The Directors of Marlborough are pleased to present Juan Genovés: Reconsidered, an exhibition of early paintings from the Spanish figurative painter created during the height of his political engagement. This presentation offers viewers the opportunity to revisit the work of an exceptional, and in many ways unique, artist through a selection of works chronologically bound between 1965 and 1975, paying homage to his landmark 1967 exhibition held at Marlborough Fine Art in London. The exhibition will open on Thursday, May 5, 2022 and remain on view through Friday, July 1, 2022.
Genovés was born in Valencia, Spain in 1930, in the midst of an era of political turmoil during the Spanish Civil War, witnessing the rise of the Franco dictatorship at a young age. This turmoil catalyzed him to emerge as a distinct artistic and activist voice in opposition to fascism and injustice, serving to inform his visual language and signature motif of the crowd. Developed in the early 1960s, the crowd paintings, typically executed from an aerial view, depict groups of people fleeing, hiding, or being harmed by agents of the state, thus creating a landscape of bodies in motion. Genovés’s work was viewed as highly controversial in Spain at the time and was banned from being exhibited nationwide.
Accompanying the exhibition will be a new publication which contextualizes Genovés’s unique approach to the political context in which he lived. Bartomeu Marí, formerly of The Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM) and Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), explores the topic of political engagement, as was the practice of many who were silenced in Spain during the Franco years:
For Genovés, to be an artist was a form of rebellion in support of the silent side. We discover before us an unusual member of a community of creators, who during the second half of the twentieth century, expanded the frontiers of what we understand as art today. Genovés broadened the thematic vocabulary of post-war painting from a stage that was not very favorable to the arts and artistic experiments, such as Franco’s Spain. He is an artist who, with his civic action, laid the foundation for Spanish art from the avant-garde of the late twentieth century.
Genovés’s work is found in many significant public collections in the United States and abroad, including: The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France; Collezione Thyssen-Bornemisza, Lugano, Switzerland; Galeria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Instituto Valencià de Art Modern, Valencia, Spain; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Minneapolis
Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Quebec; Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Museo de Bellas Artes, de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Vienna, Austria; Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, Nagasaki, Japan; Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museum zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; and Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico, among others.