This June, along with Archimboldo (see Renaissance Man, June Archives), another more elegant set of heads populate the beautiful grounds of the New York Botanical Garden. Manolo Valdes: Monumental Sculpture consists of seven huge bronze, cor-ten steel and aluminum sculptures.
Manolo Valdes is a Spanish painter and sculptor who divides his time between Madrid and New York. He is represented by the Marlbrorough Gallery and has retrospectives of his work at Guggenheim Bilbao and in Madrid.
“Guiomar” is the first sculpture seen immediately after the NYBG Visitor Center. The enormous rusty red ferns create a lacy shelter for the enigmatic female head. The rust color provides a complementary color drama with the verdant pines of the setting in summer.
“Galatea”, near the Conservatory, is another treatment of ferns larger and wider and at once more enveloping and brilliant in the bright reflective steel.
Across the same lawn, “Alhambra”, daisy like flowers move around the serene visage, flying up and floating almost down to the ground.
Interesting that this is called “IVY” when it seems the most abstracted nature reminiscent of palm fronds. Wouldn’t this inspire a palm frond floral design and where would you put the flowers?