The Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors wants to express its deepest condolences for the sad loss of one of the greatest artists of Spain, their relatives and friends, especially their daughters and Marisa and Miguel Angel Codina, whom he joined a close friendship .
The sculptor Julio López Hernández, belonging to the group of “Realistas de Madrid”, died on May 8, 2018, in a clinic in Madrid, at the age of 88, where he was hospitalized for a month after suffering a stroke. ictus.
Julio López belonged to the group of great artists, along with Antonio López, and his own brother Francisco, who died in January of 2017, who in the 1950s took up an alternative to the realist tradition, with the so-called magical or transcendent realism, far removed of the more academic and avant-garde realism that Saura, Tápies and Millares cultivated at that time.
In fact, he defended realism as one of today’s artistic expressions: “Realism is as valid today as abstraction.
Julio López was part along with his wife, the painter Esperanza Parada, of the historical and generational group of painters and sculptors who lived and worked in Madrid since the 1950s, united as much by the link of their training and their work as by their personal and family relationships.
In addition to this marriage, the group was composed of Antonio López García, his wife, María Moreno, the sculptor Francisco López Hernández, Julio’s brother, his wife, the painter Isabel Quintanilla and Amalia Avia, married to the artist Lucio Muñoz. Although not all of them were born in Madrid, this city was the main place of residence and work.
Son and grandson of goldsmiths, was born in Madrid in 1930. He trained at the School of Arts and Crafts in Madrid, and at 19 he entered the School of Fine Arts of San Fernando, where he became friends with other artists such as Antonio López García and Lucio Muñoz He obtained a scholarship from the French Lyceum and the Fine Arts Pension of the Juan March Foundation, which allowed him to expand his training in France and Italy.
In 1962 he married the painter Esperanza Parada (deceased in 2011), with whom he had two daughters, models of many of his works. Since 1970, he worked as a modeling professor at the School of Arts and Crafts. Throughout his life, he received numerous awards and distinctions, including the 1982 National Plastic Arts Award, the National Prize of Tomás Francisco Prieto Medal of the National Currency and Stamp Factory and the Medal of Honor of the Menéndez International University Pelayo In 1986, he entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.
From his first religious carvings, he evolves from expressionism to realism and his works are gaining daily life, with bronze as the most used material and a great relevance to textures. At the beginning of the 50s, he participated in the School of Coca Sculptors Project, where he met César Montaña and Eduardo Capa. Some of his great public works are the torso of Jorge Manrique, the monument to Federico García Lorca or the bust of Fernando de los Ríos.
Since his first solo exhibition in 1965, at the Galería Juana Mordó in Madrid, his work has been exhibited in important halls throughout the national territory, from the Rodríguez Acosta Foundation in Granada to the Savings Bank of Asturias, the Monastery of San Francisco in Cáceres, the National Sculpture Museum of Valladolid, the Santillana Foundation or the Leandro Navarro Gallery in Madrid.
His works can be found at the Reina Sofía National Art Center Museum in Madrid, the National Museum of the Currency, the Figueira de Foz Museum, the Helsinki Atheneum Museum, the Warsaw Sztuki Medalierskiej Muzeum, the British Museum, the Vatican Museum, the Juan March Foundation Collection , Hakone Open Air Museum (Japan), Prado Museum, Palais de l’Europe (Strasbourg) and Chase Manhattan Bank (New York), among others.
At 88, he continued to work tirelessly. Last year he opened two exhibitions in Madrid: he was one of the protagonists of the exhibition that the Thyssen Museum dedicated to realism in Madrid and exhibited alone at the Academy of Fine Arts. “My sculptures are reunited and dialogue with the drawings that originated them. I make very finished drawings, which are not sketches, and large ones. They are the essence of the creation of a sculptor ».
When he became a widower, he also began to write. He also published the book “Notes on the ground,” in which he commented on “the core of my creations.” Some of his best-known pieces, such as “El painter del Prado” or tributes to Lorca, appear in the streets and squares of Madrid, such as Santa Ana, the Spanish Theater or at the foot of the Prado Museum.
His relationship with the Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors began in 2013, when the newly appointed President of the AEPE, José Gabriel Astudillo, invited him to participate in the Jury of the 80th Autumn Salon. Their friendship was already from afar, and that made it easier for them to participate in the project.
The council of sages that José Gabriel Astudillo met in May 2014, in an important work meeting attended by the painter from La Mancha Antonio López, the Madrid sculptor Julio López, the Professor of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the UCM, José Mª Quasante and the Doctor in Drawing of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the UCM, Luis Mayo, laid the foundations of what would be the new Queen Sofia Prize for Painting and Sculpture, the result of the guidelines of the “current great masters of art”, which for a long time, they showed a very positive disposition to collaborate with the Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors.
This attitude was soon reflected through their participation in the Jury of the Autumn Salons corresponding to the editions number 80, 81, 82, 83 and 84, as well as the 50, 51, 52 and 53 Reina Sofia Painting Prize and Sculpture.
On February 21, 2014, the President of the Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors had the honor of presenting Julio López with the Medal of Honor of the AEPE, in recognition of his personalist realistic style and beyond the academic canons and the revitalization achieved of the classicist spirit.
The spontaneous homage, born from the hearts of all of us who form the Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors, not only wanted to remember the great sculptor in his artistic side, but he made special emphasis on the human values that have always surrounded the person of Julio López.
José Gabriel Astudillo reflected it very accurately when he said that this renovator of sculpture has always been characterized by “the deep respect for the work and style of other artists and creators, for their kind and courteous treatment, for the deep love for their family , for the honesty reflected in his actions and words, … all this is nothing more than the tangible demonstration of the greatness of his soul, of the generosity of his heart and of the rectitude of his feelings “.
And above all these values, Astudillo highlighted that of companionship, “from which his own friends can give good faith and that together with their cordiality are the values that most enrich their lives. For this reason, for this Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors it is an honor to award this distinction to an excellent sculptor and an extraordinary person “.
In the same act, the Secretary General of the AEPE, Mª Dolores Barreda Pérez, made a personal profile of the honoree, in which he said that … “Julio López has always been an artist full of noble ideals. What I would like to highlight most about him is the undeniable fact that before being a sculptor, rather than an artist, he is a good person who is full of human values … I would also like to transmit something that is not written in any biography, neither appears on the Internet, nor do we find in the books that speak about him: I refer to his profound humanity, to the human values that have always characterized him … The values that Julio López treasures are the qualities of his soul, principles that have always driven him to fight for life, for his work, for his style … His deep respect for the work and style of other artists and creators, his kind and courteous treatment, the deep love for his family, the recognition of the virtues of others, the responsibility that gives him credit and trust, his effort and commitment, the solidarity he has shown in becoming aware of the needs that this Association showed him, the honesty reflected in n his actions and words, … all this is no more than the tangible demonstration of the greatness of his soul, the generosity of his heart and the rectitude of his feelings …
With this motive, in February of 2014 the interview that the sculptor made Mª Dolores Barreda Pérez was also published, and the extract of an evening of shared dialogue in three bands with the President of the Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors, and that can be seen on the web, in the following links:
Julio López continued to collaborate with the Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors in other types of activities, such as his participation in the exhibition under the title of “Three centuries of sculpture: Codina Foundry”, curated by the AEPE, were held in Alcorcón, Getafe and Leganés in 2014.
Last Friday, May 4, we opened in Toledo the best sculpture exhibition of all that will be held in Spain in 2018. An exhibition that has just become the greatest tribute we could make to the artist, since Julio López is present in “EScultura” with four pieces, the cover image of the catalog being the penultimate sculpture he made, since the one that is the last one is in the Codina Foundry, where Julio worked with her.
This is the text that one of his daughters has sent us, “Dear all, my father died this morning calm and sedated. It had gotten much worse on Sunday. He has been fighting to the end and with the discretion and elegance that characterized him. We are sure that he is now holding a conversation with his great friends Lucio and Amalia, who is with his brother and above all that he has reunited with my mother whom he missed so very much. A hug to all and a thousand thanks for the love and admiration that you had “.