Announcement of Amalia Avia

Artist Amalia Avia (1930-2011) went “hunting” on a cloudy Sunday. She was accompanied by her husband, Lucio Muñoz (1929-1998) and their five children. The realist artist liked the city without people and cars. “My father was the one who operated the camera,” Rodrigo Muñoz Avia recalled to this newspaper. The fourth part of the saga created by the artist couple explains that Amalia was watching and Lucio was taking photographs. Until automatic cameras came along and he no longer needed anyone to capture the views he was presented with, which he later translated into paintings. Away from the street, in his workshop.

“The moment of collecting photos in the development store was also driven by the illusion that my mother lived with these types of things. He reserved the moment of opening the envelope for the fact that, unlike my father, he was calm and well-ordered at home. , who opened it with the same car before driving off,” writes Rodrigo Muñoz Avia House of artists (Alfaguara, 2019). Photography had a family ritual, but it, as a creative ritual, was not revealed in the process of construction of Amalia Avia’s creativity.

The exhibition, which opens this Friday at the Sala Alcalá 31 of the Community of Madrid, is entitled Japan in Los Angeles. Amalia Avia Files, shows this aspect, rediscovering one of the most admired artists from the Realist group of Madrid, who despised and rejected photography as a means of capturing reality. They were natural artists, with easels and canvases in squares, on the edge of the sidewalk. For example, Antonio López got only a few photos copied in his life when the National Heritage warned that the family of Juan Carlos I would not pose for him. Photography is deceiving, he says, robbing him of certainty. “Photography is a danger, I am very afraid of it,” he explained in one of the interviews.

Amalia Avia was not afraid of photos. I used it and saved it. He hid them, but never destroyed them. The day Rodrigo showed up with a few shoe boxes and some chocolates, filled with the photos that his mother had used to paint reality, Estrella de Diego changed the narrative meaning of the exhibition. “There was no turning back that day, the boxes are endless, there are files and documents, but there are no works of art. Why hasn’t it been published before, now you can understand his creation more richly. Amalia is not a realist artist, she is something else,” says the curator of one of the exhibitions celebrating the new season. The exhibition, which was supposed to display the artist’s lost paintings, turned out to be completely different.

“I paint what I can’t photograph.” This became the motto of the story constructed by Rodrigo and Estrella. A phrase that may defy discovery, but which illuminates the unknown: what Amalia Avia cannot photograph and paint is “atmosphere,” notes De Diego. Hence, he is not a usable realist, and his palette lends itself to autumnal surrealism and pollutes the natural light of the scene. The reality remained in the photos.

It’s been 25 years since the last major retrospective of the Madrid-collecting artist. both outside and inside. In total, 113 paintings will be shown, which come from the collections of foundations and banks, as well as from the bookshop of Antonio Machado or Cristina Alberdi. The vast majority of paintings are owned by Amalia’s heirs, but they are not ordinary paintings. There was a time, in the late sixties, when he was more interested in the human figure and the customs of his neighbors. He photographed them at the door of the lottery administration, when leaving the mine, on the football field or in front of a huge sight. Family of Charles IVby Goya at the Prado Museum in 1966, when it became possible to take photographs in an art gallery to be known.

Amalia Avia City is based on real events, but far from reality. He had a habit of getting newsprint stuck to the crumpled walls of the facades, and when they were removed, the oil created weathered textures. And, when it seemed that he had finished the painting, he would lay it on the ground, sprinkle with turpentine, and light a match. This burning should bring a unique expressiveness to its facades and portals. The truth he was interested in was material, for perhaps Avia was deep down an abstract artist masquerading as a realist. Because abstraction was for men. Nor did realism free him from oblivion and silence. In Madrid, his fetish city, it is very difficult to see one of his paintings in public museums. For example, none of its owners are exhibited in the Reina Sofia Museum.

There is almost no comparison of photography in the room, and the displayed images are considered to be documents in display cases. I cut and pasted the images until I created the look I needed on the table or canvas. There is a page depicting a demonstration that he appropriated a squad of angry people in the streets of his city under twilight. In his studio, he made the real street his own, like a dream. Like the meaning hidden behind the closed doors of the business obsessed with it. He buried the gift before it disappeared so he could be immortal. He seeded it with irony and humor and familiar nods like Lucio Muñoz’s studio phone number on the front of Rastro’s store, his dog walking on another stage, his children’s names, or cat writing. The wall… the city of Amalia Avia has not been opened.

Source: El Diario





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