A large-format publication documenting a new series of glass sculptures by one of Spain’s most senior artists.
For over half a century, Valencia-born, New York-based Manolo Valdés has been a prominent figure in the arena of international contemporary art. In this imposing publication, Valdés presents a body of thirty-five sculptures created in 2020 and 2021. The primary medium employed is glass, following an intense period of research and experimentation. The resulting works are contemporary portrait busts that make reference to the history of modernist art.
Valdés has created these sculptural glass busts in a range of amber oranges, ruby reds, emerald greens, sapphire blues, and onyx blacks, all of which almost seem to glow with what Dr Kosme de Barañano, the book’s author, describes as ‘an inner light’. Barañano’s illuminating essay not only investigates aspects of the history of glass making and its use as a material by artists past and present, but also traces the evolution of the language and forms of Valdés’s works across a number of key exhibitions and bodies of work over the course of the past two decades.These include his monumental sculptures at the New York Botanical Garden in 2012 and his dramatic solo presentation in the Place Vendôme in Paris in 2016, both of which offered opportunities to see the artist’s large-scale sculptural works in outdoor settings.
The qualities of the surfaces of the abstracted, humanlike glass heads are enhanced by the curious and eclectic appendages that regularly appear to burst forth from them like unorthodox fascinators or eccentric jewellery, from nails and steel rods to glass or metal butterflies and wooden geometric forms. With a timelessness that speaks of civilisations long gone and a modernity that simultaneously looks to the future, Valdés has created a body of sculpture in glass that transcends time, touching on the metaphysical nature of the human mind and its outward manifestation in the physical world.
Manolo Valdés (b.1942, Valencia) is one of the most significant post-war Spanish artists. A key member of the Equipo Crónica until 1981, in 1989 he moved to New York. Major solo exhibitions include at the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Reina Sofía, Madrid, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Château Royale de Chambord, France.
112pp, Hardback with dust jacket, 340 × 270 mm, c.65 images
RRP: £35 / €42 / $47
UK release date: 12 May 2022
US release date: 16 June 2022
By Kosme de Barañano
Designed and produced by Peter B. Willberg
Published by Anomie Publishing, London
Images courtesy of the artist.
Artwork photography by Tom Powel Imaging.