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Lola Berenguer Suárez wins the 2015 Focus-Abengoa International Painting Prize with his work Las veces difíciles

December 11, 2015

  • Gabriel Grün Yantorno and Jesús Zurita Ruíz were shortlisted for their works El traje de ramas and El contenido de los murmullos.

December 11, 2015. The Focus-Abengoa Foundation has announced the winner of the 32nd Focus-Abengoa International Painting Prize, which this year has been awarded to Lola Berenguer Suárez for his work Las veces difíciles. Of the 32 paintings selected, the jury was unanimous in their decision to give the prize to the work by Lola Berenguer Suárez, “whose work shows a radiant and impeccable structure exploring and vivifying modern tradition coming from purism and other referents of constructive abstraction. The work presents a fruitful redemption of the principles of these arts styles with a decisive composition, which germinates qualified by subtle gestures swinging between lineal and pictorial.”

The jury awarded second prize to the work by Gabriel Grün Yantorno entitled El traje de ramas. Grün “takes in his hands the threads of a long pictorial tradition, going back to the mastery of Patinir, Brueghel, Durero, Arcimboldo and even the naturalism of the 17th century. The artist configures a paradoxical and surprising piece of work, where presumed symbols and flagrant mistakes offer an endless pictorial show raising ironic references.”

The second runner-up was the work entitled El contenido de los murmullos by Jesús Zurita Ruíz, which “for its succesfull conjunction of volumes in a firm composition revealing great creative liberty and theatricality, alluding to natural organic elements, both sexual and symbolic. This work falls under aesthetics of great chromatics and contrast of textures, participating of the imaginary.”

In addition, special mention from the jury was received by the work of Javier Arbizu Martínez; Pepe Carretero, El final del almuerzo; Filippo La Vaccara; and Simón Zabell, Of canyons and Stars.

The jury of the 32nd edition of the prize was chaired by Anabel Morillo León, Director General of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, and comprised Jaime Brihuega Sierra, Juan Carrete Parrondo, Juan Fernández Lacomba, Guillermo Pérez Villalta, Manuel Sánchez Arcenegui and Juan Suárez Ávila. A total of 617 works were submitted on this occasion, of which 122 came from artists outside of Spain.

The Focus-Abengoa International Painting Prize, awarded for any technique and theme, is worth a total of €36,000, with a first prize of €24,000, which will be awarded to Lola Berenguer Suárez, and two runners-up prizes of €6,000 each, which will be presented to Gabriel Grün Yantorno and Jesús Zurita Ruíz, in a ceremony that will take place in the Spring of 2016. The works of the three winners will be added to the Focus-Abengoa collection of paintings, sculptures and graphic art.

The exhibition of the works by the finalists and award-winners will be officially opened at 8.30 pm on 21st December at the Foundation’s headquarters, the Hospital de los Venerables in Seville. Entry to the exhibition will be free.

The Focus-Abengoa International Painting Prize, which has a long tradition and a prestigious reputation, has been held for 32 years and has become one of the foremost European and American awards in the art world. This international prize reflects the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to contemporary art and the interests and wishes of its founders, helping to promote an exchange of artistic experiences beyond our borders.

As shown in recent years, participation in this prize increases the value of works by recognised painters and opens up new opportunities for young talent, who need both financial and social support in their careers towards becoming professionals.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation has always expressed a clear interest in all cultural activities, not only in those directly connected to the city of Seville, but all artistic, literary and scientific expressions at a national and international level.

Fith Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez International Prize ‘The Art of the Baroque’ and Prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis on a Theme Related to Seville

Regarding the other prizes awarded anually by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, Fith Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez International Prize ‘The Art of the Baroque’, open to the whole of the scientific community, was declared deserted unanimously by a jury which was chaired by Anabel Morillo León, Director General of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, and comprised Aurora Egido Martínez, Manuela Mena Marqués, Benito Navarrete Prieto and Jesús Urrea Fernández.

The Prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis on a Theme Related to Seville will be decided shortly, since the meeting of the jury hasn’t been held yet, as is also the case of the  End of Studies and Support to Research Awards, awarded annually to employees and their families. These are part of Abengoa's internal social action channeled through its Foundation and have a special meaning for both Abengoa employees and their families

All these awards are part of the educational work that promotes the study, research support and recognition of all activities related to these fields. These objectives are reflected through the granting of these Prizes that the Foundation has awarded for more than three decades. In fact, it was in 1983 when the Prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis on a Theme Related to Seville and the International Painting Prize were established.

Objetivos que se ponen de manifiesto a través de la otorgación de estos premios que la Fundación lleva concediendo desde hace más de tres décadas. Y es que fue en 1983 cuando se establecieron el Premio a la mejor Tesis doctoral sobre un tema relacionado con Sevilla y el Premio Internacional de Pintura.

About the prize-winners

Lola Berenguer Suárez (Almeria, 1965). Graduate in Fine Arts by the University of Seville, Lola Berenguer has developed her proffesional career mainly at national level but also internationally active. His career included the exhibition of his work in galleries such as Il Canovaccio (Rome, Italy), Sala de la Cultura of Palacio de Bellas Artes (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) and Gallery EM (Drachten, The Netherlands).

Her work has been recognized with numerous first prizes in competitions such us the 28th Emilio Ollero Painting Prize, the 7th Premi Salou de Recerca Pictòrica, the 35th Casimiro Sainz National Painting Award, the 30th S. Soria Vila de Benissa Painting Contest, the Artes Plásticas Ayuntamiento de Majadaonda Contest, the Pintura Abstracta de La Nucía Contest and the Concello de Cambre painting prize.

Gabriel Grün Yantorno (Madrid, 1978).  The artwork of this artista has been featured across America and Europe. Besides the exhibitions in museums such us the National Museum of Fine Arts, (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Oscar Niemeyer museum (Curitiba, Brazil), worthy of note is the exhibition of his works in galleries such us Wussman, in Buenos Aires (Argentina) or Milan (Brazil), Galería MiTO (Madrid, Spain) and Galería La Santa (Barcelona, Spain). In addition, the artista participated in international exhibitions such as Miami International Fair (Miami, USA) and Hey! Act III, in the Halle Saint Pierre museum (Paris, France).

Jesús Zurita Ruíz (Granada, 1974). He studied Fine Arts in the University of Granada. His artwork has been featured in national and international museums, such us the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (Seville, Spain) or the Museo de Bellas Artes of Guadalajara (Mexico), besides the Instituto Cervantes de Tokyo (Japan) or in galleries such us Blanca Soto (Madrid), Riccardo Constantini Contemporary (Turin, Italy), Seven Contemporary (The Hague, Holland) y Il Torchio (Milan, Italia).

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was created in 1982 as a result of the cultural work begun in 1972 by Abengoa with the publication of the works Temas Sevillanos (Themes of Seville) and Iconografía de Sevilla (Iconography of Seville). A collection of documents, books and engravings on the Kingdom of Seville and by Sevillian authors was created during the same period. This initial cultural work showed Abengoa’s directors the importance of the company’s involvement in activities that directly benefit society, beyond the firm’s core technology work, which led to the creation of the Seville Cultural Fund Foundation. The Hospital de los Venerables, a 17th century monument and the headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation in Seville, has housed the Diego Velázquez Research Centre, a leading institution for studying and disseminating the Baroque era and the Sevillian period of this universally renowned artist, since the acquisition of Velázquez’s “Santa Rufina” by the Foundation in 2007. The focus on this crucial era of the Golden Age is complemented with the legacy from Professor Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, bequeathed to the Foundation in 2011. It comprises his library, photo library, personal archive and art collection and is being catalogued to help create a library specialising in the art and culture of the Baroque period.

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And on our blog:

Las veces difíciles, Lola Berenguer Suarez.

Las veces difíciles, Lola Berenguer Suarez.

Jesús Zurita, El contenido de los murmullos.

Jesús Zurita, El contenido de los murmullos.

Gabriel Grün, El traje de ramas.

Gabriel Grün, El traje de ramas.

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