ALFONSO DE LA TORRE (Madrid, 1960)
Art Critic and Theorist, Expert in Spanish Contemporary Art. He has curated more than a hundred exhibitions, having published essays and poetry and taught courses at various universities, museums and institutions: Centro Pompidou (Málaga), MNCARS, Museo de Teruel, Universidad de los Andes, Universidad de Córdoba, Universidad de Granada, University of Castilla-La Mancha, UIMP-Menéndez Pelayo International University or Université de La Sorbonne. It belongs to the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).
He has published, on several occasions, compilations around Pablo Palazuelo’s poetry and has written poetry books, since the publication by the Ludwig Foundation of “Diez poemas de papel” (1999). “Ulular del Espacio” (2013), “Carmencalvilia” (2014) or “Los sueños vagos” (2017) are the most recent.
Renowned specialist in the work of the Madrid artist Gerardo Rueda, of whom he made a capital biographical study (“Gerardo Rueda. Sensible and modern“, Ediciones del Umbral, 2006), he is the author of the Artists’ Catalogue Raisonné: Manolo Millares (MNCARS and Fundación Azcona, 2004); Manuel Rivera (Granada Provincial Council and Azcona Foundation, 2009) and Pablo Palazuelo (MNCARS, MACBA, Palazuelo Foundation and Azcona Foundation). In 2021 the Catalogue Raisonné of paintings Fernando Zóbel (Ayala Foundation, Fundación Azcona and Fundación Juan March) will be published.
In 2012 he was invited by the Université de la Sorbonne to the International Colloquium “Le travail du visible”, which would publish this University, with the title “The inheritance of signs” (Hermann Éditeurs, Paris, 2014).
Between 2005 and 2019, he curated an annual program of artistic interventions in public spaces during ARCOmadrid week, with the collaboration of the Community and the Madrid City Council. He regularly participates in the ARCOmadrid discussion forums, being responsible for the titled: “Contemporary art and sponsorship” (2012); “The new power of collectors” (2013); “What is art for in times of crisis?” (2014); “In the privacy of the collector” (2015); “Personal passions / Public visions” (2016); “Collecting sculpture: a private vision” (2017); “Avant-garde art in the 21st Century” (2018) and “Collecting before everyone” (2019). He is responsible for one of the most comprehensive studies on the emergence and evolution of the art market in Spain from the postwar period to the present day (“The Spain of the 21st century” (Fundación Sistema, Madrid, 2009)). He has been an advisor to numerous collections of contemporary art, national and international, established in recent years.
Among the curated exhibitions around this decade: “The Poetics of Cuenca-The Cuenca Group” (1998-2004); “Manolo Millares: destruction and love” (2006); “The shadow of Oteiza” (Museo Oteiza and Ibercaja, 2009); “Pablo Palazuelo: 13, rue Saint-Jacques (1948-1968)” (Fundación Juan March and Museo Oteiza, 2010); “Manuel Rivera: from Granada to New York” (José Guerrero Center, 2012), “Karen Knorr” (University of Córdoba, 2012) or “Carmen Calvo: what has been felt has been what has been lived” (Fundación Antonio Pérez, 2013) and “Carmen Calvo: All the shadows that the eye accepts” (CEART, Center for the Arts, 2014). Also in 2014, at the IAACC, he curated the exhibition “Salvador Victoria. A painter returns”; “Carmen Calvo. I was looking for what is lost” (CFC Bilbao) and “The work of the visible”, a review of geometry in Spain for the Odalys gallery. Other curatorial works for this last gallery: “Having visions“, “Interactive“, “Lucidity“, “Soto” or “MADÍ” (Odalys Gallery, Caracas-Madrid, 2014-2020) and “Neither captive nor unarmed“, in the University of Valencia-Martínez Guerricabeitia Foundation (2016).
Frequent objects of his research have been the work of Pablo Palazuelo: “Pablo Palazuelo: the silent prayer [Silence and writing in Paris, circa the fifties]” (MACA-Museum of Contemporary Art of Alicante and CEART, 2013); “The earth burns in the dark water. About some unpublished poems by Pablo Palazuelo” (“Turia” Review, 2012) or “Le chevalier de la solitude” (Fernández-Braso Gallery, 2016), among others.
On this same subject, he published in 2016 an extensive anthology of Pablo Palazuelo’s poetry (Ediciones del Umbral) and in 2020: “Calma, silencio, trabajo en paz. Pablo Palazuelo and Eduardo Chillida in Villaines-sous-bois, 1951” (Invisible Collection, Madrid).
He created and directed the collection of photographic essays “El ojo que ves” (University of Córdoba-La Fábrica), dedicated to contemporary visual authors. Among others: Vari Caramés, Félix Curto, Juan del Junco, Karen Knorr or Jorge Yeregui.
He is Vice President of the Pilar Citoler Foundation, having been responsible since 1999 for the Circa XX Collection, integrated into the collection of the Government of Aragon and currently directs the conservation of the New Collection.
In addition to the aforementioned “Reasoned Catalog of Paintings by Manolo Millares” (2004), and having theorized on various issues related to “El Paso”, he was curator of Millares’ last anthological exposition: Manolo Millares, destruction and love (2006). Among other texts on Millares, he has written “Manolo Millares, vestige and ceremony. A far cry (on the presence of Millares’ painting in the United States)” (Acquavella Galleries, New York, 2006) or “Millares hoy” (Salvador Victoria Museum, Rubielos de Mora, 2013) and has just concluded the Reasoned Catalog of his engraved work. He has participated in the “IV Meeting on Art and Thought” (2013), organized by the Cristino de Vera Foundation (La Laguna). The university editorial “Genueve ediciones” published in 2016: “Manolo Millares: the attraction of horror”. He participated in the Days dedicated to the critic José María Moreno Galván held in La Puebla de Cazalla.
In 2014 and 2017, the Ministry of Education and Culture appointed him a jury for the National Prize for Plastic Arts. The Pompidou Center in Malaga invited him to the “Bifurcations” cycle: “Lightness and weight: Brancusi-Calder” (2016).
At the end of 2016, he curated the exhibition “Carmen Calvo: everything comes from unreason”, for the Alcalá 31 hall exhibitions in the Community of Madrid. About this artist, she also curated “Carmen Calvo: kill the dream”, in 2019 (Kubo-Kursaal, San Sebastián).
In 2017 he taught a Master class for the Nebrija University (Madrid), curating at the Mayoral gallery in Barcelona: “Manolo Millares: building bridges, not walls” and “Zóbel-Chillida: cross roads” (2019).
He has curated at the CEART (Fuenlabrada), “Rafael Canogar: Ayer Hoy” (2017) and “Yturralde. Cosmos-Chaos” (2019).
“Millares Descubrimientos, 1959-1972“, curated exhibition on the engraved work of Manolo Millares (2018-2020) on the occasion of his Reasoned Catalog of graphic work, at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando (Madrid); Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engraving (Marbella); Museum of Spanish Abstract Art (Cuenca) and the Juan March Foundation Museum (Palma). Also for the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando (Madrid) and the Salvador Victoria Museum (Rubielos de Mora), the exhibition “Salvador Victoria: Espacios Detenidos-Detained spaces”. He has just published a monograph on Francisco Sobrino for Éditions Dilecta (Paris), while preparing the first volume, dedicated to the Reinas Negras-Black Queens, of the Martín Chirino Encyclopedia. Emerged from a commission from the Fundación Juan March, the monograph is forthcoming: “Paul Klee and Spain. The irredeemable kleeianos”.