Master of Spanish realism
From January 28, 2024, an overview of the Spanish artist Antonio López (1936) can be seen in the large exhibition hall. López is a phenomenon in his native Spain and has been labeled as the ‘greatest living realistic artist’. The exhibition Antonio López – Master of Spanish Realism is López’s first major solo exhibition in the Netherlands. Paintings – including portraits, still lifes and enormous Madrid cityscapes – drawings and sculpture come to Assen. For the exhibition we are collaborating with Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera in Barcelona, where a major exhibition about López opened in the Gaudí house Casa Milà in September 2023.
Antonio López’s work is diverse. He not only chooses different subjects, but also different materials. We show all these facets of his art through dozens of paintings, drawings and sculptures. In total, the work in the exhibition Antonio López – Master of Spanish Realism spans approximately seventy years. As a visitor you can follow López’s entire career closely.
Detailed working method
Antonio López is known for his extremely detailed working method. One of his cityscapes of Madrid – the painting Madrid desde la torre de bomberos de Vallecas , on display in the exhibition in Assen – even took him sixteen years to complete, with intervals of course. López often chooses to return at the same time and in the same place every year. It is characteristic of his art: López always tries to capture the essence of an object. He does this by leaving nothing to chance. Light, color and shape: everything is carefully studied and imitated. In doing so, he transforms everyday subjects into rich works of art.
In 1993, 2008 and 2011, Antonio Lopéz had major solo exhibitions at Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid). In 2014 he completed a monumental painting of the Spanish royal family, which he already started in 1994. His work is included in museum collections around the world, such as the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Hamburg, Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Antonio López also became famous for the film El sol del membrillo. In this 1992 film, directed by Victor Erice and awarded several prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, López is filmed for months while he paints a quince tree in his backyard. To this day it remains an absolute classic in film history.
Antonio López – Master of Spanish Realism can be seen from January 28 to June 2, 2024 and fits into the series of exhibitions of international realism, such as The American Dream on American realism (2017), Sprezzatura on Italian realism (2019) and Viva la Frida! – Life and art of Frida Kahlo (2021). The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated publication with contributions from Dutch and Spanish authors.