About the autor

© Carlos A. Schwartz, 2017
© Carlos A. Schwartz, 2017

ALFONSO DE LA TORRE (Madrid, 1960)

ALFONSO DE LA TORRE (Madrid, 1960

Art Critic and Theorist, Expert in Spanish Contemporary Art.  He has curated more than a hundred exhibitions, published essays and poetry and given courses in several different universities and institutions: Centro Pompidou; MNCARS; Teruel Museum; the University of the Andes; the University of Cordoba; UIMP-International University Menéndez Pelayo; the University of Granada; the University of Castilla-La Mancha and the Sorbonne University.  He has published, on different occasions, compilations on the poetry of Pablo Palazuelo and he has written books of poetry beginning with the publication by the Fundación Ludwig of “Diez poemas de papel” (1999). “Ulular del espacio” (Vuela Pluma Ediciones, Madrid, 2013) and “carmencalvilia” (2014) are the most recent.   He’s member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).

A renowned specialist in the work of Madrid-based artist Gerardo Rueda, on whom he has written a biographical study (“Gerardo Rueda. Sensible y moderno”, Ediciones del Umbral, Madrid, 2006), he is the author of the Catalogues raisonnés-Catálogos Razonados of painting of the artists of “El Paso”, Manolo Millares  (MNCARS and Fundación Azcona, 2004) and Manuel Rivera (Diputación de Granada and Fundación Azcona, 2009), having recently finished the Catálogo Razonado de Pablo Palazuelo (as a commission by a group of institutions: MNCARS, MACBA, Fundación Palazuelo and Fundación Azcona).   Actually, he’s working in the Catálogo Razonado de Fernando Zóbel (Ayala Foundation, Fundación Azcona y Fundación Juan March).

Since 2005 he has curated an annual programme of artistic interventions in public spaces (“Ámbito Cultural-El Corte Inglés”) during the week of ARCO-Madrid, with the collaboration of Madrid Region and Madrid Council.  In 2017, he presented “New Images/Nuevas Imagenes”. He takes part in debates and forums at ARCO and was responsible for the following titles: “Arte contemporáneo y patrocinio” (2012); “The new power of collectors” (2013); “¿Para qué sirve el arte en tiempos de crisis?” (2014); “En la intimidad del coleccionista” (2015); “Personal passions/Public visions” (2016) and “Coleccionar escultura: una visión privada/Collecting sculpture: a private view” (2017).

He is responsible for one of the most exhaustive studies on the birth and evolution of the art market in Spain from the post-war period until now. (“La España del Siglo XXI” (Fundación Sistema, Madrid, 2009)).

Among the exhibitions he has curated in the last few years: “La poética de Cuenca-El grupo de Cuenca” (1998-2004); “Manolo Millares: la destrucción y el amor” (2006); “La sombra de Oteiza” (Museo Oteiza and Ibercaja, 2009); “Pablo Palazuelo: 13, rue Saint-Jacques (1948-1968)” (Fundación Juan March and Museo Oteiza, 2010); “Manuel Rivera: de Granada a Nueva York” (Centro José Guerrero, 2012), “Karen Knorr” (University of Córdoba, 2012) and “Carmen Calvo: lo que se ha sentido ha sido lo que se ha vivido” (Fundación Antonio Pérez, Cuenca, 2013) and “Carmen Calvo: Todas las sombras que el ojo acepta” (CEART, Centro de las Artes, Fuenlabrada, 2014).   Also in 2014, at the IAACC, he curated the exhibition “Salvador Victoria. Retorna un pintor”; “Carmen Calvo.  Buscaba lo que se pierde” (CFC Bilbao) and “El trabajo de lo visible”, a revision on geometry in Spain for Odalys gallery (Caracas-Madrid). Some last exhibitions in 2016: “Tener visiones” (Galería Odalys, Caracas-Madrid) y “Ni cautivos ni desarmados”, en la Universidad de Valencia-Fundación Martínez Guerricabeitia.

Recent texts include: “Amaya Bozal. Incendio en la noche fría” (Vuela Pluma Ediciones, 2014); “Manuel Viola: negra leche del alba” (Fernán Gómez Ediciones, 2014); “Pablo Palazuelo: la oración silenciosa [Silencio y escritura en Paris, circa los años cincuenta] (MACA-Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Alicante and CEART, Madrid, 2013) and “Arde la tierra en el agua oscura.  En torno a unos poemas inéditos de Pablo Palazuelo” (Revista “Turia”, Teruel, 2012).  About the poetry of Pablo Palazuelo, published, last 2016, an anthology (Ediciones del Umbral, Madrid).

In 2012 he was invited by the Sorbonne to the international meeting “Le travail du visible”, published by the university with the title “La heredad de los signos” (Hermann Éditeurs, Paris, 2014).

He manages the collection of photographic essays “El ojo que ves” (University of Córdoba-La Fábrica), of which seven volumes have been published on contemporary visual artists: Vari Caramés, Félix Curto, Juan del Junco, Karen Knorr o Jorge Yeregui.

At present he is working on a commission for the Juan March Foundation on an exhibition on Paul Klee and his relationship with Spanish art: “Paul Klee.  Los irredentos kleeianos”.

He is vice-president of the Fundación Pilar Citoler, having been in charge of the Colección Circa XX – recently integrated into the Government of Aragon collection – since 1999.

Besides the aforementioned “Catálogo Razonado de Pinturas de Manolo Millares” (2004), and after theorizing on several topics related to the “El Paso” group, he curated the last anthological exhibition by Millares: Manolo Millares, la destrucción y el amor (2006). Among other texts on Millares he has written “Manolo Millares, vestigio y ceremonia. A far cry (sobre la presencia de la pintura de Millares en los Estados Unidos)” (Acquavella Galleries, New York, 2006) and “Millares hoy” (Museo Salvador Victoria, Rubielos de Mora, 2013) and has recently finished the soon-to-be-published catalogue of his prints. He took part in the “IV Encuentro sobre Arte y Pensamiento” (2013), organized by the Fundación Cristino de Vera (La Laguna).   Recently the Genueve Ediciones published “Manolo Millares: la atracción del horror”.  

For Juan Manuel Bonet: “a lot has been said and done over recent years for the Cuenca painters and for the fifties generation in general.  The latest feat has been to finish the catalogue raisonné of Manolo Millares. Alfonso de la Torre’s historiography seems to be the most invaluable work being done in out country in this field”.

In the last few months he has participated in the seminars dedicated to the critic José María Moreno Galván held in La Puebla de Cazalla.  The Ministry of Education and Culture he was on the jury of National Award for the Plastic Arts.

The Centro Pompidou in Málaga invites to this critic to the cycle: “Bifurcaciones”: “La levedad y el peso: Brancusi-Calder” (2016).   At the end of 2016 he curated the exhibition: “Carmen Calvo: todo procede de la sinrazón”, for the exhibition hall: Alcalá 31, from Comunidad de Madrid. In 2017 he imparted a Master Class for the Nebrija University (Madrid) and curated: Mayoral Gallery (Barcelona), “Manolo Millares: building bridges, not walls” and for CEART (Fuenlabrada), “Rafael Canogar: Ayer Hoy”.

Currently working in the exhibition “Descubrimientos Millares, 1959-1972”, about the graphic work from Manolo Millares, that will show (2018-2020) in the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (Madrid); Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo (Marbella); Museo de Arte Abstracto Español (Cuenca); Museu Fundación Juan March (Palma) and Museo de Santa Cruz (Toledo).

 

ALFONSO DE LA TORRE AND THE EMERGENCE OF ABSTRACTION IN SPAIN

Specialist in the genesis of the Cuenca Museum of Abstract Art, he has curated several exhibitions on this subject: El grupo de Cuenca (Sala de las Alhajas, Caja de Madrid, Madrid, February-April 1997); El grupo de Cuenca (Casa del Cordón, Caja de Burgos, Burgos, 30 April-27 June 1998 and Parque de la Ciudadela, Pamplona, 3-26 July 1998) and Cuenca: Cuarenta años después (1964-2004). La poética de Cuenca (Ayuntamiento de Madrid-Centro Cultural de la Villa, Madrid, November 2004–16 January 2005).  He also collaborated on the exhibition La ciudad abstracta.  1966: El nacimiento del Museo de Arte Abstracto Español (Fundación Juan March-Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, Cuenca, June-December 2006).

He is the author of numerous monographic texts on the Cuenca Group, among them:  “¿Pero hubo alguna vez un grupo de Cuenca?” (Caja de Madrid, Madrid, 1998, pp. 55-73); “El grupo de Cuenca” (Revista Guadalimar, Madrid, June de 1998, p. 22); “Cegadora belleza” (Caja de Burgos, Burgos, 1998, pp. 11-21); “La poética de Cuenca: Una forma (Un estilo de pensar)”, (Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Madrid, 2004, pp. 11-62).

He has given papers on the Museum of Abstract Art on many occasions: “La abstracción española desde el Museo de Arte Abstracto Español de Cuenca”: Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá; Centro Colombo Hispano-Americano, Medellín; Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín; University of the Andes, Bogota; National University of Colombia, Medellin; University of Antioquia, Medellin (1995) and Fundación Ludwig, Havana (1999).

– “El grupo de Cuenca”, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 10 y 17/XI/2003.

He took part in the round table discussion: “Retrato y memoria de Fernando Zóbel” (4/VI/2009), at the Spanish Museum of Abstract Art on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the death of Fernando Zóbel (1984-2009).   He participated in the monographic programme “Documentos RNE”, on the painter Fernando Zóbel (23/I/2010).