Eduardo Arroyo was a prominent representative of Narrative Figuration, a pictorial movement that has given impetus to European painting since the beginning of the 1960s. He was a painter, sculptor, writer, set designer, collector and reader, and he nourished his pictorial narrative from literary and autobiographical references, subtitling them with a ceaseless sense of irony.
This exhibition, that is being held at the Villanueva Pavilion at the Royal Botanical Gardens (designed by the same architect as the nearby Prado Museum), is posthumous as the artist passed away on the 14 October 2018 in Madrid and ends the trilogy of exhibitions held in 2017 at the Maeght Foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (France) and at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.
Eduardo Arroyo: The Flying Dutchman, contains 38 works, both paintings and sculptures, all created since the year 2000; a fruitful period and one of great vitality in the life of an artist who was very active in recent years, he showed constant creativity and produced some of his most important works. A wide diversity of techniques, a profusion of different characters, a productive reflection on history and the condition of the artist, openly materialised once again.
The exhibition’s title comes from the last piece painted by Eduardo Arroyo in July 2018 in his studio in Robles de Laciana (León). Based on the famous legend of the evil seafarer with a soundtrack featuring the music of Richard Wagner, Arroyo invents a large composition as a literary fantasy, in which yellow and other primary colours compete with the black mask of Fantômas, which acts as a hieroglyphic against other Fantômas we see in the exhibition, where Eduardo Arroyo demonstrates yet again how powerful images can be.
The exhibition ends with the showing of the film, Arroyo. Exposición Individual. (Arroyo. Solo Exhibition) produced in 2011, in which the artist offers a long and passionate monologue that lasts for 24 hours.