Ten monumental sculptures by Manolo Valdés, some of which are more than 4 meters high and 6 meters wide, will sublimate the prestigious Avenue George V. The public will discover the exhibition on both sides of the avenue, throughout the luxury boutiques (Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Bulgari…) and prestigious palaces, such as the Prince of Wales, the Four Seasons George V and Fouquet’s, famous institutions known for their love of Arts and Letters.
“I feel a strong connection to large formats and I think it’s sometimes easier to work on large works rather than small ones: they have more power. »Manolo Valdés
Fascinated by the properties of matter, the Spanish artist knows how to bring it to life in a singular way. Aluminium, bronze, resin and stainless steel come together to reinterpret the classic theme of the female portrait. The exhibition entitled Manolo Valdés, Monumental Egeries, is a true ode to femininity. These stylized heads surmounted by crowns and headdresses often bear the names of real women, like here Ariela, or of muses and divinities like Clio. In both cases, these busts with fine, almost erased features suggest women seized in a moment of extreme serenity. The ataraxy of their features does not refer to portraits of real people, but to ideal faces similar to deities in Egyptian, Buddhist, or Romanesque statuary. Moreover, what Valdes emphasizes in the image he constructs of women is not their erotic potential, as is most often observed, but their ability to include themselves in their environment and take their place in the public space.
His work, a dazzling reinterpretation of the History of Art, is a tribute to the classics and masterpieces of great names such as El Greco, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Constantin Brancusi… because, according to him, “the Art of each era always brings together elements from the past, Art is a succession and an infinite addition”. The constancy of his passion for modern masters has made Manolo Valdés an artist whose contemporary work is a bridge between history and the present. For this exhibition on Avenue George V, the artist has specially designed a sculpture of the figure of Clio, the ancient muse of History, which he based on Sandro Botticelli’s Clio in the form of an oval head on which he has beam geometries.
The Menin, an emblematic figure in his work and a contemporary reminiscence of Diego Velasquez, reappears in this new series of creations in colored resins: intense orange, blue, parma and black, like echoes of fire opal, sapphire, amethyst and black diamond, appearing in the windows of the high jewellery boutiques on Avenue George V. This blue is a signature color of the Spanish artist, whose hue is known in connoisseur circles as “Valdes blue”.
The artist also creates his muses from his observation of his environment. He confides that his Mariposas series is inspired by an extraordinary scene he saw in Central Park one spring afternoon when he came across a woman sitting on a bench wrapped in a swirl of butterflies. Two works, Cabeza de Mariposas and Mariposas, will illustrate this theme on the avenue and will not fail to seduce the Parisian public.
Monumentality, at Valdés, is above all urban, and its round and horizontal forms take place naturally in the avenues and squares because they break the straightness of the avenues traced and the Vertical building verticalities. Some of the works presented here are true technical feats, including two sculptures with a span of almost 7 meters. The monumental works of Manolo Valdés seduce with their airy character thanks to his exceptional mastery of the void that runs through the delicate interlacing of the headdresses of his great ladies.