• Post War and Contemporary Art  auction at Christies

    Sale 7834

    Post War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction

    11 February 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 23

    Antonio López García (b. 1936)

    Ropa en remojo (Soaking Clothes)

    Price Realised  

    Antonio López García (b. 1936)
    Ropa en remojo (Soaking Clothes)
    signed and dated 'Antonio López García. 1968' (upper right); signed and titled 'Antonio López García ROPA EN AGUA' (on the reverse)
    oil on board
    31¾ x 29 1/8in. (80.5 x 74cm.)
    Painted in 1968


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    Please note that this work has been requested for the upcoming Antonio López García exhibition to be held in Madrid at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in 2011.




    Ropa en remojo (Soaking Clothes) is one of Antonio López García's finest studies of the small, domestic scenes that form the fabric of his daily existence. Painted in 1968 as López was gaining international recognition for his unique brand of hyper-real painting, this almost monochromatic portrayal of a humble laundry room displays all the technical virtuosity and profound gravitas that has singled him out as one of Spain's most revered artists. Through fastidious and patient scrutiny, López has learned to imbue his subjects with a haunting and extraordinary character, seen here in the exceptional depiction of diffuse light as it catches tiles, porcelain, cloth and water. At once brilliant and subdued, ethereal and fleeting, the subtle tonal nuances of this all-white interior are a product of the painter's meditative devotion to the world of sense and feeling, and his almost obsessional focus on the objects within it.

    Ropa en remojo has been exhibited and published extensively since it was painted as it represents a significant new phase for the artist, in which his work grew increasingly austere in pictorial subject matter and style. López's previous painting tended to vacillate between memory and surrealistic dream but a move to a new house and studio in north Madrid would have profound and immediate consequences on his art. 'The building was new and it fascinated me', he explained, 'The sensation of standing before something new, surrounded by things that were totally new and without history coincided with a period in my own life in which I wanted to break with the past...The loneliness, the silence, the emptiness of the walls, the absence of other people's experiences and memories--it was all new to me' (cited in C. Brutvan, Antonio López García, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2008). Much like his celebrated Lavabo y espejo (Sink and Mirror, 1967, Museum of Fine Art, Boston) of the same period, this painting lends the unglamorous interior of his new family home an unsettling, existential aura. Without aggrandizing or exaggerating what lies before him, López manages to penetrate beneath the surface of the time and place in which he lives to create an image that leads us to appreciate the sublime in the everyday.

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    Provenance

    Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris.
    Fernando Guereta, New York.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1987.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR


    Literature

    S. Amón, 'Antonio López García' in Nueva forma, nos. 42-43, Madrid, July-August 1969 (illustrated, p. 76).
    A. Bonet Correa, 'Pintura muda' in Cuadernos Guadalimar, no. 2, Madrid, 1977 (illustrated, p. 39).
    M. Fernández Braso, La realidad en Antonio López García, Madrid 1978 (illustrated, p. 60).
    C. Albert, 'Antonio López' in Telva, no. 532, Madrid, June 1986 (illustrated in colour, p. 36).
    M. Brenson, F. Calvo Serraller and E. J. y Sullivan, Antonio López García. Dibujos, pinturas, esculturas, Madrid 1990 (illustrated in colour, p. 179).
    R. Muñoz Avia, A. López García, Antonio López. Hombre y mujer, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Obras de la Colección, Madrid 2001, p. 94.
    J. M. Faerna García-Bermejo, Antonio López, Barcelona 2004, no. 25 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).


    Exhibited

    New York, Staempfli Gallery, Antonio López García, October-November 1968, no. 20.
    Turin, Galleria Galatea, Antonio López García, April-May 1972. Paris, Galerie Claude Bernard, Antonio López García, 1972 (illustrated, unpaged).
    Helsinki, The Fine Arts Academy of Finland, ARS '74, February-March 1974, no. 150 (illustrated, unpaged).
    Washington D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Representation Abroad, June-September 1985, no. 88 (illustrated, p. 129).
    Brussels, Musée d'Art Moderne, Europalia 85 España, September-December 1985, no. 31 (illustrated, p. 83).
    New York, Claude Bernard Gallery, 7 Spanish Realists, May-June 1986, no. 5 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
    Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Exposición antólógica, Antonio López, Pintura, Escultura, Dibujo, May-July 1993, no. 65 (illustrated in colour, pp. 184 and 289).
    Segovia, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente, Luz de la mirada. Amalia Avia, Carmen Laffón, Antonio López García, Francisco López Hernández, Julio López Hernández, María Moreno, Esperanza Parada, Isabel Quintanilla, October 2002-January 2003 (illustrated in colour, p. 109).
    Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Antonio López García, April-June 2008 (illustrated in colour, p. 25).