Amalia Avia, the painter who knew how to find the humor hidden in the streets of Madrid


Amalia Avila (Santa Cruz de la Zarza, Toledo, 1930-Madrid, 2011) She smiles in most of her known photographs. The file is large and accounts for the shyness of her gaze and her penchant for cardigans and short hair. He loved to walk on cloudy days and get lost in the cloudy gray sky. Even the absence of painting, however, was his thing joy, despite the gloominess of some of his paintings. Behind his laugh were the streets of Madrid. Many of them can be seen in an exhibition Alcala Room 31 The Madrid community gathered in the capital until January 15, 2023, under the expert eye of the curators diego starWho has acted with the warmth of one of the artist’s children, Rodrigo Munoz Avia, which has inherited his same cheerful gesture. A little over a year ago, Munoz Avia launched a claim message on the social network to locate her mother’s paintings, with the idea of ​​collecting as many as possible for this exhibition. In sales manuals he controlled about 800 works, although he knew that his production exceeded a thousand. The snowball effect did the rest. An email was established ([email protected]) and more than 80 were found, some of which are now on display.

title Japan in Los Angeles. amalia avia files, This is the largest anthropological exhibition dedicated to the artist for almost three decades, containing over 110 pieces, a huge void if one takes into account that he is one of the best painters of the “Madrid realist”. This is what critics call it. It was the beginning of the sixties and new alternatives, mostly figurative, began to burst onto the Spanish art scene, trying to do away with the group’s expressionist and theatrical models. Step and get away from yourself regulatory art, This return to the figure was communicated in different ways: the one associated with the New Figuration postulates; One who stakes for the social and populist origins of the pictorial practice, ie Estampa Popular; who turned his eyes to reality with a critical eye that was in line with pop and the way it was anchored in the tradition of Spanish school realism, in which the group of realists surrounding the López clan acted: With painter Antonio López García and sculptors Julio and Francisco López Hernández, Isabel Quintanilla, Esperanza Parda, María Moreno, Amalia Avia or Lucio Muoz, whom she married in 1960.

Amalia Avia, on a street in latelier

Despite the meeting of a group of royalists in Madrid, she was another. His way of portraying the city without hierarchy, leaving Ciudad Lineal for the district of Salamanca; One street in Malasana, or Puerta del Sol, began to differentiate between his peers. She was interested in painting the atmosphere of the city, the humor hidden in the street graffiti, which she often covered, even laughing at herself. That laugh can be heard in a painting that shows a market full of boxes that read “Amalia Fruits” and “Avia Vegetables.” It’s 1993, but seems like yesterday. Avia had the ability to depict a suspended time where the unusual slips through the most unexpected places in a painting: street corners that look like small abstract paintings, local signs that look almost like characters, trees that look like any Can also be seen from the corners and doors, the many doors, of the houses that I had seen and the interiors of which I had imagined. Store doors, garage doors, many of the houses where he lived. If this exhibition reveals anything, it is that this figurative painter is anything but realist. His paintings have a refined and conceptual halo, an informal folly that goes beyond a certain image, which he took with his camera to paint later portraits.

'Ministry of Development' (1988), oil painting by Amalia Aviya.
‘Ministry of Development’ (1988), oil painting by Amalia Aviya.Jesus Madrinan (Munoz Avia Family Collection)

Avia paints life exactly the moment it is about to be extinguished, filling the canvas with endless visual webs that never silence the gaze. quite the contrary. What awakens the viewer to see everything that goes unnoticed and what fascinates him so much: confusion as a critical point of view. There is a saying that reality is different from everything else. old woman walking backwards dairy (1972) A platoon, representing several other lonely elders, and when it represents a crowd, such as in front of a crowded audience Carlos IV. family of (1966) In the Prado Museum, there appears to be a single unit. Divided into three sections, the exhibition focuses on everyday life, empty cities and found objects. Even in personal collections, those pre-pictures are often made collageWhich have appeared in shoe boxes at the last minute and seal one of the best exhibitions you can now see in Madrid.

The painting 'Japan in Los Angeles' (1995), which titles the Amalia Avia exhibition.
The painting ‘Japan in Los Angeles’ (1995), which titles the Amalia Avia exhibition.MUÑOZ AVIA FAMILY COLLECTION

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