The history of the Sculpture Department, at the Palacio de los Serrano in Avila.
April 5, 2022

From now until May 14, the exhibition “Presencias, exvotos y ramas” can be visited at the Palacio de los Serrano (Plaza de Italia 1, Avila).

The exhibition showing the work of 26 of the professors who have worked in the Sculpture Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts since the middle of the 20th century. Along with the current professors, there are pieces by famous artists such as Francisco Toledo, Francisco López Hernández, Julio López Hernández and Antonio López.

The exhibition has two curators, Professor Teresa Guerrero, for the Presencias section, and Sonia Cabello, also a professor and Vice Dean of Students, for the Exvotos and Ramas. The three sections show the artistic work of professors of the Faculty who develop, or have developed, “a research in their own artistic production, intrinsically linked to their teaching work, each of them representing a particular vision of reality”.

The first of the sections deals, according to those responsible, with one of the inherent characteristics of sculpture, which is none other than its Presence, “the peculiarity of inhabiting the space in which it is found, and thus, without the need for translations or optical artifices, shares with the public the place in which both are found, creating a unique relationship between each work and each spectator”.

Twenty-five sculptures by 22 different artists are on display in this section that “represent more than half a century of the particular and intimate product of the Faculty’s professors.” Among the works of classic artists, representatives of Madrid realism, we can highlight a relief of a still life and a sculpture of a dead man, made by Antonio López; the relief of two women, by Paco López, and the well-known sculpture of the mayor, made by Julio López. Many of the teachers represented in this section, including Antonio López, gathered in Avila for the opening of the exhibition on April 31.

The other two sections of the exhibition reflect on archeology and botany, through the teaching artists who make up the Complutense research group Art, Science and Nature. First, Exvotos shows “an artistic production inspired by the small sculptures found in Iberian sanctuaries in our country, offering a reading of these objects, not from a historical or erudite point of view, but from its value as an image and symbolic capacity”. These pieces were made during the confinement of the pandemic, so “we can glimpse in them what the creative process had at that time in terms of healing and cathartic experience”.

The Ramas section offers “a collection of plant metaphors that question about uprootedness, the conflict between the natural and the artificial or between identity and appearance. The curiosity of its name is due to the diversity of the different proposals as shoots/branches of a common axis: botanical beauty and its meaning”.

The 26 artists exhibiting their works at the Serrano Palace are Almudena Armenta, Ana Olano, Antonio Lopez, Consuelo de la Cuadra, David Llorente, Elena Blanch, Francisco Lopez Hernandez, Francisco Perez-Rosas, Francisco Toledo, Horacio Romero, Jaime Munarriz, Javier Martínez Pérez, Joaquín Perea, Julio López Hernández, Manuel Barbero, María Jesús Romero, Oscar Alvariño, Paris Matías, Pedro Terrón, Ramón López de Benito, Raquel Monje, Rigoberto Camacho, Sonia Cabello, Soraya Triana, Teresa Guerrero and Tomás Bañuelos.