Opera Gallery announces exclusive worldwide representation of the Juan Genovés estate

Opera Gallery announces exclusive worldwide representation of the Juan Genovés estate


Juan Genovés photographed in 2019. © Jordi Socias
Juan GENOVÉS Columna I 2009 Acrylic on canvas, 249.9 x 125.4 cm | 98.4 x 49.4 in

Genovés, best known for work chronicling Spain’s transition to democracy, died in 2020 at the age of 89. Opera Gallery’s debut presentation of the artist’s work will take place in its new exhibition space in Madrid, Spain at 56 Calle Serrano opening in May 2023.

One of Spain’s most celebrated contemporary artists, Juan Genovés was born in 1930 in Valencia, Spain and grew up under the fascist regime of Francisco Franco, which intimately influenced the themes he explored in his artistic production. His most iconic piece, El Abrazo (The Embrace), a painting created in 1976, a year after Franco’s death, depicts a crowd of workers with their backs turned to the viewer as they embrace each other. Over 500,000 reproductions were printed and it became an emblem of the democracy movement’s opposition to political injustice. The original has been housed in Madrid’s Palace of the Parliament since 2016. ”Opera Gallery is thrilled to represent the estate of this prolific artist whose legacy looms large within the context of art history in Spain and beyond.” Gilles Dyan, Chairman and CEO of Opera Gallery stated.

Throughout his lifetime, Genovés’ style and distinctly critical voice evolved aesthetically within the sphere of social realism. Using the signature crowd motif, his paintings of people from an aerial view explore the themes of dislocation and the relationship between the individual and the masses. “Juan Genovés faced the blank canvas body to body, with his astonishing mastery of perspective,” said Belén Herrera Ottino, Director of Opera Gallery’s new Madrid location. “The horizon always marked the surface of his painting, but it was far away and his bird’s eye view- which did not lose detail-was ultimately the gaze of a photojournalist in the eye of the hurricane. His works are pieces of social commitment, his brushstroke, like the one he himself described of Goya, a brushstroke of protest in an apparent silence always shouting. Genovés shared the same nonconformism of Goya, denouncing and confronting the established power.”

Genovés was the recipient of a number of important prizes, including the Mention of Honor at the 1966 Venice Biennale; the Gold Medal at the VI Biennale Internazionale de San Marino, 1967; the Marzotto Internazionale Prize, 1968; the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas, Spain, 1984; the Premio de las Artes Plásticas de la Generalitat Valenciana, Spain, 2002; and the Medalla de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes, Spain, 2005.

His work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; The Art Institute of Chicago; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid; Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM); and Galeria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome.

Juan GENOVÉS Ascuas 2019 Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 150 cm | 70.9 x 59.1 in
Juan Genovés, Vislumbre, 2017, acrylic on canvas on board, Ø 200 cm – 78.7 in
Juan GENOVÉS Correlativo 2017 Acrylic on canvas, 190 x 100 cm | 74.8 x 39.4 in




Opera Gallery is a modern and contemporary art gallery founded in 1994 by Gilles Dyan, which today has a network of sixteen art galleries around the world: in Paris, London, Monaco, Geneva, New York, Miami, Aspen, Dubai, Beirut, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, with the opening on May 12, 2023 of its gallery in Madrid.

Opera Gallery offers a permanent selection of works by modern, post-war and contemporary artists – Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet, Alexander Calder, Pierre Soulages, Manolo Valdés, Georg Baselitz… – as well as monographic, group and thematic exhibitions to a public of amateurs and collectors, both private and public.

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