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Exhibitions

The Suñol Foundation inaugurates 'Equipo Crónica. The history of art as a pretext'

Equipo Crónica developed an innovative language beyond pop thanks to the multitude of quotes chosen

The Suñol Foundation inaugurates 'Equipo Crónica. The history of art as a pretext'
bonart barcelona - 11/04/24

The Suñol Foundation presents the Equipo Crónica exhibition. The history of art as a pretext , curated by Michèle Dalmace, and which will bring together a selection of outstanding works by Equipo Crónica. The exhibition can be visited until July 13, 2024.

The exhibition, curated by collective expert Michèle Dalmace, focuses on two works: La rendición de Torrejón and Ha votado, accompanied by a selection of works from private collections and museums of Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid and France that participate in this speech, not without humor, towards the history paintings, the official portraits, the media coverage of the history of art and the events of the Franco period. In both works, a questioning is raised that invites the viewer to enter the picture according to two prisms: the gaze of the protagonists towards themselves or towards the viewer; and the viewer's own gaze, sometimes even absent.

The Suñol Foundation inaugurates 'Equipo Crónica. The history of art as a pretext'

The exhibition unfolds around two works that constitute apparently different axes. The Surrender of Torrejón stages a history painting: The Surrender of Breda by Velázquez, in an open war space; while Ha votado alludes to a scene from Franco's life in a closed space inhabited by a single character, in the manner of an anti-portrait. The multitude of quotations revisited by the pop codes give an outstanding formal and conceptual cohesion to the whole which is nourished by numerous iconographic ingredients, as shown by the mediatized reference paintings, the allusions to other painters, the archival photographs , comics, images taken from American films such as westerns or film noirs, or frames in the form of quotes or metaphors.

The Suñol Foundation inaugurates 'Equipo Crónica. The history of art as a pretext'

These two fundamental approaches constitute a hinge between classical and modern art and anticipate new currents. They are accompanied by around thirty works that take part in this discourse, not without humor, around history paintings, official portraits, media coverage of the history of art and the events of the Franco period, as well as on the role of the "creator" and the viewer.

Chronicle team

Equipo Crónica was made up of Manolo Valdés, Rafael Solbes - and Joan Antoni Toledo at the beginning. After his time at Estampa Popular, with whom they shared the same ideals, and at a time of ideological crisis, Solbes and Valdés began to collaborate. In 1965 they held their first exhibition at the XVI Salon de la Jeune Peinture. They employed from Pop Art the use of flat inks, depersonalized drawing and art as a means of mass communication. His painting is interpreted as a critique of individualism.

The Suñol Foundation inaugurates 'Equipo Crónica. The history of art as a pretext'

His works are organized in series, incorporating a markedly political-social content, because they coincide chronologically with American expansionism (Vietnam) and the Spanish dictatorship. They are also a reaction against other disintegrated groups such as Dau al Set or Equipo 57. Many of their themes are inspired by Spanish painting of the Golden Age but inserted in contemporary society. Works such as La rendición de Torrejón or El intruso clearly allude to painters such as Velázquez or Picasso.

The group experienced an evolution at the beginning of the 1970s, as they abandoned the rigor of drawing and line to make a more pictorial type of work with trompe l'oeil compositional effects. Also in this final phase they incorporate more autobiographical references, as can be seen in the work El perro. In 1981, they stopped their activity with the sudden death of Rafael Solbes.

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