This year, Oetker Collection’s Château Saint-Martin has the privilege of exhibiting the work of Spanish artist Manolo Valdés in the property’s magnificent gardens. Valdés—who was born in Valencia and trained at the San Carlos Academy of Fine arts—is a rare, multidisciplinary talent who excels in painting, sculpture and printmaking. His work draws on the techniques invented by art history’s masters, such as Francisco Goya and Pablo Picasso. In 1964, Valdés co-founded the group Equipo Crónica as an off-shoot of the Pop Art movement to engage in art practice as political critique. Permanent collections that feature his work include New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the de Young Museum in San Francisco.
At Château Saint-Martin, Valdés presents four outdoor sculpture works. Mariposas (Bronze, 2015) embellishes the view from the swimming pool with its fluttering butterflies cast in purple-tinted bronze. Dama a Caballo (Bronze, 2008) evokes the property’s medieval history, set against the backdrop of the 12th-century Templar Fortress ruins. And two life-sized female sculptures entitled Reina Mariana (Bronze, 2007) decorate the lush green lawn with their regal presence. These powerful works imbue the Provençal landscape surrounding the Château with creativity and meaning.
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