VALENCIA.- An exhibition that shows viewers the most intimate face of Valencian painter Joan Antoni Toledo, one of the founders in 1964 of the legendary Equipo Crónica, can be contemplated until October 12 in the municipal hall of the City of Valencia.
The exhibition "Joan Antoni Toledo (1940-1995). Homenatge", which gathers approximately 100 works of art made by one of the most important protagonists of Spanish painting in the second half of the 20th century. Toledos artisitic proposals have been a reference to Spanish artists ever since.
As is well known, Toledo was, together with Manuel Valdés and Rafael Solbes, one of the three founders, in 1964, of the legendary Equipo Crónica, which was part of the renovation movement that started in Valencia as an alternative to informalism.
The Equipo Crónica (1964-1981) was a significant example of Spanish pop art, which not only participated in this movement so characteristic of the sixties, but did so with its own, internationally recognized individual stamp. The group was also comprised of painters Rafael Solbes (1940-1981) and Manuel Valdés (born in 1942) and it was disbanded on Solbes untimely death. These artists took their resources from the mass media, and were an active part of the widespread international pop art movement.
Their work, however, was not simply a Spanish branch of pop art, but rather they marked it with their own characteristic personality in a manner that distinguished them from other artists of the time. Firstly, their subject matter was decidedly critical of Spanish society and politics in the era in which they lived: the last years of the dictatorship of General France (1964-1975) and the transition to democracy (1976-1981). The Equipo Crónicas paintings offered fierce criticism of the Spanish dictatorship and the ruling class of society that upheld it; their play of images portrayed the contradictions and internal struggles existing in Spain during those years. Secondly, in addition basing their work on the mass media, (posters, cinema, photography, comics), they used the history of painting and the artistic vanguards of the 20th century to create their work. Using images taken from classical Spanish painting (17th 18th century) and from certain 20th century avant-garde artists, the timely context of their work enabled it to embody a new perspective on both the history of art and the state of political, economic and social affairs of the time. And thirdly, they excelled in the use of the composition surface, the plane of the canvas. Their paintings were not only the testimony of an era, but even today are creations full of beauty; the beauty with which they were created and that which is added over time by the nostalgia for the feelings of an era that are reflected in every stroke and every field of color.