The Directors of Marlborough are pleased to present Juan Genovés: Reconsidered, an exhibition of early paintings by the Spanish figurative painter, created during the height of his political engagement. This presentation offers visitors an opportunity to revisit the work of an exceptional, and in many ways unique artist through a selection of works chronologically bound between 1965 and 1975, paying homage to his landmark exhibition held at Marlborough Fine Art London in 1967.
Genovés was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1930, in the midst of an era of political turmoil during the Spanish Civil War, witnessing the rise of the Franco dictatorship at a young age. This environment catalysed him to emerge as a distinct artistic and activist voice in opposition to fascism and political injustice, informing his visual language and signature motif of the crowd. Developed in the early 1960s, the crowd paintings, which were typically executed from an aerial view, depict groups of people fleeing, hiding, or being harmed by agents of the state, thus creating a landscape of bodies in motion. Genovés’s work was viewed as highly controversial in Spain at the time and banned from being exhibited nationwide.
Accompanying the exhibition will be a new publication contextualizing Genovés’s unique approach to the political context in which he lived. In this book Bartomeu Marí, formerly of The Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM) and Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), explores the topic of political engagement. For Genovés, being an artist was a form of rebellion in support of the silent side.