Pol Viladoms

1985 · Spain

Artist biography

Pol Viladoms is an established mid-career artist, who originates from Spain, like other celebrated artists such as Tomeu Ventayol, Fernando-Bayona, Alberto Ámez, González Bravo, and Almudena Fernández. Pol Viladoms was born in 1985.

About Pol Viladoms' work

Pol Viladoms' work is fundamentally grounded in figuration. Figurative art can merely be understood as art that contains strong references to the real world, or to the human figure. Often thought of as the polar opposite of Abstraction, figurative art can nonetheless remain incredibly stimulating and ground-breaking, since it involves a multitude number of opportunities to depict the chosen object or figure. The diversity of style in figurative art is immense, and spans across Paul Cézanne’s bathers to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s neo-expressionist paintings.

Historical Context of Spain

The influence of Spain was substantial in developing the art of the twentieth century. Initially with his Blue then Rose phases, although he would eventually relocate to Paris in 1904, Picasso revealed a truly expressive approach to figuration in the early 1900s, the era of post-Impressionism. Pablo Picasso is also considered as the most influential founding member of Cubism, a major art movement in which he would also be joined by Spanish artist Juan Gris. While they were settled in France for the most part of their respective artistic careers, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro were both highly influential figures in the Surrealist movement.

The political and cultural setting of Spain during the twentieth century was governed by the totalitarian autocracy of General Franco, whose regime dominated the country from 1939 to 1975. His passing prompted a restitution of the monarchy to Juan-Carlos I, who consequently reformed the State. The Franco dictatorship, typified by an intense anti-communist position, led to the exodus of major intellectual and cultural figures, determined to escape this oppressive regime. The artistic and cultural blossoming of the avant-garde were greatly affected by this situation, as liberal artistic movements are frequently associated with leftist inclinations. Some highly influential modern and contemporary Spanish artists include Antoni Tapíes, Eduardo Chillida, Eduardo Arroyo and Manolo Valdes.

Further Biographical Context for Pol Viladoms

Pol Viladoms was born in 1985 and was primarily inspired creatively by the 1990s. A group of artists working in the United Kingdom, who came to be known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists, defined the artistic culture of the 1990s. Affiliated loosely by their age and nationality, they were a varied collective of practitioners. A number of the YBAs attended the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths in London, and were favoured by the ‘super collector’ of the time, Charles Saatchi. The most famous member of the group is Damien Hirst, and other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Johnson (née Sam Taylor-Wood). The YBAs became famous for their use of shock tactics and sensationalism, alongside their use of throwaway materials, wild lifestyles and an outlook that was rebellious yet entrepreneurial. Due to the high amount of media coverage that they garnered, they dominated British art during the 1990s, and their work was epitomised in the group show ‘Sensation’.

The art world was influenced by many trends throughout the decade, and was characterised by the derisive sculpture of Maurizio Cattelan, and sensitive, conceptual advancements as presented in the work of artists such as Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

Relational Aesthetics, a term coined by curator Nicholas Bourriaud to describe the act of creating art based on human relations and their social context, became a key idea in the 1990s. Works by artists including Douglas Gordon, Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parenno and Liam Gillick were described as significant artists who worked to this idea.

In Japan, a trend began to emerge in response to the boom in advertising and consumerism that took place during the 1980s. The comic book culture of manga arose as an art form, and was related to trends in advertising and graphic design. One of the prominent contemporary Japanese artists was Takashi Murakami, who coined the term ‘Superflat’, a theory influenced by the visual characteristics of manga and the nature of post-war Japanese culture. Having been inspired by his experiences in New York City in the mid-1990s, Murakami formed an influential collective of artists called Kaikai Kiki, which became internationally recognised in a number of countries.

Conceptual photography began to gain popularity, and was particularly inspired by German ideas and artists. German artists such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, and Wolfgang Tillmans gained international recognition, and in turn artists such as the Canadian Jeff Wall created works with a cinematic quality that was inspired by the German artists’ work. In terms of painting, Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger gained influential status in the artistic community.

Pol Viladoms

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