5/21/2014

Cityscapes: Antonio López García

Antonio López García (Spanish, b. 1936) gives his paintings a lot of time. In 1995 he was given the commission to paint the Spanish Royals King Juan, Carlos Queen Sofia and their three children, and 19 years later he still hasn't finished (and has been ordered to do so). The king and queen were 58 years old in 1995, but now are 76. Their children are now all grown and married, and there are 8 grandchildren.

I find his work to be an antidote to the consumerist mentality much of the art world has these days. Although there is no shame in trying to make money, let's face it- paintings (and novels, poetry and music) are better when an artist gives his/her work whatever amount of time is needed.

Antonio López García began as a painter of Magic Realism, but by the 1960s would say that the prosaic world had a stronger hold on him, and began working on his large panoramic paintings of Madrid. As with all his work, these paintings seem both modern and timeless.

Gran Vía, August 1 oil on canvas 125x129cm 2009-2011

Madrid seen from Torres Blancas oil on panel 145x244cm 1976-1982

Madrid seen from Torres Blancas (detail)

Gran Vía, Carnation oil on canvas on panel 119.5x124cm 1977-1990

Madrid from Capitán Haya oil on canvas on panel 184x124cm 1987-1994

  La Gran Vía oil on canvas 90.5 x 93.5 1974-81
When my uncle taught me, painting came to me with great ease, with great ease. But this can be deceiving, because you can be very talented and have nothing to say.
I don't give importance to technique. I condition everything so that the painting has spirit, in every way. If not, technique does not do me any good. I have done that: put in all the forms, ordered them in the best possible way, taken measurements. Everything was done correctly, but the painting ended without substance, vacant of emotion. And that, when I had that sensation, it seemed to me a complete failure, it seemed that technique wasn't worth anything. Not that technique doesn't have importance, but it's like the word is the link to the ideas and nothing more. So you acquire technique, but then what do you do with it?- Antonio López García

The current theme in the Art Room is Cityscapes.

If you would like to suggest an artist for this theme, please email your suggestion (not your own work please) with at least one image and a few words to describe why you like it. Be sure to include the title, medium, size and year.

2 comments:

  1. This is a truly interesting blog and story of an artist determined to do it his way, king and queen withstanding. Thank you for sharing this information.

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