Permanent Collection

Equipo 57

Juan Cuenca, Puente Genil (Córdoba), 1934
Ángel Duarte, Aldeanueva del Camino (Cáceres), 1930 - Sion (Suiza), 2007
José Duarte, Córdoba, 1928
Agustín Ibarrola, Bilbao (Vizcaya), 1930
Juan Serrano, Córdoba, 1929

In 1957, a group of Spanish artists comprising Ángel Duarte, José Duarte, Juan Cuenca, Juan Serrano and Agustín Ibarrola, all of whom had gone into exile or were already living in Paris, founded Equipo 57 in the French capital. Their intention—ultimately fully realized—was to produce an abstract art of a "normative" type that would challenge the supremacy of informalism and individualistic subjectivity. In order to do so they adopted an analytical approach expressed through the use of geometrical and mathematical shapes, as well as the practice of working collectively in order to overcome subjectivity and egocentricity. They devised, discussed and executed their works as a group and also signed them as such, leaving no trace of individual contributions, given that any of the group’s members, or all of them together, could have produced any of the works.

"PA-8", 1959
PA-8, 1959

In order to realize these aims the group’s members produced works that are close in formal terms to Max Bill’s concrete art: non-referential paintings dominated by generally interrelated compositions featuring flat surfaces separated by precise edges in fields of uniform, saturated color. The members of Equipo 57 worked interactively in experimental research teams in order to achieve a social projection of art, with the result that their models and the formal conventions that they used in painting and sculpture were also applicable to the design of domestic objects.

Paintings such as the present one, inexpressively entitled PA-8, take on a retina-like character that brings them close to op art, to the investigations of the Groupe de Recherches d’Art Visuel or to the systematic work of painters such as Victor Vasarely.

Javier Maderuelo

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Catálogo del Museu Fundación Juan March, Palma de Mallorca.