Equipo Crónica
Spain, 1963
Spain, 1981
Founded by Manolo Valdés, Rafael Solbes and Juan Antonio Toledo, Equipo Crónica burst into the Spanish art scene of the early sixties with rare force, which seemed to firmly challenge the hegemony of the Informel trends that had prevailed throughout the previous decade. Their aesthetic assumptions united two seemingly irreconcilable currents: the figurative and ironic tradition of Pop Art on the one hand and, on the other, the social awareness that characterised the political practices gaining momentum at the time. Meanwhile, much of the work created by Equipo Crónica also leaned towards a type of narrative quality reminiscent of artists like René Magritte and especially Francis Picabia, to whom the group paid artistic homage on several occasions. In response to the pompous way in which the Franco regime used celebrated Spanish artists to try and reinforce antiquated notions of national identity, Equipo Crónica “reinterpreted” them, one could say, with clearly parodic intention. This can be seen in pieces such as Aquelarre (1969), with references to Goya and Picasso, or Menina - Miró (1976), based on the work of Velázquez and Joan Miró. The superposition of highbrow and popular references, the allusion to famous artworks that exist in the collective memory—for example, El embalaje (1969), one of their best known works—as well as the pastiche of anachronisms represent some of the main devices used by this important collective. Their irreverent tone, which always leaned towards ideological criticism and aphorism, extended across an unusually long period in the history of Spanish art, almost twenty years, from 1963 until 1981. During this time, the group existed alongside a wide variety of aesthetic movements within the context of Spanish as well as international art.
Valentín Roma