As you wander into the Opera Gallery in Mayfair, London, something seems familiar. Yes, you can see the link to Berkeley Square, a short walk away, where Spanish artist Manolo Valdes’ immense sculpture ‘Butterflies’ has been creating smiles on visitors since January. Sadly, its time has come to an end and, as I write, it is probably being dismantled and taken into safety to prepare the site for next year’s sculpture as part of Westminster’s ‘City of Sculpture’ initiative.
On show here are smaller works, but in a much greater variety of materials, showing Valdés’ dexterity and adaptability, including paintings, glass sculptures and his trademark headworks. If you want a unique headpiece, probably impossible to wear without help, this is the place to come.
Although he now lives in New York, Valdés (born 1942) is considered one of Spain’s most important contemporary artists and in some ways he continues the mad, disturbing, disruptive tradition of Miro, Picasso and Dali.