Antonio López: bursting with art
His instinct for capturing the poetry hidden in everyday details made Antonio López a master of realism. His approach to the human figure and his images of flowers are the central themes of his exclusive collaboration with ARTIKA, a unique creation that we remember on a day dedicated specifically to books and flowers. Happy Saint George’s Day.
The seduction of forms
Both flowers and the study of the human body hold a particularly special meaning for Antonio López. “These are two major themes that have almost always been a part of my work.”
What do they have in common? Both reflect the passage of time and, before vanishing, they open the way to new organisms and combinations of shapes and colours. “The flower and the naked body have the same seduction, the same mystery, they live, reproduce and die like us.”
Dibujo para la pintura Espaldas, 1964. Pencil on paper.
Discovering beauty in fragility
“The journey of the flower, from its beauty to its destruction, (...) expresses the marvellous meaninglessness of our life.” Flowers inevitably whither, and that is why we can admire their beauty in all its phases.
Hombre y mujer, 1968-1986-1994. Polychrome wood and glass.
The same happens to the human body, which Antonio López began to study in depth in 1955. They are two worlds full of infinite possibilities, where each individual has a unique existence, marked by its inevitable passing.
Rosas de invierno I, 2015. Rosas de invierno II (2015) y Rosas de invierno III (2016). Oil on canvas.
Mysteries and emotions
“When I’m in front of a nude or a flower, there has never been in me anything other than awe at the wonder.” However, the history of art
has shown different approaches to each subject. “The nude, because of centuries of strict censorship. In Spain there have been a few incomparable nudes, very few.”
Mujer en la bañera, 1971. Pencil on paper.
Flowers, in turn, took a long time to acquire the prominence they have had in Eastern culture, for example. “In painting, flowers and landscapes are a recent conquest. Dürer and Leonardo seem to be the first Western artists to focus on these small wonders.”
From flowers to books
When Antonio López began to explore two of his most representative themes, he never imagined that a work like Bodies and flowers would come into existence. He was fascinated by nature's most delicate creations, even as a child: “My first sensations in the presence of flowers, there, in the distance of my childhood, are still active today.”
Izq. Vaso con rosa y azucenas, 1965. Oil on canvas.
Dcha. Vaso con flores y pared, 1965. Oil on canvas.
He discovered the great painters and sculptors through books during his formative years: “My generation travelled little, I had few opportunities to go out and I got used to looking at the reproductions in modest books, in black and white (...) This is how I got to learn about art.”
Finally, his collaboration with ARTIKA resulted in a unique edition. “I find the result dazzling,” said the artist about the “monumental character” of Bodies and flowers.
The first (and only) artist’s book by Antonio López
· Antonio López was involved in all stages of the creation of this edition, which is now out of print. Only 2998 copies exist, all signed by the artist.
· Bodies and flowers offers a journey through Antonio López’s most iconic works, most of them reproduced in their actual size.
· It includes an Art Book, an exclusively designed case and a print that reproduces a numbered edition of Ávila’s Roses, one of the artist’s most famous paintings.