Juan Genovés

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Brief Biography

Trained at the School of Fine Arts in Valencia, from the beginning of his professional career he was a restless painter, concerned both with the need to renew Spanish art and with the role of art and the artist in society.

His firm conviction about transforming art and commitment to the environment led him to form part of very significant groups in the post-war Spanish scene: “Los Siete” (1949), “Parpalló” (1956) and “Hondo” (1960). ). In this last group, which contributed new figurative approaches against Informalism, Genovés developed a painting of an expressionist and provocative nature.

Juan Genovés in his atelier

During the sixties Genovés had a creative crisis which he got over quickly. He became very involved in the opposition movements of the time against the Franco regime. He started to consider two subjects in his painting: the “individual” which he represented through collage and “the crowd” which he painted in flat colours and in a cinematographic style.

In the 1960s, after a brief pictorial crisis and a deep relationship with the opposition movements to the Franco regime, he began to propose two themes: “the individual alone”, initially resolved as a collage in relief, and “the multitude” , treated with flat colors and plastic structures with a cinematographic appearance.

Over time, this last proposal materialized in a singular political realism of strong social denunciation, made from the manipulation of images provided by the mass media. In the eighties he began a new period in which he became interested in the urban landscape, reducing it to a chromatic range of grays, blues and ochres that constitute what has been called “spaces of solitude”.

In the last decades of his life his work continued to use the crowd as a reference. The artistic and political-social content of his work is developed together with a pictorial language based on the static movement of the image, its visual rhythm, and the use of background-figure contrast.

He was awarded the honorable mention at the XXXIII Venice Biennale (1966), the Gold medal at the VI San Marino International Biennale (1967), the Marzotto Internazionale award (1968), the National Prize for Plastic Arts (1984) , the Prize for Plastic Arts from the Generalitat Valenciana (2002) and the gold medal for merit in Fine Arts from the Ministry of Culture (2005).

He died on May 15, 2020. Until his last days he was doing what he was most passionate about: painting.