Equipo Crónica, Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao,10 February – 18 May 2015
The most extensive retrospective to date of nearly 150 paintings, drawings, prints, posters and sculptures, covering Equipo Crónica’s entire creative career from 1964 when three Valencian artists, Rafael Solbes (1940-1981), Manuel Valdés (1942) and Juan Antonio Toledo (1940-1995) established the group, to 1981 when Solbes died.
Featuring major works from many collections both public and private, the exhibition gives pride of place to a large group on loan for the occasion from the IVAM, in Valencia. Against a background of Pop and new figuration, Equipo Crónica made a name for itself with a number of exhibitions in Paris in the 1960s. Their activity was deliberately linked to the social and political situation in Spain at the time and involved working as anonymous members of a team producing images, many of which were drawn from the media, or critically appropriated references from history and art. The group conjured up in visual terms a particular era in Spanish history, one that roughly coincides with the final ten years of the Franco régime and the beginning of Spain’s transition to democracy.
Art historians Tomàs Llorens Serra (who wrote the original short essays that provided theoretical backing for the group) and Boye Llorens Peters have curated the exhibition.