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The Focus-Abengoa Foundation organizes a conference to celebrate the opening of the exhibition entitled "The Focus-Abengoa Collection. Select Works"

May 24, 2005

Seville, May 24, 2005. This evening, at 20:00 hours, the Foundation’s Hospital de los Venerables headquarters was the venue for the conference entitled Rethinking painting, given by the writer and art critic, Juan Manuel Bonet, who has been director of the Queen Sofia National Museum Art Center and of the Valencia Modern Art Institute (IVAM), among others. His discourse focused on debating the coexistence nowadays of painting figuration and abstraction.

The conference was organized to celebrate the opening to the public of the exhibition entitled The Focus-Abengoa Collection. Select Works, which presents a collection of more than thirty paintings that make up the Focus-Abengoa Collection, fruit of the activities carried out by the Foundation through its Painting Prize, monographic exhibitions by outstanding painters of the current artistic panorama, several purchases made by the Foundation itself, and donations. The exhibition, which will remain on view in the exhibition halls of the Hospital de los Venerables to next July 17, includes works by artists such as Gustavo Torner, Fernando Botero, Carmen Laffón, Antonio López, Manuel Sánchez Arcenegui and Juan Suárez, among others.

This cultural initiative is directed and coordinated by Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, Focus-Abengoa’s artistic adviser and Honorary Director of the Prado Museum, and by Fernando Martín, art professor at the University of Seville, both of whom, in addition to the exhibition, are responsible for the catalogue entitled The Focus-Abengoa Collection. Painting and graphic work. The catalogue is a commented inventory of what is the artistic patrimony of the Focus-Abengoa Collection and it includes an iconographic analysis and artistic evaluation of each piece of work.

This ensemble of works of art presents a variety of styles, schools and very diverse circles: from the more or less tinged rigorous objectivity of lyricism, to maximum geometric abstraction, passing through dramatic or abstract expressionism. Of note are some 19th century works that are testimony of Sevillian romanticism, works by artists whose consecration was already evident in the last few decades of the 20th century, and by a group of young, and not so young, artists from very different origins brought together upon them having aspired to winning, or having won, the Focus prize which, in its early years was limited to the area of Andalusia and especially Seville, and which in recent years has been entered by artists from all over the world, with prize-winners coming from as far apart as Germany and Japan. Works by artists from Canada, Colombia, Brazil, France, Italy, etc., have been purchased. This initiative, with its origins in the region of Andalusia, has already been projected universally and remains open to future incorporations that will continue to demonstrate the Foundation’s vitality and its constant interest in present day painting.

Through the catalogue, the Foundation provides society with a revealing publication that provides information on this ensemble of paintings, and thanks to which, visitors can gain more in-depth knowledge of the feeling and content of the exhibition

The Focus-Abengoa Collection was increased by the donation of twenty-five canvases belonging to Abengoa, by artists such as Andres Cortes, Jose Garcia Ramos, Benjamin Palencia, Carmen Laffón – with a total of nine magnificent works, among them an ensemble of sketches for the 1983 Easter Week poster that provide superb information on their creative process -, as well as other works by young painters. In addition, at a time, the Foundation also purchased the portfolio entitled The Prado Museum through the eyes of twelve contemporary artists, which is a collection of prints and lithographs that constitute the only graphic work section of the Collection. The most important artists of the second half of the 20th century, that cultivated etching as well as painting, are included therein.

There area audio-guides in several languages, an informative diptych available to visitors to the Focus-Abengoa Collection. Select Works, and a protocol for reserved-in-advance guided tours for students and different social groups and closed-door visits, has been established. Furthermore, every Sunday until the exhibition closes to the public, it may be visited free of charge in the afternoon/evening. The exhibition will be advertised in other exhibition centers in other cities.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was established in 1982 as a consequence of the cultural activity initiated in 1972 by Abengoa with the publishing of the works "Sevillian Topics" and "Iconography of Seville". During this same period a collection of documents, books and prints on Seville, or by Sevillian authors, was being put together. This initial cultural activity brought Abengoa's senior management to see the importance of the company being seen outside its essential technological functions through an activity that would be of benefit to society as a whole, which led to the founding of the Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla.

The Foundation’s activities have been ever-increasing, while complying unwaveringly with its foundational objective of promoting culture in its different artistic and scientific manifestations. The major protagonists in the existence of Focus-Abengoa have been education, painting, restoration and music, closely followed by seminars, the written word and prints.


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