NEW YORK, NY.-
How does the political and social evolution of a country influence an artist? If that is the question, then the career of Eduardo Arranz-Bravo might provide the answer. One of the most representative artists of his generation, Arranz-Bravo was born in Barcelona in 1941, and his work straddles the final years of Francisco Francos authoritarian regime, the early years of Spains transition to democracy and the countrys present-day challenges and triumphs.
The art scene of postwar Spain was marked by dramatic and transcendent paintings, as represented by Antoni Tàpies and the generation of Spanish Informalist artists. In contrast, Arranz-Bravos work was rebellious and festive with a passion for color and a return to the figurative and multidisciplinary approach to the arts. During this time, painters left the traditional form of expression and experimented with techniques ranging from etching, sculpture and drawing to even filmmaking. Arranz-Bravo has boldly embraced new forms and experimented liberally in his career. Today he is one of the most well-rounded and productive artists in the latest wave of modern Spanish painters.
A student at Barcelonas San Jorge Superior School of Fine Arts between 1959 and 1962, Arranz-Bravo held his first individual exhibition in 1961 in the Club Universitario de Barcelona. Critics acknowledged his young talent, and he later became associated with the Sala Gaspar Gallery. In the 1970s, while living in the town of Vespella de Gaià in Tarragona, he signed with the Fernando Vijande Gallery in Madrid, which was the reference gallery for modern art in Spain. He moved his studio to Cadaqués in the early 1980s and played an active role in the artistic and cultural awakening that was taking place in the seaside town at the time. Cadaqués attracted such artists as Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp and Richard Hamilton.
His present period of productivity traces its roots to 1990 when Arranz-Bravo moved to Vallvidrera in the hills cradling Barcelona. He has exhibited steadily throughout his career and since 1997 has been represented in the United States by Franklin Bowles Galleries, which has helped Arranz-Bravo forge ties with the art communities in New York and San Francisco. His influence is broad, and he has garnered many international accolades during his career, including Gran Premio and Medalla de Oro at the International Biennale in Ibiza, Spain, and the honor of representing Spain at the 39th Venice Biennale. He also was chosen as one of only three artists to help promote the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games through artistic work, resulting in the acquisition of 27 works by the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.
His works are on display in numerous public collections throughout the world. In Spain, his works grace the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid and the Museu dArt Contemporani in Barcelona. Just outside Barcelona, LHospitalet de Llobregat is home to two of his recent sculptures of note, LAcollidora (The Welcoming Woman) and El Pont de La Llibertat (The Bridge of Freedom), while his work also can be found as far afield as Saratoga Springs, New York, and São Paulo, Brazil.
The Arranz-Bravo Foundation was inaugurated in September 2009 in Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona). The Foundation possesses a collection of over 300 works by the artist spanning the 1950s to the present, including paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. The Foundation is in charge of preserving the collection and promoting it through exhibits at the Foundation and at other museums in Catalonia, Spain and abroad. In addition, these exhibits and activities aim to disseminate the art and thinking of the generation of the sixties and seventies in Spain.
Arranz-Bravo is always mindful of the influence that older artists had on him as a young painter, and to reflect that relationship, the foundation was created to also forward the younger generation of Spanish artists, to support their artistic visions and to sponsor exhibitions that promote their latest achievements, ensuring an ongoing dialogue among artists of the past, present and future. For a man who has represented his country with such acclaimed artistic expression, it is only fitting that his passion infuses a new generation of creativity.
The exhibition is on view at Franklin Bowles Gallery
in New York and San Francisco.