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Marlborough Gallery to show works by Juan Genovés at XXVIIème Biennale des Antiquaires
Juan Genovés, Aspas, 2013. Acrylic on canvas mounted on board, 39 3/8 x 47 1/4 in. 100 x 120 cm. All images © Juan Genovés, courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Marlborough Gallery announced its participation in the XXVIIème Biennale des Antiquaires, which will take place at the Grand Palais in Paris from September 11 to September 21, 2014.

Marlborough Gallery (Stand ND-2) will hold a solo exhibition devoted to the most recent work of Juan Genovés. The artist was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1930 and at 84 years of age is considered one of Spain’s most renowned and acclaimed contemporary artists. He first attracted international attention when his work was exhibited in the Spanish Pavilion at the 1966 Venice Biennale. Genovés joined Marlborough Gallery in 1966. His first exhibition at Marlborough Fine Art in London in 1967 was a resounding success; many important collectors acquired works by Genovés, including the artist Francis Bacon.

Genovés’ early work was devoted to the subject of political engagement. It was strongly influenced by his traumatic childhood experiences following the Spanish Civil War, and the suffering his family endured under the reigning Nationalist Party. His artistic development during the Franco regime was not only rooted in Social Realism but also in modern photography and cinema, especially the films of Sergei Eisenstein. Genovés developed a style of pictorial realism, expressing the anxiety, fear, violence and desperation that his fellow countrymen experienced under Franco’s dictatorship. His painting, El Abrazo (The Embrace), created in 1976, near the end of Franco’s regime, came to symbolize the desire of most Spaniards for reconciliation and to end the fight between democracy and totalitarianism. When the image of this painting was clandestinely circulated as a protest poster, the artist was detained and held in solitary confinement for seven days. El Abrazo is now part of the permanent collection of the Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.

Since Franco’s death and Spain’s transition to democracy, Genovés’ powerful realism and social commitment has continued in his paintings. He repeatedly addresses two subjects: the individual and the multitude. Many of his works explore the concept of the crowd, where groups of people escape or are pulled toward something they cannot control. Still employing a distinct cinematic focus, a bird’s eye view, his canvases are devoid of buildings, roads, trees or any indications of typical landscape features or context, thereby creating an intense sense of anxiety and dislocation. Additionally, his forceful use of line and perspective, or at times the use of horizontal or vertical stripes, contribute to the dynamic intensity of his canvases. Using acrylic paint, he creates individuals and crowds with his use of impasto, a thick application of paint which, from a distance, suggests abstracted human forms.

Guillermo Solana, the Artistic Director of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, writes the following about the work of Genovés in the catalogue accompanying this exhibition: “The fleeing crowds of the older works of Genovés were predominantly running, whereas the crowds seen in his works today, as I see it, further resemble festive crowds such as those that can be found in sporting events. The types of crowds that we find today generally do not run; they are either immobile or move without haste. The new crowds of Genovés already evoke power and its effects. Surely, domination is not expressed as an open violence but as a fragmentation and a dispersion, as a dissolution of places of collective solidarity.”

Juan Genovés is the recipient of a number of important prizes, including: the Mention of Honor at the XXXIII Venice Biennale, 1966; the Gold Medal at the VI Biennale Internazionale de San Marino, 1967; the Premio Nacional de Artes Plasticas, Spain, 1984 and the Premio de las Artes Plásticas de Generalitat Valenciana, Spain, 2002. A retrospective of Genovés’ work was held at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, in 2010. Genovés’ work is found in many of the most important public collections in the United States and abroad, including: The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France; Collezione Thyssen-Bornemisza, Lugano, Switzerland; Galeria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Valencia, Spain; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada; Musées Royaux des Beaux- Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museo de Bellas Artes, de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Vienna, Austria; Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, Nagasaki, Japan; National galerie, Staatliche Museum zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico, among others.

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