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Manolo Valdes Presents 17 Sculptures in the Streets of Barcelona
View of one of the seventeen sculptures made by Manolo Valdes which have been placed along the streets of Barcelona. Photo: EFE / XAVIER BERTRAL.
BARCELONA.- The voluptuous maids of honor made by painter and sculptor Manolo Valdes march along the center of the city of Barcelona. This is because art has again taken to the streets, and art chooses the best streets to show itself. The Rambla de Catalunya in the Catalonian capital exhibits some of the best sculptures made by the founder of Equipo Crónica. Seventeen sculptures wait for whoever desires to see them, or touch them with out previous consent. The exhibit will be there until June 15.

Of the seventeen large sculptures, four of them have never been seen. The show starts off with 'Lilie', a large head of a woman with a hat that begins at Gran Via, one of the busiest streets in the city. 'Irene I', 'Irene II' and 'Odalisca' are the other sculptures created specially for this occasion. The theme is repeated: a woman’s oval face is the protagonist.

The improvised gallery goes up, along the mountain and Tibidabo, in the horizon, Rambla at the top. It passes women with hairdos, the enormous, “Lady of Elche” with oval eyes, gigantic hands and a metallic curved hairdo. The sculptures show the voluptuousness of the maids of honor to the enormous heads without faces formed by rotund square blocks, from metallic black to oxide.

The same street that one year ago welcomed the God-like bodies made Igor Mitoraj, now, shows the works of art made by Valdes that is the aim of the tourist’s cameras and the surprise of pedestrians.

Manolo Valdés, born 1942, is a Spanish artist residing in New York, working in paint, sculpture, and mixed media. He introduced to Spain a form of expression that combined political and social obligations with humor and irony.
Manolo Valdés was born in Valencia on March 8, 1942. He entered the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Carlos in 1957, where he studied two years. In 1964 he established the artists' group Equipo Crónica with Joan Toledo and Rafael Solbes in which he remained until Solbes' death in 1981. He now lives and works in New York and Madrid.

Influenced by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Matisse, Valdés creates large works in which the lighting and colors express a sensation of tactility. His work is forceful and decorated with historical art symbols.

Along with the works he exhibited as a part of Equipo Crónicas, Valdés had over seventy exhibitions between 1965 and 1981, as many individual as collective.
Valdés has received various awards, including the Lissone and Biella in Milan in 1965; the silver medal in the second International Prints Biennial in Tokyo; an award from the Bridgestone Art Museum in Lisbon; the Alfons Roig Award in Valencia; the National Award for the Fine Arts in Spain; a medal from the biennial International Festival of the Plastic Arts in Baghdad; and in 1993 the Medal of the Order of Andrés Bello in Venezuela.



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