Manolo Valdés – In Glass

Manolo Valdés, Kosme de Barañano

A large-format publication documenting a body of sculptural works in glass and mixed media created in 2020-21 by internationally acclaimed, New York-based Spanish artist Manolo Valdés (b.1942, Valencia). The book's author, Dr Kosme de Barañano, discusses the abstracted, humanlike busts, contextualising them in the artist's wider practice.
Publication date:
May 2022
Publisher :
Anomie Publishing
Illustration :
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781910221372

Dimensions : 340 X 270 mm


• A large-format publication documenting a body of sculptural works in glass created in 2020-21 by New York-based Spanish artist Manolo Valdés
• The sculptures, which take inspiration from twentieth-century modernism as well as from myriad past civilisations, are abstracted, humanlike busts
• Authored by art historian Dr Kosme de Barañano, a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Altea, Spain
• A hardback book with a transparent dustjacket, designed in close dialogue with the artist by Peter B. Willberg and printed in Italy

For over half a century, Valencia-born, New York-based Manolo Valdés has been a prominent international figure in the arena of contemporary art, known for his work in the mediums of sculpture, painting, drawing and collage. In this striking and imposing publication, designed in close dialogue with the artist by Peter B. Willberg and produced in Italy, Valdés presents a body of thirty-five sculptures created in 2020 and 2021. Along with wood, alabaster, aluminium, steel and resin, the primary medium employed in this body of work is glass, following a significant and intense period of research and experimentation.

The resulting works are engaging contemporary portrait busts that make reference to the history of modernist painting and sculpture, taking inspiration from imagery and objects by twentieth-century masters such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Constantin Brancusi. Developing his ‘recipes' for their fabrication - materials, processes, conditions and timings - with both care and flair, Valdés has created sculptural glass busts in a range of amber oranges, ruby reds, emerald greens, sapphire blues, and onyx blacks, all of which almost seem to glow with what Dr Kosme de Barañano, the book's author, describes as ‘an inner light'.

Barañano's comprehensive and illuminating essay not only investigates aspects of the history of glass making and its use as a material by artists past and present, but also traces the evolution of the language and forms of Valdés's glass and mixed-media works across a number of key exhibitions and bodies of work over the course of the past two decades. These include his monumental sculptures at the New York Botanical Garden in 2012 and his dramatic solo presentation in the Place Vendôme in Paris in 2016, both of which offered opportunities to see the artist's large-scale sculptural works in outdoor settings. Discussing the significance of 'Cabezas' (heads) in his oeuvre, Barañano asserts: ‘These glass "Cabezas" are tremendously sombre and simple works from which emanates a profound silence.'

This large-format publication, which is illustrated by specially commissioned photography by Tom Powel, documents many of the sculptures from different angles and by means of details, revealing not only the subtleties and qualities of the surfaces of the abstracted, humanlike glass heads, but also the curious and eclectic appendages that regularly appear to burst forth from them like unorthodox fascinators or eccentric jewellery, from nails and steel rods to glass or metal butterflies and wooden geometric forms. With a timelessness that speaks of civilisations long gone and a modernity that simultaneously seems to look to the future, Valdés has created a body of sculpture in glass that transcends time, touching on the metaphysical nature of the human mind and its outward manifestation in the physical world.

Manolo Valdés (b.1942, Valencia) is one of the most significant post-war Spanish artists. A key member of the Equipo Crónica until 1981, in 1989 he moved to New York. Major solo exhibitions include the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Reina Sofía, Madrid, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Château Royale de Chambord, France.