Jordi Mollà, María Cortés and López del Espino
NICOLÁS CORTÉS GALLERY. Calle Justiniano, 3. Madrid. From June 8th to July 7th.
Nicolás Cortés Gallery hosts, for the first time, three simultaneous exhibitions. The actor and painter
Jordi Mollà, the artist and designer María Cortés and the sculptor López del Espino will present, in this gallery, the event that will close the spring season of the Madrid exhibition circuit; offering the collector the notes of freshness, rupture and freedom necessary to mark the beginning of summer.
Jordi Mollà and María Cortés present, under the title Springtime, an exhibition – divided into two rooms – in which colour is the absolute protagonist, creating a fascinating dialogue between the homage to the classics and the renewed airs of the freest and most carefree Miami. For his part, the sculptor López del Espino proposes a return to naturalism through his anatomical mastery, in order to – literally – “cross it” with a series of futuristic elements taken from his recent experiences in megalopolises such as New York. In the following pages, the trajectory and work of each of the three artists is explored in more detail.
Currently considered one of the most prolific and sought-after Spanish actors on the international film scene, Jordi Mollà has imbued more than two decades of multiple creative personalities: actor, writer, director and painter.
Mollà was born on 1 July 1968 in Barcelona and trained in drama at the Theatre Institute in the Catalan capital, later extending his studies in Italy, Hungary and England. As an actor, Mollà has an impressive corpus of almost fifty films. He first won acclaim in Bigas Luna’s Jamón Jamón (1992), continuing with his remarkable work in Montxo Armendáriz’s Historias Del Kronen (1994), Gerardo Vera’s La Celestina (1996) and his portrayal of Daniel in Ricardo Franco’s La Buena Estrella (1997) – where his inspiring performance propelled him as one of the brightest talents in the industry.
En 2001, Mollà protagonizó junto a Penélope Cruz y Johnny Depp la aclamada Blow, su debut en Hollywood y el vehículo que le abrió el camino al público estadounidense. A su actuación siguieron multitud de proyectos notables, como Bad Boys II (2003), de Michael Bay, Álamo (2004), Elizabeth, la edad de oro (2007), Knight and Day (2010) y Colombiana (2011), la próxima secuela de Las crónicas de Riddick (2013), entre otros. Paralelamente, Mollà ha dirigido cortometrajes y largometrajes, entre los que destacan: Walter Peralta (1993), No me importaría irme contigo (1995), No somos nadie (2002) y Cinemart (2007). Mollà también ha escrito dos libros: Las primeras veces y Agua Estancada.
As a self-taught painter, he distinguishes himself by channelling so much passion and strength into his artistic creations, as he also applies to his interpretation. Expressive and audacious, his message reaches us through a myriad of colours, with which Mollà manages to transmit “oceans of images” from his mind to the canvas, which are based on multiple references that come from a vast and varied nature.
Although some of Mollà’s art may seem spontaneous and created within the confines of a finite time frame, a large number of his works have taken the artist many years to complete. Thus, Mollà returns again and again to a piece, adding ideas, colours, feelings and universes of experience in a new unit of time, thus enriching the work of art, giving it renewed breath and life. Thus, Mollà the painter draws as much from the world around him as from the world within him.
The artist’s kaleidoscope of tastes, textures, aromas, personalities and external experiences are processed and recreated in such a way that the person or culture he is creating for can easily find meaning in the artwork; not because it is simplistic, but because Mollà somehow finds a bridge over which to connect and communicate visually with his audience. And this deference to the viewer has earned Mollà a loyal and ever-growing group of avid collectors on multiple continents.
Mollà’s works are regularly exhibited at Galerías Picasso Mio, Madrid; Galería Sotheby’s, Madrid; Galería Carmen de la Guerra, Madrid; as well as successful international exhibitions in London, Italy, Russia, Argentina, Barcelona, Valencia, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and New York. Springtime, the exhibition he is presenting at the Nicolás Cortés gallery, is a collection of eleven paintings that deal with the floral theme that has been a constant theme in Jordi Molla’s work for the last three years, as well as various works related to the work of Pablo Picasso, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the painter’s death.
In the two themes Jordi Mollà prints and treats all the canvases from a lightness, diversification of colours, expressiveness and even modernity; which make his work a bouquet not only of flowers but of beauty, joy of living, awakening of a new spring in a set of works agreed on two subjects: FLOWERS AND PICASSO; with a simply beautiful, daring, expressive, dynamic and luminous result.
María Cortés belongs to the third generation of a family of antique dealers, well known in the sector, and has been surrounded by art since she was born. Her mother was the first Spanish woman to exhibit at TEFAF Maastricht, the most prestigious fair in the world, and thanks to her she was able to see from a very young age how this exciting world worked.
After graduating from university in the United States, she founded MAS ARTE The Word Art Magazine with her sister, which among many other things gave her the opportunity to meet the players in the global art market: dealers, artists, collectors, antique dealers, gallery owners, museum directors, curators, etc. After running the publishing company for 14 years, She decided to move into action within the art market, rather than reporting on it.
She began working in her brother’s gallery, Coll & Cortés in Madrid and London, directing the first one. The gallery grew and rose to prominence on the international scene, extolling, among other styles, Spanish Baroque sculpture. In addition to selling to the best museums and collections in the world, Coll & Cortés made great contributions to the academic world with discoveries in the field of Spanish painting and sculpture as well as other schools. In 2015 Coll & Cortés acquired Colnaghi, the oldest gallery in the world (London, New York and Madrid) and María became the director of communications and institutional relations. She then contributed to the launch of her brother’s new antique art gallery, Nicolás Cortés Gallery, based in Madrid, developing projects in Europe and the United States. In 2021 María Cortés decided to start a new path on her own as an independent art consultant.
Throughout these almost 25 years of work, study, enthusiasm and also gratitude; Maria has developed her main expertise in the old masters, although her passion for this world has also led her to participate in modern, contemporary and design art projects. She works with a select number of private collectors and institutional clients, offering independent advice on all aspects of buying and selling art in the global market.
In 2021, all this background and direct contact with the art world awakened in María Cortés the need to express herself and express it plastically. Surrounded by art catalogues and magazines, in an organic and intuitive way, she began to create a series of mixed-media collages that represented her world and her concerns: ancient and contemporary art mixed with fashion, which has always been present in her life – in fact, the artist has designed lines of high jewellery in the past.
In 2022 María Cortés embarked on a new path of creative search through acrylic works on canvas, which were very well received in Madrid’s artistic circles, to the point of receiving her first commissions from important collectors in the capital. Throughout this process, her adored friend Jordi Mollà – with whom she shares an exhibition at the Nicolás Cortés gallery – has supported her enormously, inviting María to participate in the Springtime exhibition presented here.
In the series of works exhibited in this show, María Cortés reveals the most personal facets of her imaginary, transmitting – by means of an intelligent chromatism – the vibrant joy of her inner world, in which we find clear references to her frequent trips to the Dominican Republic: flowers, palm trees and always a black Goddess, with her magic eight on her dress as in the iconography of the Virgin of Guadalupe. some black Goddess, with her magic eight in the dress as in the iconography of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
At the same time, she proposes her own modern interpretation of the Meninas, who are revealed to us in her works as superheroines -also with flowers and lots of colour-. These, in turn, pay homage to and connect us with the Spanish baroque tradition, as well as with the figure of Picasso himself, who in the exhibition becomes a bridge of connection between the discourses of María Cortés and the aforementioned Jordi Mollà. Sharing – as we know – both artists, space and time, this spring at Nicolás Cortés Gallery.
López del Espino
The Cordovan sculptor López del Espino began his career making religious images, based on the influence of the artistic tradition of his native land. This is represented in each of his creations, enriching and inspiring his works to go deeper and further into the field of contemporary sculpture through study, reflection, effort and the desire to use different narratives when expressing himself as an artist.
In constant evolution, studying from the great classical masters to the avant-garde, expressionist or futurist masters, to whom he owes the understanding of the essence of plastic language, which opened the doors to the artistic understanding of abstraction and geometry. He has worked for a large part of the national territory, and is currently developing projects for the USA, Dominican Republic, France, Abu Dhabi and Mexico. Among his most recent exhibitions of contemporary work, we should highlight those organized in cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Monaco and Zurich.
In 2022, the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, acquired the work of Saint Jerome Penitent, which will form part of its private museum, sharing space with works by artists such as Zurbarán, El Greco, Goya, Pedro de Mena, Martínez Montañés and Juan de Flandes. His sculpture of Saint John Paul II for the Vatican, which was even blessed by Pope Francis I, deserves special mention.
In 2021, López del Espino’s participation in the Queen Sofía Awards led to great success for her work Woman bag, which was one of the most acclaimed by the jury, occupying the final 10 places.
Among other appointments, it should be added that the artist has the honour of being a Full Member of the Alfonso XIII Royal Institute of Historical and Political Studies of Sciences and Arts, as well as being a Member of the General Council of the Royal Academies and Institutes of Spain. In addition to these recognitions, he has been awarded the Plastic Arts Prize 2022 by the jury of the José María Toro Sánchez Culture Awards (Córdoba), as well as having recently been awarded the Gold Medal of Fine Arts by the Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters of Paris – an award that follows on from his recognition in 2016 with the Silver Medal for Merit in Fine Arts and which further enhances the enormous international projection of this young artist from Córdoba.