Miguel Marcos Gallery presents the exhibition Figuration. Paintings and Drawings, showing the work of eight of our most prominent artists of the Spanish art scene from the seventies and the beginning of the eighties. They represent the “New Generation”, a movement committed to emphasize, disseminate and defend the painting as a way of living and thinking.

The aim of “Figuration. Paintings and Drawings” is to revise and remember their contributions in the “New Generation” with an exhibition that, somehow, reminds a collection Miguel Marcos already displayed a long ago under the name of “Los años pintados”. That accurate first selection of paintings, commissioned by Juan Manuel Bonet, could be seen in Zaragoza (1994), Barcelona (1995) and Gijón (2001). Now, we can enjoy a new version of the essence of figuration.

Altogether in the same space we could appreciate every particular approach to the living or the inanimate figure, as well as different perspectives, representations and ways of thinking and interpret the reality. It enhances the quality and variety of painting revealing not only all the possibilities the object offers but also the material or media that holds it. The result is a selective and heterogeneous sample of works the evidences such qualities.

Therefore, the primed chalky paintings of Barceló meet the subtlety and smoothness of the still life ones of Chema Cobo, the strong black brushstroke on paper of Campano, or “El Telefonazo”, a work that was part of the famous Taco of Manolo Quejido, while a Baldeweg’s colourful and monumental scene of a goat and her pastor contrast with the figures that Carlos Franco shapes in a a narrow, oblong schematic, Albacete’s shaking perspective, or the refined chromaticism of Juan Antonio Aguirre.

As Manuel Bonet already noted in the catalogue of “Los años pintados”, there is a clear interest in opening a debate on the intensity of the paint as well as redrawing the attention to the answers that the New Generation gave to the challenges raised once about the power and existence of the Enthusiasm.

JUAN ANTONIO AGUIRRE (Madrid, 1945) is a key artist to understand the painting of the seventies in Spain. It is, alongside with Luis Gordillo, the starter and follower of what we called New Generation. In his beginnings, he oscillates between an ironic figuration with a naïve touch and Gordillo’s influence. In 1999, IVAM showed a retrospective of his career and the Centro Cultural Conde Duque exhibit his works of the nineties.

ALFONSO ALBACETE (Antequera, Málaga, 1950) received a strong influence of the pop art and the American abstraction, focusing on a vital and open chromaticism. His work presents an iconography marked by the human figure, the landscapes and still life; often combined with abstraction. In 1988, the Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art, predecessor of the current National Art Museum Reina Sofia, in Madrid, exhibits his retrospective.

MIQUEL BARCELÓ (Felanitx, Mallorca, 1957) his art comprise a wide range of techniques and supports, materials and mountings, from large canvases and murals to ceramics, sculpture, drawings, lithographs and etchings. In his work stands out a constant thought on nature, time, and the origins of certain cultures and lifestyles, being the Mediterranean and Africa two of his main references. He has received many awards, such as the National Arts Award (1986), or the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts (2003). Furthermore, he exhibited in important museums around the world. As a proof of its recognition, in 2008, he was chosen to decorate the dome of the room XX of the Palais des Nations, in Geneva.

MIGUEL ÁNGEL CAMPANO (Madrid, 1948) starting paintings were characterized by an abstraction based on the minimalism but, at the end of the seventies, his work, which became more gestural, reminds the Abstract Expressionism and the New York School. In 1996, he received the National Prize of Plastic Arts. His work is part of the international institutional collections of the British Museum (London), the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris) or the National Art Museum Reina Sofia (Madrid).

CHEMA COBO (Tarifa, Cádiz, 1952) often moves on soft tones with an extraordinary luminosity that allows us to get to the essence of things. He has exhibited in the national and the international scene. Among them, it deserves a special mention an exhibition held in the Andalusian Centre of Contemporary Art, in Seville, in 1998, that collect the most noted works of each period of his career. Cobo’s paintings can be seen in international museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, or the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

CARLOS FRANCO (Madrid, 1951) has a work characterized by the recurrence of symbolic motifs of the classic mythology and the unconscious. He plays with the juxtaposition and the voluptuousness of the colour, combining traditional techniques with new technologies. He made such a brilliant work in the facade of La Casa de la Panaderia, in Madrid, that the Centro Cultural Conde Duque dedicates afterwards an exhibition to that project. Due to an itinerant exhibition organized in 2004 by the State Corporation for Spanish Cultural Action Abroad, his paintings have been able to travel to different cities in South America. In 2007, the Reina Sofia Museum (MNCARS) chose a sample of his artwork to be exhibited at the Monastery of Silos de Burgos.

JUAN NAVARRO BALDEWEG (Santander, 1939) is an internationally renowned architect, with early forays into sculpture converted into references to the sculptors of a whole generation. His painting, often evolved of monumentality, has been defined as an abstract expressionism influenced from certain classicism and geometry. Among its exhibits, stands out his anthology in the Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art, in 1986, which summarized common features present in all his thoughts: a neat and quiet accuracy. His works are shown in many museums and collections around the world, like the Kontmuseum Malmö (Sweden), or The Art Institute of Chicago (USA). He has been awarded with the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts (2007) and the National Arts Award (1990).

MANOLO QUEJIDO (Sevilla, 1946) has a work defined by a vivid colour full of a vital and festive joy and a vibrant brushwork. His name acquires special relevancy in the second half of the seventies, years in which his way of approaching Matisse’s tradition vindicated notably to open himself to effects of the American painting. His artistic production, which often shows an ironic and provocative attitude, is found in museums and collections such as the Reina Sofia Museum (MNCARS), in Madrid, and the Marugame Hirai Museum, in Kagawa (Japan). In 1997, the IVAM held the exhibition “Manolo Quejido. 33 years of resistance “, that displayed a wide overview of the artist, with nearly a hundred of his works.