For being pioneer in the experimentation with languages in the Computing Center, for the solvency with which it transits between plane and space for its innovative way of understanding light, materials and geometry and for her reflection on different artistic traditions and cultures, which embraces and incorporates the present, always in the tension between nature and architecture the Valencian artist Soledad Sevilla has been recognized with the 2020 Velázquez Plastic Arts Prize.
“From the first moment I wanted the painting to develop in space, to analyze all that geometry with which I was working on ceilings, wall”, explained Seville (Valencia, 1944) yesterday, which has already won the National Prize for Arts Plastics in 1993 and whose work is characterized by a meticulous investigation and belongs to rational abstraction, guided by shape and color, almost always large. “I better express what I want on a large canvas and that, in turn, envelops the viewer more, creates more the feeling of space,” he said after announcing the Velázquez Prize.
“I did not expect it, it is the highest award that can be received, such as the Nobel Prize for Plastic Arts,” said the artist surprised to learn of the recognition, which is awarded by the Ministry of Culture and Sports and is endowed with 100,000 euros.
Soledad Sevilla studied at the Sant Jordi School of Fine Arts in Barcelona between 1960 and 1965 and, between 1969 and 1971, she participated in the Seminar on the automatic generation of plastic forms at the Computing Center of the Complutense University of Madrid. In the 70s, in his pictorial work he used geometry as a normative basis.
He received several scholarships, including one from Harvard University , where he began to work on the series ‘Las meninas’, applying a basic structure in the form of a grid to reinterpret the spaces and atmospheres of Velázquez’s painting.
Sevilla, in statements to Efe and Europa Press, has lamented the differences between men and women at the beginning of his career. “Being a woman has been an inequality in art, but fortunately that has already changed and is egalitarian. Now there are no distinctions or problems, but before there were many differences and it was much more difficult: actually, when all my friends were famous, I could hardly exhibit, among other things because I was making art that did not conform to the general trend ”.
Upon returning from the United States, the artist made various environmental installations with a marked and at the same time subtle pictorial character, which pose a profound plastic renovation. The following series, ‘La Alhambra’, meant a work of reinterpretation of the Nasrid palace in which the use of color was more measured although the grid was also a reference base. For her, the facilities allow her to “adapt an idea to the space it requires”.
His first exhibition was in 1998, at the Soledad Lorenzo gallery, with which he worked until its closure in 2012. In his subsequent installations and pictorial series, Seville turned light into a central element , making, for example, in 1992.
A projection on the bare walls of the courtyard of the castle of Vélez Blanco , in Almería, which allowed us to see the Renaissance portico that is now in the Metropolitan in New York. Also in the Palacio de Cristal del Retiro, in Madrid, he recreated the celestial vault in an installation.
In 2007, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts and, in 2018, he exhibited an extensive retrospective of his work at the Tomás y Valiente Art Center in Fuenlabrada. Now he is finishing a painting project on Pessoa for the Patio Herreriano in Valladolid.