms, restaurants and food kiosks, and many exciting events throughout the year.

Instituto Cervantes, which is the official cultural representative of the Spanish Government, considers this exhibition an important cultural exchange between the people of Spain and the people of New York City.

Founded in 1946, Marlborough Gallery represents over sixty artists internationally through galleries in New York, London, Madrid and Monaco. Marlborough has collaborated with Parks & Recreation on groundbreaking exhibitions such as Botero on Park Avenue and Tom Otterness on Broadway, and is proud to support this exciting exhibition, Manolo Valdés at Bryant Park. This is an important sculpture show for residents, as well as visitors, to enjoy.

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