Too often we find ourselves surrounded by art with a magnificent political, ecological, anthropological, historical or many other purposes ending in “cal”. Art in contemporary times tends to voice a loud vortex of desperate emotions of inconformity of the world we live in. It is, therefore, refreshing to find an art that does not sacrifice the artistic traditions of craft and beauty to address profound issues of human relationships in a quiet, graceful, non-repulsive manner.
The exhibition “The Realists of Madrid” was recently held by Spain’s Thyssen-Bornemisza museum to pay homage to a group of painters of the decade of the 50s that had studied, lived, made art together, and established powerful bonds of love and friendship.
Led by one of the most acclaimed realists in the world, Antonio Lopez, the group included his wife, the painter Maria Moreno; the two sculptor brothers, Julio and Francisco Lopez Hernandez; Julio’s wife, the painter Esperanza Parada; Francisco’s wife, Isabel Quintanilla; and Amalia Avia.
A total of 90 art works were carefully displayed following the themes that the seven artists had shared- a poetic vision of domestic life, ordinary objects, familiar spaces, that journeyed towards the larger spaces of the windows, the corridors, the backyard, the streets, and then panoramic views of the city of Madrid. They were small and large-scale paintings, drawings, sculpture, and reliefs that invariably exuded an air of mystery, of intimacy, of memory, the inevitable passage of time that is reflected in all objects, the objects that had been felt, touched, used, and became part of untold stories within a period of time.
The exhibition not only reminded us of the power of intimacy, but also invited the viewer to experience a quiet, well-paced, soulful approach to art.
*Image on slider: Francisco López Hernández, Lady of the Fountain 1984 and Esperanza Parada, After the mass 1959, Oil ob canvas, 65 x 100 cm.