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Hernán Cortés or how to paint portraits with the Bay of Cadiz

The artist exhibits 130 works of well-known personalities at the Fundación Telefónica

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Hernán Cortés or how to paint portraits with the Bay of Cadiz
More information
  • Cortés exhibits his portraits and landscapes from 1970
  • The ugly and expensive public portraits

Hernán Cortés went to doctor, but he crossed his path painting and poetry. At age of 16 he decided to be a painter, with his far's opposition. "That's why I was so important to my Damaso Alonso. He was my valets. He was a friend of my far's and convinced him to let me devote myself to what I liked since my mor gave me some paintings at six years, "explains painter Cadiz, aged 65, in front of one of portraits of deceased poet and scholar of language. There is much more in exhibition that opens this Friday at headquarters of Fundación Telefónica de Madrid. The majority of 130 works gared are portraits of artist who was made known precisely for his skill to capture with a current atmosphere, abstract, geometric, known personalities of political, cultural, economic and social life of Spain, like those of The Constitution, still Prince Felipe, Felipe González, Jorge Guillén, Jesús Polanco or Plácido Arango.

"In this portrait of Rafael Alberti is my way of seeing Bay of Cadiz, in background, in light, in open air...", points out painter, with regard to one of axes that articulates sample that will be extended until October 4 and n exhibited in Cadiz. He assures Cortés that he is always mindful or unconscious in his work, "The feeling of immensity of celestial vault of bay and plane of sea" from when he began to paint landscapes in his hometown, before moving to Madrid.

It is a curious exercise to observe beyond famous faces to look for plans, space and structure that already anticipates in its landscapes. "It is a different vision of his work, well known especially in institutional portraits. We want to open perspective. Look at this portrait of Carmen Bustamante with which sample is significantly opened. Represents a strong woman, in a groundbreaking position, who does not look at you... But key is concept of space, "says curator, Lola Jiménez-Blanco.

Cortés is considered to be debtor of modernity of avant-gardes, rar than of postmodernity. He drinks from Renaissance, Baroque, Piero della Francesca and Diego Velázquez. And if you have to choose a portraitist of twentieth century, a painter who paints a person with names and surnames, opts for Graham Surland, but recognizes influence of heartbreaking vision of man who transmitted paintings and drawings of Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon. "After m you can not paint man in same way," reasons Cortés.

He is usually stuck in hyperrealism and, although he doesn't share that vision, he doesn't mind eir. Or to be labeled as portraitist of institutions, of powerful. "I am proud that my painting is associated with Spanish politics during democracy. That political debate takes place between my paintings, "he says in reference to portraits of parents of Magna Carta that hang in Constitutional Chamber of Congress of Deputies.

The exhibition includes several videos made ex Professo with an interview with Cortés by Rafael Argullol or a reading of two stories written by Álvaro Pombo about portraits of Dámoso Alonso and Pedro Laín Entralgo.

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