Fundación Focus



The Focus Foundation announces the winner of the 2017 Focus International Painting Prize


  • Ángeles Agrela, from Jaen in Spain, has been awarded the prize for her work Aphrodite in procession.
  • Cristina Lama, José Piñar and Juan Zurita Benedicto were given Honourable Mentions for Albufera,Untitled and Traffic 14, respectively.

February 14, 2018- The Focus Foundation has announced the winner of the 34th Focus International Painting Prize, which this year has been awarded to Ángeles Agrela for her much-deserved work Afrodita en procession (Aphrodite in procession). Of the 32 paintings selected, the jury was unanimous in their decision, which comes with a cash prize of 12,000 euros, and awarded it to this artist from Jaen “for the quality of her workmanship, use of a variety of techniques, and her reflective capacity with regard to gender issues, which at the same time does not prevent her from adopting a subtle reflection of irony.”

In addition, a further three paintings received well-deserved mention by the jury. Firstly, Albufera by Cristina Lama, was described as a “thickly painted work which has surprising rhythms.” Secondly, Sin título (Untitled), presented by José Piñar, “for its rigour and consistency in an abstraction between geometry and the fields of colour.” And thirdly and last of all, Traffic 14, by Juan Zurita Benedicto, “for its careful work which is difficult from a technical viewpoint as well as for the urban values it highlights.”  

The work submitted by Ángeles Agrela is a drawing on paper -two meters high and two meters wide- in acrylic and pencil. In the author’s own words, “it is a very clear and classic composition and the title Aphrodite in procession helps to illustrate the feeling even further.” Aphrodite, god of love and beauty, is represented as a classic mutilated sculpture by a young and contemporary woman. This work belongs to a series that plays with the representation that has been made of women throughout the history of art, with a classical drawing technique. “The weight of this tradition in the representation of women remains absolutely present in its contemporary image, in fashion, in advertising, etc.,” stated Agrela, who also searches to “create images with the use of these codes together with the special significance that elements such as the hair, clothing or decoration have.”

The jury of the 34th edition of the prize was chaired by Anabel Morillo León, Director General of the Focus Foundation, and comprised Juan Bosco Díaz-Urmeneta, Professor of  Aesthetics at Seville University and art critic; Juan Carrete Parrondo, Doctor in History from the Madrid Complutense University; Juan Fernández Lacomba, painter and art historian; Carmen Laffón, painter and sculptor; Manuel Sánchez Arcenegui, tenured Professor at Seville University; and Juan Suárez Ávila, painter, designer, tenured Professor of drawing and Trustee of the Focus Foundation.

The Focus International Painting Prize, which has a long tradition and a prestigious reputation, has been held for more than three decades and has become one of the foremost European and American awards in the art world. This international prize enables the Foundation to renew its commitment to contemporary art and the interests and wishes of its founders, helping to promote an exchange of artistic experiences beyond our borders.

As shown in recent years, participation in this prize increases the value of works by recognised painters and opens up new opportunities for young talent, who need both financial and social support in their careers towards becoming professionals.

Ever since it was founded, the Focus Foundation has always expressed a clear interest in cultural activities of all kinds, not only in those which are directly related to Seville and its international projection.

Information about the award-winning artist

Ángeles Agrela (Úbeda, Jaén, 1966), holds a degree in Fine Arts from the Alonso Cano de Granada University (Spain), is a multidisciplinary artist who works with different resources such as fabric, video, photography, equipment, painting and drawing.

Her works have been exhibited in over 40 individual shows since 1994, both in private galleries in Spain and Holland, as well as in public institutions in Italy, France, Germany and Spain. She has also collaborated in collective exhibitions in Switzerland, Mexico, Berlin, Miami, Brazil and New York.

Throughout her career, she has won several prizes including the BMW Painting Prize in 2015, the Caja Rural Painting Prize in 2014 and the Government of Cantabria Prize for the Plastic Arts in 2010.

Her work is present in collections as important as the Andalusian Centre of Contemporary Arts (CAAC) in Seville, the Malaga CAC, the Vitoria Artium Museum and the Union Fenosa  Museum of Contemporary Art.   


Aphrodite in procession

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Ángeles Agrela

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Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla (Focus)

The Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla (Focus) was created in 1982 as a result of the cultural work begun in 1972 by Abengoa with the publication of the works Temas Sevillanos (Themes of Seville) and Iconografía de Sevilla (Iconography of Seville). A collection of documents, books and engravings on the Kingdom of Seville and by Sevillian authors was created during the same period.

This cultural activity inspired and promoted by Abengoa, is based on the support and a series of activities which is of great benefit to society. The Focus Foundation was born from this conviction at the start of the 80s.

1991 became a key year in the organization’s recent history as its location was moved to the Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes, a 17th century monument, owned by the Archbishopric of Seville in addition to inaugurating the exceptional baroque organ. From this point onward, the institution has organized 34 plastic arts exhibitions- visited by over one million people, and has offered a musical program for the organ of international reference.

Since 2007 and following the acquisition of Velázquez’s Santa Rufina by the Foundation, the Hospital de los Venerables has housed the Diego Velázquez Research Centre, a leading institution for studying and disseminating the Baroque era and the Sevillian period of this universally renowned artist. Attention to this crucial moment of the Golden Age is completed with the legacy of Professor Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, received by the Foundation in 2011. Consisting of his library, photo library, archive and collection of artworks, its cataloging is enabling to create a library specializing in Baroque art and culture. This entire heritage is widely spread by Focus Educa, our area of education, by means of which we raise awareness and bring culture closer to society.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Focus Foundation at the Hospital de los Venerables, and coinciding with the 400th anniversary of the birth of Bartolomé E. Murillo, the Hospital de Los Venerables hosted the Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla Exhibition (2016-2017). This was a first-rate cultural phenomenon that received more than 120,000 visitors, making it the most visited exhibition in the history of the Foundation. A series of organ recitals which were held in the Church of Los Venerables made up the musical framework entitled, Tribute to Murillo: Homage to a universal painter.   

For more information:

Marián Ariza.

Rocío Castro.

+ 34 954937111

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