Fundación Focus
 

 

 

A Panorama of Contemporary Art in the Focus Collection

03/11/2017

Today the exhibition ‘A Panorama of Contemporary Art in the Focus Collection’ was presented in the Hospital de los Venerables. This is a new display which will revolve around the Contemporary Art Collection that the Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla has been collecting in recent years, and which now numbers more than two hundred pieces, mainly paintings and works on paper.

Seville, November 3, 2017. Today the exhibition ‘A Panorama of Contemporary Art in the Focus Collection’ was presented in the Hospital de los Venerables. This is a new display which will revolve around the Contemporary Art Collection that the Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla has been collecting in recent years, and which now numbers more than two hundred pieces, mainly paintings and works on paper. 

The exhibition was presented by Anabel Morillo, the general director of the Focus Foundation, and Juan Bosco Díaz-Urmeneta, retired Lecturer in Aesthetics at the University of Seville, and art critic. It brings together 31 works by 13 artists of the caliber of Carmen Laffón, Juan Suárez, Antonio López, Fernando Botero, Eduardo Arroyo, Guillermo Pérez-Villalta, Mar García Ranedo and Luis Gordillo, among others. In subsequent exhibitions that will run periodically, other works from the Focus Collection of Contemporary Art will be displayed, thus bringing its art to a greater audience.

For over three decades, the contemporary art collection has gradually taken shape as a result of purchases, donations and most of all from the Prize for Artistic Creation, held from 1983 to 1987 and then later, the Painting Prize, both of which were promoted by the Focus Foundation. The latter became internationalized in 1998, and therefore was extended to artists in Europe, America and even Japan. The jury of the Painting Prize decides on the winner each year, and at times, also awards runners-up if considered necessary, and following this the painting then becomes part of the Focus Contemporary Art Collection. 

The Focus Foundation contemporary art collection unveils a great variety of artists, styles and schools from different periods of the 20th and 21st century, from the likes of Benjamín Palencia, Antonio López, Carmen Laffón, Ramón Gaya, Juan Suárez, Elena Assins or Fernando Botero, to younger painters, most of whom were winners of the International Painting Prize, and well represented by Mar García Ranedo, Manuel Sánchez Arcenegui, Juan Fernández Lacomba and Dis Berlín, to name a few. The collection features the abstract alongside expressionism as well as other plastic movements, while its primary objective is to be a vibrant cultural initiative of universal relevance and interest in current painting. The ultimate aim is to share these works with an audience that is interested in contemporary creation. 

A Panorama of Contemporary Art in the Focus Collection is the first exhibition of this new project promoted by the Focus Foundation with the support of Juan Bosco Díaz-Urmeneta, a member of the Focus Foundation International Painting Prize and art critic. A number of works and artists have been selected that synthesize art today from different positions. In addition, Carmen Laffón and Juan Suárez generously offered their support in the arrangement and lighting. 

In the course of this exhibition, we come across two very important figures in 20 century Spanish art namely, Benjamín Palencia (Barrax, Albacete, 1894 - Madrid, 1980) and Ramón Gayá (Murcia, 1910 - Valencia, 2005), both of whom had an influence on the arrival of modern art to it becoming a Spanish reality, though from differing aesthetic positions.  The exhibit Niña con sombrero (Girl with hat), is a good example of Benjamín Palencia’s way of comprehending colour and the dimension that the figure acquires, while the master from the Levante region of Spain hangs four litographs that reveal the modern interpretation of the Spanish school of the Golden Age by means of images in which Velázquez and the Museo del Prado are very present and yet tinted with personal experiences from Gayá. 

Unwinding the chronological thread and focusing on the pictorial realism which can be viewed from two different ways of understanding it, from the smooth shapes and delicate colours of Antonio López (Tomelloso, Ciudad Real, 1936) in Membrillero (The Quince tree), an oil painting from 1990, to the sensuality that is found in  Mujer sentada de espaldas (Las cartas) (Woman sitting with back turned) (The letters), an oil painting from 1963 by Carmen Laffón (Seville, 1934), from whom a series of sketches for the poster for Seville’s Semana Santa in 1983 are also displayed. Here, not only do we see the process behind the development of a piece, but also the downward slope from the figurative painting to abstraction, with the winding touches that the Sevillian artist applies.  

On this path towards abstract painting, where colour, line and rhythm play such an important role, we find the work by Gustavo Torner (Cuenca, 1925), which is well represented with two etchings from 1991: Cesó todo (All ceased) and Dejando mi cuidado entre azucenas olvidado (Leaving my cares behind among the lilies to be forgotten), which demonstrate a great deal of balance, and Exploración de límites:persona XVII (Exploring limits: person XVII), 1996, a feldespar and acrylic which was painted five years later. The series of etchings by Gerardo Rueda (Madrid, 1926-1996) from 1991 entitled; Perfiles, siluetas, límites III, IV y II (Profiles, silhouettes, limits III, IV and II), offers us analytical proposition where the artist investigated with the circle on board with those pure colours: greens, blues, browns and mustards to pinpoint geometrical shapes.

The work by Elena Asins (Madrid, 1940 - Azpiroz, Navarra, 2015) entitled Canon 22, is a collage from the year 2000 which won the Focus International Painting Prize. The artist works with fragments cut in two-tone: black on white, in order to accentuate the purity of the form and a rigor in the structure, although she accomplished this in a search for simplicity as if it were a musical score. The painter Juan Suárez (El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, 1946), in his work NSEO V, which he completed in 2013, also delves into the concern for structure yet, without renouncing the emotion which the colour achieves by the rhythm of the brushstroke in an ascetic tone. And also in this section, we find the work of Mar García Ranedo (Seville, 1966), La trama celeste (The celestial plot), 1994, which also won the Focus Painting Prize. Here the geometrical accuracy can be appreciated with those two forms that it has to apply colour and the weighted sense of the scale that is projected.

Another group of works we find in displayed in the exhibition follows in the wake of pop art. From the pieces from the early 90s by Eduardo Arroyo (Madrid, 1937) such as Cleopatra and La criada de Teniers (The maid from Teniers,) to the somewhat labyrinthine experimentation of Luis Gordillo (Sevilla, 1934) in his etchings Frontal IV, I and II, from 1991, not to mention three works by Guillermo Pérez Villalta (Tarifa, Cádiz, 1948) that have been able to raise certain questions as to the theory of art into the popular-held view, inspired by classic themes in three etchings: Mercury and Argos, La fragua de Vulcano (The forge of Vulcan) and La túnica de José (Joseph’s coat). Finally, an oil painting by the Colombian Fernando Botero (Medellín, Colombia, 1932), a painter not easy to classify but with a presence in the evolution of contemporary art, highly valued by the public, and this time with his Picador en la plaza (Picador in the bullring), an oil painting from 1991 which connects with popular imagination and also manages to link to the tradition of pop art. 

All of the works that are displayed in A Panorama of Contemporary Art in the Focus Collection can be found on our website.

Opening times:Thursday to Saturday, from 10 am to 2 pm. Entrance is free on the first Thursday of each month

Educational and private visits:educacion@fundacionfocus.com

 

For more media and press information, please contact Julián Hernández julian.hdez58@gmail.com (630 963 735)  and Marián Ariza (954 93 71 11) comunicacion@fundacionfocus.com

 

Fernando Botero. Picador en la plaza. 1991. © Fundación Focus

Fernando Botero. Picador en la plaza. 1991. © Fundación Focus

Antonio López. Membrillero. 1990. © Fundación Focus

Antonio López. Membrillero. 1990. © Fundación Focus

Carmen Laffón. Mujer sentada de espalda (Las cartas). 1963. © Fundación Focus

Carmen Laffón. Mujer sentada de espalda (Las cartas). 1963. © Fundación Focus

Mar García Ranedo. La trama celeste. 1994. © Fundación Focus

Mar García Ranedo. La trama celeste. 1994. © Fundación Focus

Juan Suárez. NSEO V. 2013. © Fundación Focus

Juan Suárez. NSEO V. 2013. © Fundación Focus

Elena Asins. Canon 22. 2000. © Fundación Focus

Elena Asins. Canon 22. 2000. © Fundación Focus

Benjamín Palencia. Niña con sombrero. 1945. © Fundación Focus

Benjamín Palencia. Niña con sombrero. 1945. © Fundación Focus

Guillermo Pérez-Villalta. Mercurio y Argos. 1991. © Fundación Focus

Guillermo Pérez-Villalta. Mercurio y Argos. 1991. © Fundación Focus

Anabel Morillo León, directora de la Fundación Focus, y Juan Bosco Díaz Urmeneta, profesor de la Universidad de Sevilla y crítico de Arte, junto a Membrillero de Antonio López

Anabel Morillo León, Director of the Focus Foundation, Juan Bosco Díaz-Urmeneta, lecturer of the University of Seville and art critic standing next to Membrillero by Antonio López.

Acto de presentación de Un panorama actual de arte contemporáneo en la Colección Focus

Presentation of A Panorama of Contemporary Art in the Focus Collection.

Educational and cultural activities