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MANEL ALVAREZ on the Bible

inspired MANEL ALVAREZ on the Bible

inspired MANEL Alvarez on the Bible


Introductions Amanda Weiss Director Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem..................................................................................... 8 Manel Alvarez Sculptor............................................................................................................................. 10 Joaquim Maria Puyal i Ortiga Ph.D. in Linguistics...................................................................................... 12 Ruben Sternschein Academic Rabbi............................................................................................................ 16 Esti Drori and Doron Polak Curators......................................................................................................... 18

Acknowledgements.............................................................................................................................. 20 The Old Testament............................................................................................................................... 22 Index of pieces...................................................................................................................................... 231

Drawings.................................................................................................................................................. 195 Recent Public Works........................................................................................................................ 209 Manel Alvarez Biography............................................................................................................... 227 Introductions in Hebrew Language......................................................................................... 235

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem is proud to host the international premier exhibition of INSPIRED – Manel Alvarez on the Bible. The Bible Lands Museum is primarily a Museum of ancient art and history, situated in the modern heart of Jerusalem, the Holy City. Focusing on the art and archaeology of the lands of the Bible, the Ancient Near East; the Museum displays Israel’s most important collection of antiquities from the dawn of civilization to the Early Christian era. Contemporary art at the Bible Lands Museum is a rare, even unusual occurrence, with the last modern exhibition It Begins with One – Sculptures by David Zundelovitch, displayed in 2002. However, the present-day relevance of the Museum’s ancient exhibitions and rich cultural and educational programs that accompany them, bring the importance of ancient history to the forefront. Therefore, keeping us true to the motto of the late Founder of the BLMJ, Dr. Elie Borowski, who said, “the future of mankind has its roots in the past and only through understanding our history can we build a better future” The opportunity to present this exhibition was first presented to me in August 2010. The powerful images as seen in preliminary photographs and sketches required a visit to the studio of Manel Alvarez to see the works personally. Nothing quite compares to the strength of the works in person. We immediately began to explore how we could bring this exhibition to Jerusalem to be appreciated by as broad an audience as possible. Throughout history, biblical stories have served as inspiration for countless artists. Our goal was to incorporate the sculpture as an exploration of biblical themes as reflected in one artist’s powerful interpretation of the Bible. Jerusalem is an extraordinary city whose historical and religious significance place it as one of the most important cities of the world. It stands at the crossroads of ancient and contemporary; no better exampled than by the Bible Lands Museum itself which sits in the heart of Museum Row and displays the most important witnesses to the development of civilization and the history of this region: its priceless collection of Ancient art and archaeology. It is no wonder that Manel Alvarez wanted Jerusalem and the Bible Lands Museum to be the first stop on what he hopes will be an international tour. Manel Alvarez eloquently expresses the strength and power of the Bible through his sculpture. The magnificence of the Tower of Babel, standing awe inspiring at 10.5 meters high, is balanced by his interpretation of the Twelve Tribes of Israel as seen in a variety of sculptures. The dichotomy of The Tree of Life as opposed to The Tree of Knowledge touches on the very essence of human nature and our progress from the Garden of Eden to today.


We are very proud to be able to launch this exhibition in Jerusalem and would like to thank the many individuals who have helped to bring this dream to fruition. We are grateful to Esti Drori and Doron Polak of Artura for bringing us together and for curating the exhibition at the Bible Lands Museum. I would like to thank the entire staff of the BLMJ, in particular Ragheda Kashkoush for translating all of the panels and labels into Arabic for the exhibition and to Roni Bar Sheshet for assisting with the design execution in the Museum; my deepest gratitude to Tamir Freund for solving even the most difficult challenges and turning problems into solutions. This exhibition would not have been possible without of the gracious presence and attention to detail of Linda Malisani, dedicated wife of Manel Alvarez who worked tirelessly to keep this project moving forward. We would like to thank all those whose support for this exhibition and catalog made it possible to bring the exhibition to Israel. And most importantly, I would like to thank the artist, Manel Alvarez for his tremendous work reflected in this exhibition and catalog. Manel Alvarez proves that there is no limit to the creative inspiration that the Bible can provide. Amanda Weiss

Director Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem Jerusalem, April 7, 2011


Inside out

When I began to work on this collection of sculptures inspired in the Old Testament, I did so with the excitement and uncertainly that always come when embarking on a new venture: You never know where it will take you or what consequences it will have. After these years of intense work, constant research, economic and emotional challenges, discouragements and disappointments, I have to confess that this is the project that has enriched me the most in every aspect. Intellectually I feel strengthened and, yes, now I am completely convinced that the election of this theme was a wise choice. The emotion-satisfaction I experience every time I visualize the formal solution of a new piece encourages me and reinforces me in moments of doubt. In contrast to the motifs I have worked with before where the fundamental difficulty was in finding the correct expressive language, with the Old Testament, each piece is a new challenge. The interpretation of each passage that I would like to make bears no relationship to the solutions of the previous pieces nor will it be relevant for the following works. This has required an enormous and constant exertion of creativity. The preparation of this exhibit in Jerusalem has obliged me to take the necessary distance to observe and analyze what I have completed so far. After some reflection, what I can say is that it fills me with a profound satisfaction and renews my motivation to continue this path which will be long and demanding and will require persistent effort. At this point I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the people who have contributed to making this exhibition in the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem a reality. To Pepe Neiras, who initiated everything, my friend and colleague in this journey and who together with Pepe Matas introduced me to David Azulay. David was finally able to pull strings and establish contacts with the determination and generosity that only friends offer. To Joaquim, alias Quim, who has been at my side since the beginning of time and has supported me regardless of the circumstances in the role of big brother – although he is younger. After a long conversation, it was he who encouraged me to make this series. For everything‌...thank you Brother. To Linda, I should probably begin by apologizing to her for being the person by my side who suffers all of my vicissitudes, but I will do it privately. Publicly I would like to thank her for her devotion to our cause, her efficiency and her intelligence but above all for loving me almost as much as I love her. Manel Alvarez



Des de dins

Quan vaig començar a treballar en aquesta col·lecció d’escultures sobre l’Antic Testament ho vaig fer amb la il·lusió i les incerteses que provoquen els inicis d’una nova aventura: no saps on et portarà, ni quines conseqüències tindrà. Després d’aquests anys de treball intens, d’estudi constant, de dificultats econòmiques i anímiques, de desànims i debilitats, he de confessar que aquest és el projecte que més m’ha enriquit en tots els aspectes. Intel·lectualment em sento enfortit i, ara sí, estic plenament convençut que l’elecció d’aquest tema va ser un encert: l’emoció-satisfacció que em commou cada vegada que visualitzo la solució formal d’una nova obra m’ho demostra. I això em complau i m’enforteix en els moments de dubtes. A diferència dels temes que he tractat amb anterioritat, en els quals la dificultat fonamental estava en trobar el llenguatge expressiu correcte, en l’Antic Testament cada obra és en sí mateixa un nou desafiament. La interpretació que a cada nou passatge vull donar, no té cap relació amb les peces ja finalitzades ni la tindrà amb les següents, la qual cosa obliga a un enorme i constant esforç de creativitat. La pausa que la preparació d’aquesta exposició a Jerusalem m’ha obligat a prendre, m’ofereix la distància necessària per observar i analitzar tot el que he realitzat fins ara, i m’omple de profunda satisfacció i renova la motivació per seguir el camí, que serà llarg i exigent, i obligarà a persistir en l’esforç. Arribats a aquest punt,vull manifestar el meu profund agraïment a les persones que han contribuït a fer realitat aquesta mostra en el Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem. A Pepe Neiras, el meu amic i company de viatge en aquesta travessia, qui ho va iniciar tot, i que al costat de Pepe Matas em van presentar en David Azulay a Madrid. Es ell qui finalment mou tots els fils i estableix els contactes amb la tenacitat i generositat que només els amics ofereixen. A Joaquim, àlies Quim, que ha estat del meu costat des de sempre en el temps,i al meu costat recolzantme en qualsevol circunstácia, fent de germà gran malgrat ser més jove. Va ser ell qui, arrel d’una llarga conversa que vam mantenir, va fer que em decidís per aquesta sèrie. Per tot, gràcies brother. A Linda, a qui probablement hauria de començar demanant disculpes per ser la persona que pateix al meu costat tots els meus neguits, però això ho faré en privat. En públic, vull donar-li les gràcies pel seu lliurament a la nostra causa, la seva eficiència i la seva intel·ligència, però sobretot per estimar-me gairebé tant com jo l’estimo a ella. Manel Alvarez



a gesture

This society of ours, so prone to bestow praise on banality, is increasingly bent on evaluating culture in quantifiable terms. As if it were a mere commodity subject to the laws of supply and demand, art is reduced to just another form of industry, trade or business, and the compulsion to turn it into a form of entertainment is rife. Those artists who withstand the onslaught do so with great difficulty, forced to bow to the dictates of private interests. In the face of this panorama, Manel Alvarez stands defiant; giving way only when his sculpture, or pedestal, so requires, and only then. Minds will not be changed. I have known this madman for forty years. On my journey to see him, I gaze through the train window, spellbound by the magnificent Empordà scenery. When I arrive at his studio-workshop his sculptures, which pepper the landscape, form a different and unusual scene, lying interspersed among holm-oaks, firs and bushes. Cranes, trucks and containers disrupt the harmony and silence of the place. Linda takes the last photos. He turns to say that it all has to be sent off to Jerusalem by the end of the month. I note that he is tense and tired; he’s fought hard, and alone, as always. The heavy bags under his eyes are a tell-tale sign of the months of lack of sleep and, no doubt, the sheer excitement of the creative process. A sudden harsh cry startles me and shakes me out of my abstraction. He strides over to a fork-lift operator and demonstrates personally how to move the piece without damaging it. Manel’s creative spirit does not keep him from doing the more menial tasks when necessary. Everything is all right; nothing ever goes wrong because he is ever vigilant. Today, however, I note that he is captive to the kind of excitation brought on only by very singular occasions. He is well aware that the collection of works shortly to be shipped to Jerusalem is the most important of his life. Wood, aluminium, marble, granite, iron, bronze, brass, slate, basalt, limestone, travertine... this man works with all kinds of materials. Only an expert is capable of understanding the degree of complexity required to master such a range in the way that Manel does – having to venture to Carrara, to Brazil or wherever necessary to hand-pick the materials and arrange the specialised transportation facilities. Then the long process of creating the finished product. Only his technical and mental maturity can confer such personality on his work. It is a quality of Manel’s work that has long been evident in the pyramidshaped heads, the busts of the series dedicated to Africa and the cylindrical concavities. These are his personal contributions to the generation of artistic language in a narrative and aesthetic key. But, in addition to the formal representation, his work contains beauty – a fundamental beauty that excludes neither force nor character, nor representation when the intention of art so requires. The outcome is a powerful combination, of difficult synthesis, which possesses the incorruptible solidness of a block of marble, since the author – also incorruptible – has a moral commitment to his task. There are those who, on contemplating the work, retain only the beauty and venture no further. They say it is nice, pleasing, attractive, light... they merely scratch the surface. They see well-handled and well-worked material that produces a pleasant effect. They may even appreciate that the solidness that permeates the work neither undermines the lightness nor perturbs the rhythm. This is all true; they are beautiful sculptures because they are technically well executed. But to stop at this is to leave a stone unturned. Beyond the fine treatment of the material and the technical expertise there lies a soul and a commitment – and the inseparable sense of personality. If I did not believe this man capable of absolutely anything, I would be unable to comprehend how, now, he has dedicated half his life to creating a series on the Old Testament. What compelled him to do such a thing? Sit back, reader, and listen to Manel Alvarez. “I’ve been working on this for seven years. I needed to move forward, to take on a new, difficult, risky and powerful series. I began to think about the idea of myths. Suddenly the figure of Jesus came to my mind. As a child, I had read the Scriptures and later I worked on religious imagery, of a figurative tendency, in training workshops. Setting to work now on the Old Testament seemed to me a very ambitious idea – and a risky one. Some people believe that it is improper to represent images. It may be improper to create an image of God, but we may also see Him through his deeds and results. I admit that it is a delicate subject. I am also aware that the degree of ignorance between cultural groups is too great. That’s why I re-read the Bible and enrolled in an academy to learn Hebrew. I received much help from the academic rabbi Ruben Sternschein to understand these things. I knew that these efforts 12

would enrich my work. Seven years have passed but I haven’t tired one bit. I made no specific choice of materials; the only factor I considered in this sense was religious purity. For this reason, I decided to make Noah’s Ark with Carrara marble. Joseph’s nobleness also demanded the same treatment. I oblige myself to be respectful of the symbols and to employ formal and aesthetic interpretations which are in tune with those symbols represented. The sculpting and modelling solution is both formally and conceptually freer since I don’t impose any conditions upon myself. It’s my work and I do it as I see fit.” “This collection of works is, without doubt, the one which has required my greatest effort and also the one from which I have learned the most. The work I have done with bull-fighters, Africa, sports-people, hippies and so many other series all involved, above all, a formal conception. That is, the solution lies only in the sculpting and modelling. In contrast, here, each chapter or verse of the Bible is different from the previous one and that obliges you to make a complementary effort since what you did before is of no use now. It is a constant creative effort which is fantastic because you are permanently in search of ways to interpret anything from a battle, a punishment or the fall of a city’s walls to religious principles, morals or a particular approach. It’s fascinating – so much so that I see no end to it. I just don’t feel like bringing the series to a conclusion despite the fact that I am confronted with even more problems. Indeed, this very fact appeals to me.” “Isaac’s sacrifice has interested me for some time and I have been trying to get my head around it. The role of the father, the acceptance of the son, the symbolism of the Burning Bush which does not burn; all these things need to be reflected. But how? I still haven’t worked it out. There are moments when you think you’ve got it, then you realise you haven’t. Another problem that I wrestle with concerns the Ten Commandments. The meaning of the commandments must be conveyed, but without appearing to give lessons. It is all more subtle and complicated: I have to explain a meaning in volumes. That is the essence of sculpture, naturally. And I have yet to find a solution that satisfies me, mainly because I don’t want to cause an impression merely through the use of monumental size. Art demands more than that. This is why the Ten Commandments don’t form part of the collection. But I’m working on it. I’m not prepared to give in nor declare myself incapable. I search and search for a worthy portrayal and I will find one, but I don’t know when. I want to continue working on it because I feel confident with what I’m doing; it fulfils me.” Manel Alvarez is a proud artist, not at all arrogant. Stubborn but receptive. Like a sponge when it comes to satisfying polyhedral curiosity. His sense of dignity keeps him from complaining, ever, about anything. He still believes that he must do what his conscience dictates. Follow the straight and narrow path laid forth by his commitment to the work, the materials, his personal code and to the canons of sensibility. A commitment to himself. It’s true, he’s mad. But nothing we can do is going to change him now. When Linda looks at him I recognise in the sweetness of her expression a mixture of admiration and tenderness. And a hint of preoccupation. She knows that her husband will never, ever, ask anybody for anything. And she also knows that he, like his work, deserves a gesture of some kind. The man’s personal integrity, the moral greatness of his character and his infinite talent as an artist inspire my words. Because this is what I truly believe. And that is why I vehemently and respectfully ask you, reader, to prepare yourself for the adventure which is about to unfold. The wonderful adventure of following the seductive path of Manel Alvarez’s work. A path that will not only delight you with emotions, pleasures and sensuality but also lead you into the exclusive realm of privilege. It is a kind of VIP lounge for the soul where – far from the fad of quantification – are to be found goodness, harmony, intelligence, effort, beauty and talent. These are the confines of qualification. When contemplating these sculptures, none of these characteristics should be superfluous in the spiritual baggage of the lucid observer. You will be in need of each of them in order to take in the emotions which pervade these works. They are the essential tools that will allow you to experience to the full the passionate communicative act that only art can prompt. And to see ourselves reflected in the gesture that, like Linda, I, from a most elemental sense of justice, also exhort. Joaquim Maria Puyal i Ortiga

Ph.D. in Linguistics


Un gest

Aquesta societat nostra, que corona la banalitat amb els llorers del rendiment, cada cop més valora la cultura en termes de quantificació. Com una mercaderia qualsevol i supeditada a l’economia, la manifestació artística esdevé indústria, comerç i negoci. La condició de l’espectacle ho empelta tot. Els artistes que suporten la plaga, sobreviuen esforçadament, però obligats a la contorsió per la cotilla d’interessos. En aquest escenari, Manel Àlvarez gosa dir-nos que ell continua dempeus. Que només s’agenolla quan li ho demana la peça. O la peanya. I punt. Per tant, res a dir. Fa quaranta anys que conec aquest boig. Quan vaig a veure’l, des de la finestra del tren m’embadaleixo amb el paisatge empordanès. Quan arribo al seu estudi-taller, les seves peces que salpebren la natura conformen un paisatge diferent, insòlit, integrades enmig d’alzines, pins i matolls. Grues, camions i contenidors trenquen l’harmonia i el silenci del paratge. Linda fa les darreres fotografies. Ell em mira i em diu que tot allò se’n va abans de final de mes a Jerusalem. El noto tens i cansat. Ha lluitat molt, tot sol, com sempre. Fa ulleres i penso que deu haver dormit poc els darrers mesos. També hi deu influir l’excitació del procés creatiu. De cop, em sobresalta un crit violent seu que em treu dels meus pensaments. Se’n va cap a un operari i li ensenya com ha de manipular el toro per moure la peça. Manel és un esperit creador que, quan cal, fa de manobre. No ha passat res. Com sempre, mai no passa res perquè ell ho vigila tot. Avui, però, veig que té aquell punt d’excitació de les ocasions singulars. Sap que el conjunt de peces que van a Jerusalem són l’obra més important de la seva vida. Fusta, alumini, marbre, granit, ferro, bronze, llautó, pissarra, basalt, pedres calcàries, travertins... aquest home treballa amb tota mena de materials. Només un expert pot valorar la dificultat que té dominar-los tots, com fa ell. Primer, ha hagut d’anar a Carrara, al Brasil, o on sigui i portar-los aquí amb transports especials. Després ha recorregut un procés llarg fins a tenir la peça acabada. Només la seva maduresa tècnica i mental pot dotar el conjunt de la seva obra de tan gran personalitat. Això es nota. Fa temps que en donen fe els caps piramidals, els torsos de la sèrie dedicada a l’Àfrica o les concavitats cilíndriques. Són aportacions pròpies a la generació del llenguatge artístic en clau narrativa i estètica. Però, a més de la representació formal, la seva obra té bellesa. Una bellesa, fonamental, que no exclou la força, ni el caràcter. Ni la representació, quan se li demana intenció a l’art. Tot plegat forma un conjunt potent, de síntesi difícil, que té la solidesa insubornable d’un bloc de marbre. Perquè l’autor té un contracte moral —també insubornable— amb allò que fa. Hi ha gent que quan observa l’obra es queda amb la bellesa i no va més enllà. Diuen és maca, es veu bé, llueix, és lleugera... No passen de la façana. Hi veuen un material ben tractat, ben treballat, que permet una contemplació agradable. Potser hi aprecien també que la solidesa que traspua no rebaixa la lleugeresa ni perjudica el ritme. Tot això és veritat; són escultures maques perquè estan ben resoltes tècnicament. Però si ens aturem aquí ens quedarà un pas per fer. Més enllà del tractament del material i de la finesa tècnica hi ha ànima i compromís. I el valor indestriable de la seva personalitat. Si no el cregués capaç de qualsevol cosa, no em sabria avenir que aquest home, ara, hagi dedicat mitja vida a fer una sèrie sobre l’Antic Testament. Què l’haurà impulsat a fer-ho? Serveixi’s un refresc, lector, i escoltem Manel Àlvarez. “Fa set anys que treballo en això. Necessitava fer un pas endavant, una sèrie nova, difícil, arriscada, potent. Vaig estar pensant al voltant de la idea dels mites. De seguida em va venir al cap la figura de Jesús. De petit havia llegit la història sagrada, més tard vaig fer imatgeria religiosa, de tendència figurativa, als tallers de formació. Posar-me a treballar, ara, en l’Antic Testament em va semblar una idea ambiciosa. I arriscada. Hi ha gent que creu que està prohibit representar imatges. Pot ser inadequat fer una imatge representant a Déu, però també el podem veure a través dels seus fets o del resultat dels seus actes. Admeto que és un tema delicat. Com també constato que la ignorància entre grups culturals i religiosos és massa gran. Per això, vaig tornar a llegir la Bíblia i em vaig matricular en una acadèmia d’hebreu. Sabia que aquest esforç enriquiria la meva obra. Per poder entendre aquestes coses em va ajudar el rabí acadèmic Ruben Sternschein. Han passat set anys i no me n’he cansat. No he fet una selecció específica de materials. Només a l’hora de significar la puresa de la religió. Per això vaig decidir que l’Arca de Noé seria amb marbre de Carrara. M’obligo a ser respectuós amb els símbols i a fer interpretacions formals i estètiques d’acord amb el que els símbols representen. La solució plàstica, tant formal com conceptual, ja és més lliure perquè no vull posar-me condicionants. És la meva feina i la meva feina la faig com crec que l’he de fer.”


“Aquesta col·lecció d’obres és, sense cap mena de dubtes, la sèrie que més esforç m’ha demanat i també la que més m’ha ensenyat. Quan he fet toreros, Àfrica, esportistes, hippies, i tantes altres sèries, totes tenen sobretot una concepció formal. O sigui, que amb la solució plàstica ja està tot resolt. En canvi, aquí, cada capítol o versicle de la Bíblia és diferent del d’abans i, això, t’obliga a un esforç complementari i allò que t’ha servit abans, ara, ja no et serveix. És un esforç constant de creativitat que és fantàstic perquè estàs permanentment a la recerca de com interpretar des d’una batalla, un càstig o la caiguda de les muralles, fins a principis religiosos, morals o del capteniment. És apassionant. Tant que no li veig el final. No tinc ganes d’acabar la sèrie. I això que cada vegada em planteja més problemes per resoldre que, d’altra banda, em resulten molt atractius.” “El sacrifici d’Isaac fa temps que m’interessa i li estic donant voltes. El paper del pare, l’acceptació del fill, el simbolisme de l’arbust cremant sense cremar, tot això s’ha de reflectir. Com? No hi he trobat encara la solució. Hi ha moments que creus que ho tens i després t’adones que no. Un altre problema que tinc pendent és el de les Taules de la Llei. S’ha d’entendre què signifiquen els deu manaments, però sense l’esperit de donar lliçons. És més subtil i complicat: jo he d’explicar un significat amb uns volums. Això és l’escultura, ja se sap. I jo, fins ara, per mi mateix, no li he trobat la solució. Jo no vull causar impressió només per la monumentalitat. L’art és més exigent. Per això no hi ha els deu manaments a la col·lecció. Però hi continuo treballant. Perquè ni em rendeixo ni em vull declarar incapaç, busco i busco una explicació volumètrica digna a l’alçada del que representen els deu manaments. La trobaré, però no sé quan. Vull continuar treballant-hi perquè em sento segur, ple.” Manel Àlvarez és un artista orgullós, gens arrogant. Tossut però receptiu. Una esponja a l’hora de satisfer curiositats polièdriques. El seu sentit de la dignitat l’impedeix queixar-se, mai. De res. Ell encara es creu que ha de fer allò que, en consciència, ha de fer. Seguir el camí recte que li marca el compromís amb l’obra, amb el material, amb el seu fur intern i amb la sensibilitat. Amb ell mateix. Sí, està boig, però a aquestes alçades ja no el canviarem. Quan Linda se’l mira, jo sé veure en la dolçor del seu esguard una barreja d’admiració i tendresa. I, un punt de preocupació. Sap que el seu home no demanarà mai res, a ningú. I sap, també, que ell es mereix, tant com la seva obra, que algú faci un gest. L’honradesa personal d’aquest individu, la grandesa moral d’aquest personatge i el talent inabastable d’aquest artista m’obliguen a dir, en consciència, tot el que dic. Perquè ho crec. I m’empenyen, amb tanta vehemència com respecte, a demanar a vostè, lector, que es prepari bé per a l’aventura que està a punt de començar. L’aventura fantàstica d’endinsar-se pel viarany suggestiu de l’obra de Manel Àlvarez que, més enllà d’emocions, plaers i sensualitat, el menarà a l’indret exclusiu dels privilegiats. Es tracta d’una mena de zona VIP de l’ànima on —lluny de la moda de la quantificació— s’hi apleguen la bondat, l’harmonia, la intel·ligència, l’esforç, la bellesa i el talent. Són les contrades de la qualificació. A l’hora d’abordar la contemplació d’aquestes escultures cap d’aquestes característiques no han de resultar sobreres al bagatge espiritual d’un observador lúcid. Li caldran per assaborir les emocions escollides que curullen les peces, a vessar. És a dir li seran útils, per reeixir, en l’apassionant acte comunicatiu que l’artestimula. I per reconèixer-nos en el gest que, com Linda, jo, des del sentit més elemental de la justícia, també reclamo. Joaquim Maria Puyal i Ortiga

Doctor en Lingüística



Sculpt the Bible? But if it is exactly what the Bible forbids in the second commandment “You shall not make for yourself an idol . . .” (Exodus 20:4). Nevertheless, in the same book, the Bible considers the visual artist Bezalel a wise man of divine spirit, precisely because of his artistic talent. It is as if he were the receiver of a divine mission to visually express sanctity (Exodus 3 1: 1-4). The solution to the contradiction can be found in the words of the prophet Hosea: “...We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made.. .” (Hosea 14:3). What we cannot do is deify. Gods cannot be sculpted. The artist must not become a god-creator of gods. A true creator must not consider his work divine. But he can, and is encouraged to, inspire divinity in humanity through his work - use his talent to evoke spirituality, aesthetics, reflection and ethics in his audience. Visual artwork of this type is not only permitted, it is promoted by the Bible. The work of Manel Alvarez is among these. Because it does not tell or solve, but inspires and suggests. A tree of science and knowledge and a tree of life crossed by both horizons or suns, ascending or descending, that add the vital energy of everything that comes from passive eternity and is introduced to earthly finiteness. The tree of life has an element of natural life and the tree of knowledge the compartments of order and system whose rigidity could pose a threat. A door ajar whose candelabrum does not only illuminate, but also reveals light and darkness, sky and desert. It is covered in hard, solid stones that portray the ephemeral nature of the desert. Joseph and his brothers are recognisable by their clothes and shapes but their faces and their feet are not clear. Just as in the dynamism of the story. It is the reader of the Bible and the viewer of the sculpture that defines them according to what is being experienced alongside the text or the sculpture. The dwelling that represents the temple houses a dynamic spirit that allows the viewer to create and recreate because it conceals and reveals parts, just as the shrine did on its journey through the desert. Noah’s Ark surrounded by human footprints and presented as an assemblage of archaeological finds that observe a memory while inviting its discoverers to rewrite it. The first day of Exodus begins to reveal its characters and settings (the palace, the waters and the basket carrying Moses), but it leaves the story open. Moses’ basket reflects in its shapes, textures and colours the contrasts that characterised his life and calling. The door of Pesaj or Easter, marked like on the night of the Exodus, is on a transverse slope, perhaps indicating the interaction between “the outside and the inside” that will later be represented by the mezuzah that Jewish families fix to the door frames of their homes in hopes of bringing the highest standards in from where they are to where they are not. A tower of Babel whose diversity opens up while its ambition dries up. Its floor of concentric circles perhaps suggests sharing while at the same time implying separation in multiculturalism. Languages, like cultures, walk parallel but not identical paths. A golden calf, shiny on the outside but at the same time mediocre, discontinuous, supported by points without dimension, without strength, without a real core, without the divine spark. A work that knows how to open up, suggest and inspire like the humility that is only achieved by those who use their creativity to become instruments. Ruben Sternschein

Academic Rabbi


Manel Alvarez - Art influenced by the past in contemporary language

The themes for many of the monumental works by Manel Alvarez come straight from an ancient holy text - The Bible. Alvarez’s works are meant to leave their mark for future generations, creating a cultural and historical bridge between past, present and future worlds. It is in this light that Alvarez’s work should be viewed as a continuation and a natural additional to the many generations of biblical artwork. The works of Manel Alvarez are symbolic interpretations of events and stories of daily life, past and present. More sculptures, paintings and other works of art have been influenced by The Bible than any other book ever written. According to Professor Gila Balas, the Bible has not lost, over the years, any of its significance, importance, and religious relevance for most people. Since the introduction of the Bible to Europe, Christian artists as well as non-religious artists have constantly and consistently used the Bible as an inexhaustible font of inspiration and ideas. The works of these artists were heavily influenced by Christian mythology, both in form and interpretation. Such are the works of Manel Alvarez. Indeed, a quick glance at his works Tower of Babel, The Tree of Knowledge, The Golden Calf or Tabernacle reveals that these works indicate a contemporary design process and a direct connection with current architectural language. Because of the deeply personal nature of the biblical stories, these works of art were accompanied by an overtone of the period and the country in which they were created. It is because of this that there is a great diversity in perception and understanding of the subject matter, as well as in design and use of materials. Manel Alvarez’s sculptural work is characterized by the combined use of stone, iron and wood, and is exceptional in its gentle poetic intensity - a combination that is evident in the Spanish art scene of the twentieth century, and is also expressed in the works of artists such as Picasso and Chillida. Despite all this, it is astonishing to be able to find a certain uniformity in all of the artist’s interpretations and his vision on the subject. The source is strong and impressive, which explains its being in continual existence. It is the source that links together, combines and connects the various versions and descriptions with all the biblical themes throughout the ages. The biblical characters are used as symbols, symbols with deep meaning, religious and human, and as such they continue to exist and survive. This polarity, which is integrated in harmony in such a remarkable creation, is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of the power and liveliness of this book of art. The stories are perhaps transitory - they are facts that existed once - but their being a symbol, makes them last forever. It is in this manner that it becomes possible to understand the unique design of the tribal figures sculpted by Manel Alvarez. The sculpture “Joseph and his Brothers” is composed of different characters that look similar at first glance. A second look reveals the differences. The figures possess no head, and in its place is a surreal spire, creating a massive impact tough impression, rational, a combination of physical strength with a sense of struggle for survival and protection. There is much attention to detail in the design of the figures’ robes, in which the influence of mythical Greek sculpture is evident. In each of the tribal figures Alvarez is able to find a characteristic symbol of the typical uniqueness of the character. These characteristics are a recurring theme from Alvarez’s previous works, as in the series of works Africa in which sculpted figures wearing a protective vest represent strength and determination. It is interesting that although the choice of biblical subjects is apparently a random one, all the figures chosen by Alvarez are massive, powerful male figures. Alvarez’s works are not illustrations of biblical stories they are inspired and are holding their own identity by using the Bible as inspiration, in itself interpretive art.


Alvarez’s sculpture The Tower of Babel is a large-scale sculpture, a giant rising into the sky, passing to the viewer a sense of immediate power, extraordinary power “stronger than life.” Along with feelings of admiration, the viewer may also experience a sense of fear and anxiety. Alvarez creates a working sculptural environment in which he treats the subject of language, or lack of language, and creates a series of anthropomorphized figures of letters. The connection between the tiny figures and the power of the huge tower endows the work with a system of dramatic interactions between tiny human - huge non-human structure. On the top of the tower are drawn the scriptures, as if invisible, the entire shape creating a sense of a cone rotating around its own axis, similar to the mythical sculpture by Tatalin, a symbolic example of perpetual motion. Alvarez uses and integrates advanced scientific form and an icon in the design of a historical narrative and in doing so creates a connection between past, present and future. The sculptures Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge, symbolizing the dictation of life following Adam’s original sin, were sculpted by Manel Alvarez with impressive virtuosity, using contemporary architectural motifs. Both square-round structures are bisected by a horizontal line that passes through their bodies with extraordinary dramatic force, creating an ambiguous reference for the observer. On the one hand, the trees are a reference to the link between nature and the above-below relation between man and God, while from a personal aspect there exists and is created in the observer, the little man standing before them; a sort of human empathy. This empathy, in the Tree of Knowledge, transforms the edifices wherein are contained the structures of life, into surprising drawers of emotion, and in the Tree of Life the pole directed upward is transformed into a human scale weighing the difference between good and evil. Many artists attempt to provide answers to questions that the biblical text lacks. Questions such as who were the biblical figures, and what did they look like? In Judaism sculpture was banned because of the problem of realization, the prohibition of idol worship, and the concern that the spiritual image of mythical characters would be minimized. Through art in general and sculpture in particular the ancient biblical stories can be granted a new interpretation, often with a contemporary touch of the times. The provocative sculpture of The Golden Calf is given new meaning by Manel Alvarez. With impressive minimalism he is able to construct an impressive body of the animal using massive triangular shapes, creating work that evokes a strong sense of wonder. The great power of the sculpture is that which makes it so significant and dangerous, the very same thing that biblical scripture seeks to achieve with words. Esti Drori | Doron Polak





Jordi Mas Linda Malisani Pascual Iranzo Garrigosa Studio


Amanda Weiss Director Manel Alvarez Sculptor Joaquim Maria Puyal i Ortiga Ph.D. in Linguistics Ruben Sternschein Academic Rabbi Esti Drori | Doron Polak Curators


Manel Alvarez Linda Malisani Andrea Secchi

Estudi La Seca Printed in Spain 2011



Montseny Impressors



Estudio Corsanini Josep Canals Fundicion Voragran Fundicion Exametal Pere Aguilar Oxiter (Girona) John H. Iglehart Susana Kumenius Gruas Palli


This catalogue was published in conjunction with a special exhibition held at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem: Inspired-Manel Alvarez on the Bible Jerusalem, April 7, 2011

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means , electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. The book shall not by any way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publishers prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published. 漏 Estudi La Seca. Prolongaci贸 C/ de les Eres S/N, 17465 Saus.



The Old Testament



Babel Tower 2004

Genesis xi: 9 “The Lord mixed up the language of the whole world there. That’s why the city was named Babel. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.”

Carrara marble 1000 x 800 x 800 cm. 25



Babel Tower 2004 Carrara marble, Bardiglio marble, bronze, iron and wood 86 x 82,5 x 81,5 cm. 28




Alef 2007

Psalms xxxiv: 2 “Alef.

I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”

Bardiglio marble and aluminium 64 x 34 x 9,5 cm. 32



Alef 2009 Belgian black marble and iron 52,5 x 35 x 11 cm. 35


Alef 2004 Belgian black marble and Carrara marble 98 x 17 x 45 cm. 37

Efod 2010

Exodus xxxix: 2 “They

made the ephod of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen.�

Belgian black marble, Persian travertine and iron 64 x 33 x 10 cm. 38




Efod 2011 Red Persian travertine and iron 72,5 x 37,5 x 11 cm. 42




Tribe of Reuben “Water” 2010

“Let Reuben live. Don’t let him die. But let his people be not few.”

Deuteronomy xxxiii: 6

Belgian black marble 58 x 49,5 x 39 cm. 46




Parting of the Waters 2009

“...and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.“

Exodus XIV: 22

Aluminium and paint 50




Wandering the Desert 2009

Numbers XIV: 33 “Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness.�

Wood, iron, paint and sand





The Golden Calf


Exodus xxxii: 1 “The people saw that Moses took a long time to come down from the mountain. So they gathered around Aaron. They said to him, ‘Come. Make us a god that will lead us. This fellow Moses brought us up out of Egypt. But we don’t know what has happened to him’.”

Iron and bronze 132 x 55 x 44 cm. 58


The Golden Calf 2010 Black South African granite and bronze 145 x 250 x 200 cm. 60




leaders 2010

I Samuel xi: 15 “So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king in the presence of the LORD. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the LORD, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.�

Iron 68 x 26 x 8,5 cm. 64





Saul 2010 Iron 260 x 88 x 26 cm. 69


Joshua 2010 Iron 260 x 88 x 26 cm. 71

Tribe of Issachar 2010

Deuteronomy xxxiii: 18

“…Issachar, be joyful in your tents.”

Persian travertine, aluminium and iron 275 x 127 x 16 cm. 72




Tribe of Issachar 2007 Persian travertine, Bardiglio marble and iron 58,5 x 39 x 11 cm. 76


The Ark of the Covenant 2007

Exodus xxv: 16 “Then

put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you.�

Iron, Carrara marble and limestone 127 x 137 x 99 cm. 78




Pesah 2001

Exodus xii: 13 “The blood on your houses will be a sign.”

Basalt and iron 260 x 373 x 219 cm. 82





Pesah 2004 Calatorao marble and iron 52 x 74,5 x 80 cm.




Jericho 2010

Joshua Vi: 20 “When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.�

Carrara marble and steel 1.500 x 250 x 125 cm. 90






Jericho 2008 Carrara marble, granite and iron 13,5 x 150 x 34,5 cm.







Moses 2003

“After that, she could no longer hide him any longer. So she got a basket that was made out of the stems of tall grass. She coated it with tar. Then she placed the child in it. She put the basket in the tall grass that grew along the bank of the Nile River.�

Exodus II: 3

Belgian black marble and Carrara marble 11 x 74 x 25 cm. 102






Moses 2009 Bolondo wood, iron and aluminium 350 x 70 x 69 cm. 108


Tree of Life 2008

“The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground. Their fruit was pleasing to look at and good to eat. The tree that gives life forever was in the middle of the garden. The tree that gives the ability to tell the difference between good and evil was also there.�

Genesis II: 24

Bolondo wood, iron and aluminium 550 x 500 x 58 cm. 110






Tree of Knowledge 2010

Genesis iii: 6 “And the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food, and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom.�

Iron and aluminium 650 x 500 x 50 cm. 116






Exodus First Day 2004

Exodus ii: 10 “When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter. And he became her son. She named him Moses. She said, ‘I pulled him out of the water.’ ”

Iron and bronze 25,5 x 64 x 27,5 cm. 122






Tribe of Gad “Tents” 2007

Deuteronomy xxxiii: 20 “May the One who gives Gad more land be praised! Gad lives there like a lion that tears off (enemy) arms and heads,”

French red, Carrara, Bardiglio and Belgian black marble 35 x 35 x 9 cm. 128






Zebulun 2007

Deuteronomy xxxiii: 18

“Zebulun, be filled with joy when you go out (by sea).”

Carrara marble and iron 16,5 x 84 x 10 cm. 134




Zebulun 2008 Bronze and iron 24 x 18 x 3,5 cm.


Zebulun 2008 Red Persian Travertine and iron 216 x 172 x 31 cm.


The Door


“When Jacob awoke from the dream in which he saw the celestial stair-case, he said, ‘How holy this place is! This must be the house of God. This is the gate of heaven.’ ”

Genesis XXVII: 16-17

Roman Travertine and iron 62 x 80 x 105 cm. 140

cambiar foto fondo recortado






The Tabernacle 2005

“Set up the holy tent in keeping with the plan I showed you on the mountain.�

Exodus xxvi: 30

Carrara marble, Persian travertine and paint 198 x 86,5 x 87,5 cm. 146






Archaeology of a Miracle


“And God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the Herat, and the waters receded.�

Genesis viii: 1

Pizarra and bronze 8,5 x 81 x 50 cm. 152






Joseph 2007

Genesis xxxvii: 16

“And Joseph said ‘It is my brothers I am looking for’.”

Bronze 42 x 12 x 7 cm. 158





Joseph 2008 Estatuario Carrara marble 216 x 61 x 33 cm.


Benjamin 2008

About Benjamin he said: “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”

Deuteronomy xxxiii: 12

Estatuario Carrara marble 192 x 36 x 25 cm. 164




Benjamin 2007 Bronze 34,5 x 6,5 x 5 cm. 168




Joseph and his Brothers 2007 - 2011

Bronze 172






Tribe of Ephraim 2007

Deuteronomy xxxiii: 17 “His glory is like the glory of a bull that was born first to its mother. His horns are like the horns of a wild ox. He will destroy the nations with them. He’ll wipe out the nations that are very far away. The ten thousands of men in Ephraim’s army are like the bull and the ox. So are the thousands in the army of Manasseh.”

Belgian black marble and iron 34,5 x 52 x 16 cm. 178




Tribe of Ephraim 2011 Basalt and iron 220 x 210 x 36 cm. 182




Babel 2008

Wood, iron, plastic 15,5 x 33 x 8 cm 186




Archaeology of a Miracle


Pizarra and bronze 8,5 x 81 x 50 cm.

the old testament





Alef 1-2007 Bardiglio marble and aluminium 64 x 34 x 9,5 cm. 2-2009 Belgian black marble and iron 52,5 x 35 x 11 cm. 3-2004 Belgian black marble and Carrara marble 98 x 17 x 45 cm.

Babel 2008 Wood, iron and plastic 15,5 x 33 x 8 cm.



Babel Tower 1-2004 Carrara marble, Bardiglio marble, bronze, iron and wood 86 x 82,5 x 81,5 cm. 2-2007 Carrara marble 1000 x 800 x 800 cm. 190







1-2008 Estatuario Carrara marble 192 x 36 x 25 cm. 2-2007 Bronze 34,5 x 6,5 x 5 cm.

1-2007 Bronze 42 x 12 x 7 cm. 2-2008 Estatuario Carrara marble 216 x 61 x 33 cm.




Joseph and his Brothers 2007 - 2011

1-2010 Belgian black marble, Persian travertine and iron 64 x 33 x 10 cm. 2-2011 Red Persian travertine and iron 72,5 x 37,5 x 11 cm.


Exodus First Day 2004


Iron and bronze 25,5 x 64 x 27,5 cm.

1-Saul 2010 Iron 68 x 26 x 8,5 cm. 2-Saul 2010 Iron 260 x 88 x 26 cm. 3-Joshua 2010 Iron 260 x 88 x 26 cm.








1-2010 Carrara marble and steel 1.500 x 250 x 125 cm. 2-2008 Carrara marble, granite and iron 13,5 x 150 x 34,5 cm.

1-2003Belgian black marble and Carrara marble 11 x 74 x 25 cm. 2-2008 Red Persian travertine and Bardiglio marble 10,7 x 73,5 x 24,7 cm. 3-2009 Bolondo wood, iron and aluminium 350 x 70 x 69 cm. 191


Parting of the Waters 2009 Aluminium and paint (model)







The Golden Calf

1- 2001 Basalt and iron 260 x 373 x 219 cm. 2-2004 Calatorao marble and iron 52 x 74,5 x 80 cm.

1-2010 Black South African granite and bronze 145 x 250 x 200 cm. 2-2004 Belgian black marble and bronze 29 x 56 x 50 cm. 3-2004 Iron and bronze 132 x 55 x 44 cm.

The Ark of the Covenant 2007

The Tabernacle 2005

Iron, Carrara marble and limestone 127 x 137 x 99 cm.

Carrara marble, Persian travertine and paint 198 x 86,5 x 87,5 cm.

The Door 2004

Tree of Knowledge 2010

Roman Travertine and iron 62 x 80 x 105 cm.

Iron and aluminium 650 x 500 x 50 cm.

Tree of Life 2008

Tribe of Reuben “Water” 2010

Bolondo wood, iron and aluminium 550 x 500 x 58 cm.

Belgian black marble 58 x 49,5 x 39 cm.



Tribe of Ephraim

Wandering the Desert 2009

1-2007 Belgian black marble and iron 34,5 x 52 x 16 cm. 2-2011 Basalt and iron 220 x 210 x 36 cm.

Wood, iron, paint and sand (model)




Tribe of Gad “Tents” 2007


French red, Carrara, Bardiglio and Belgian black marble 35 x 35 x 9 cm.

1-2008 Red Persian Travertine and iron 216 x 172 x 31 cm. 2-2008 Bronze and iron 24 x 18 x 3,5 cm. 3-2007 Carrara marble and iron 16,5 x 84 x 10 cm.



Tribe of Issachar 1-2010 Persian travertine, aluminium and iron 275 x 127 x 16 cm. 2-2007 Persian travertine, Bardiglio marble and iron 58,5 x 39 x 11 cm. 193

















public works


United States


Dialog II 2006

Roman travertine 2,73m x 1,55m x 0,84m Florida Atlantic University | Jupiter, Florida Donated by Alma and Leon Sadow




Dorso di Pigro 2007

Bardiglio marble 3,40m x 2,27m x 0,61m City of Stresa | Lago Maggiore




Initial 2005

Black Zimbabwe granite and Carrara marble 4,50m x 1,45m x 0,65m Omnium Finance | Toulouse




Empremta i Matriu 2003

Carrara marble 4m x 13m x 1,50m City of Viladecans | Barcelona



Dialog 2003

Iron and Roman travertine 12m x 3,50m x 1,50m City of El Prat de Llobregat Barcelona | Spain



Lluis Companys 2001

Corten steel and cast iron 2m x 1,80m City of El Prat de Llobregat | Barcelona



Tree of Knowledge 2007 Iron and aluminium 10m x 10m x 0,95m City of Salt | Girona


Manel Alvarez



MANEL ÀLVAREZ 1945 Born in Sant Feliu de Codines (Barcelona) on August 6. 1959 Completed elementary baccalaureate level in La Salle Bonanova (Barcelona). 1963 Admitted to the Los Salesianos Vocational Schools in Sarriá for clay modelling and sculpture workshop studies. 1968 Various activities in connection with statue making, religious images, relief work, busts, and ornamental carving. Worked professionally in interior and industrial design, leading major projects. 1971 First exhibit as a sculptor in Osona (Vic) and Les Voltes (Olot). 1974 Various individual and collective exhibitions in bronze, terracotta and wood in Galería Juan Mas and Galería Lleonart in Barcelona. Awarded various prizes including the Bellas Artes Bienal del Deporte prize. 1975 Travelled to Carrara on a scholarship from the Fundazione Pagani (Milan, Italy). First contact with marble. From this point on there was rapid evolution in all of his work through the gradual discovery of marble. 1976 Created his first public monument, Monument to Coronel Sanfeliu, for the city of El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona). Individual exhibitions in Galería Arturo Ramón (Barcelona) and in Pinoteca (Tossa de Mar),Galería Lleonart (Barcelona), Fundazione Pagani (Milan, Italy) 1977 Participated in the Arte de Manzanares La Real meetings in Madrid. 1978 First individual exhibition in Belgium (Kunscentrum Vaalbek). Individual exhibitions in Galería Tolmo (Toledo) and Niavaran Cultural Center (Tehran, Iran). 1979 Individual exhibitions in Galería Tom Maddock (Barcelona), Galería Lleonart (Barcelona), Galería Cau Serrat 1786 (Tossa de Mar) and Galería Ferrari (Brescia, Italy). Incorporated in his exhibitions prints made in th Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris, France)

1980 1980 Participated again in the IV Biennale di Arese, Monza. Individual exhibitions in Galería Souto (Orense), Galería Cau Serrat 1786 (Tossa de Mar) and Galería Eden Mar (Girona). 1981 Visits and exchanges in France, Belgium, Switzerland & Italy while continuing to work in Carrara. Individual exhibitions Galería Cisne (Madrid), Galería Lleonart (Barcelona), Galería Cau Serrat 1786 (Tossa de Mar) and Galería AB (Granollers). 1982 Created sculpture for the set of televisión series Espíritu de Pájaro. Individual exhibitions in Galería Época (Barcelona), Galería Castro (La Coruña), Galería Cau Serrat 1786 (Tossa de Mar), Galería Palafrugell Art (Girona) and Galeria Roura Cava (Sitges). 1983 Individual exhibitions in Galería Lleonart (Barcelona) and Galería Academia (Barcelona). 1984 Returned to Carrara where with fresh concepts was able to successfully create new works.


Inaugurated new studio-gallery in Barcelona. Executed a large-scale piece, Blanca, commissioned by HomburgSaar,Germany. Created first pieces of jewelry. Designed and created a collection of small pieces in bronze. The king of Spain, Juan Carlos I, inaugurated the sculpture of his grandmother, Queen Victoria Eugenia, in the Red Cross Hospital, Barcelona. 1985 Designed and made trophies for the 1st Regata Almirante Conde de Barcelona. Presentation of recent works in his studio-gallery in Barcelona. Awarded the prize for the 1st Biennal d’ Art, Fútbol Club, Barcelona. Designed and made a series of sculptures for the Catalan television program Judge for Yourself (Vostè Jutge). 1986 Created sculptures for the second year in a row for the Regata Almirante Conde de Barcelona. Presentation of recent work in his studio-gallery (Barcelona) Created public sculpture, Mini-Maxi Torso, for the city of Alexandria, Italy. 1987 With Elena de Saro and Galería Art Contemporáneo(Geneva, Switzerland) participated in the art fair ARCO 87. Individual exhibition, Galería Lavaggi (New York, USA), Carrara en New York. Individual exhibition and presentation of his first book in Serie-Disseny (Barcelona) 1988 Commissioned and created large format sculpture for the Uriach Laboratories, Bird Spirit, commemorating their 150th anniversary which was inaugurated by Mr. Jordi Pujol, president of Catalonia. Individual exhibition in Galería Sant Jordi (Barcelona). 1989 Organized and participated in symposium Sculpture in the Street in El Prat de Llobregat, with three important guest sculptors, representatives from Hungary, Japan and Spain, creating large format works. Installed, Mini-Maxi Torso, for the city of El Prat de Llobregat.

1990 1990 Exhibit and presentation of his second book in Galería Maria Salvat (Barcelona). 1991 Traveled to Brazil to pursue his work using local materials. Created a series of small-scale limited edition bronze pieces for Ford-Brazil titled Personage Triangular and one large scale piece for the city of Sâo Pâulo; a donation from Ford-Brazil on the 100th anniversary of the Avenida Paulista. Exhibition and presentation of his third book-catalog in Galería Sadalla (Sâo Pâulo, Brazil) published by Ford-Brazil. 1992 Inaugurated his studio Estudi la Seca in the former mint building in Barcelona, a 13th-century building of historical interest. Individual exhibition in Galería Espaço Escultural (Sâo Pâulo, Brazil).

2000 1993 Created large format piece and small-scale series of the same piece, Porta al Cafetal, commissioned by Nestlé-Girona for their 25th anniversary. Designed and made exclusive series of sculptures and prints for Spanish television show A Trip Around Life. Created a series of small format marble sculptures for television series The Best of 93. Individual exhibitions in Galería DETURSA (Madrid). Participated in the Biennale di Venezia with an exhibition in the cloister of Santa Apollonia Art Centre (Venice, Italia)

2000 Individual exhibition in Saks Fifth Avenue, Atlanta (GA, USA).

1994 Individual exhibition in Aerospace Cultural Centre (Toulouse, France). Individual exhibition Galería Palau (Girona). Exhibition personal in the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sâo Pâulo, Brazil), AM Gallery (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) and Galería Escritori de Arte Caribé (Sâo Pâulo, Brazil). Installed, The Orient, at Salvat Laboratories (Barcelona).

2002 Coordinated and participated in the second symposium Sculpture in the Street in El Prat de Llobregat with guest sculptors from Italy and the United States. Individual exhibition in Galeria Claudia (Houston, TX, USA).

1995 Created a series of pieces for the Spanish television program A Stroll Through Time. Designed an edition of sculptures for the Catalan Radio and Television Corporation for the 1000th football broadcast in the Catalan language. Travelled to Atlanta to begin work on the commission Dance of Peace for the Fundació Universal de la Sardana in collaboration with the Cultural Legacy Project, the Fulton County Arts Council, and the UGA Sculpture Department, which would be presented to the city for the 1996 Olympic Games. Created public work, Art and Science, in homage to Dr. Reventos (Barcelona) 1996 Travelled to Mexico to prepare the exhibits for the coming year. The honourable Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee, inaugurated Dance of Peace at the Fulton County Judicial Center in Atlanta, GA (USA). Inauguration of bronze sculpture Covering Spaces on the UGA campus by Mr. Charles B. Knapp, president of UGA, Carlos del Campo, secretary of the Foundation of the Spanish Professional Football League, and Vince Dooley, UGA Athletic Director. Inauguration by Mr. Antonio Perez, mayor of Espulgues de Llobregat (Barcelona) of public work Mythical Door. Created logos (in marble,iron and bronze) and furniture for the set of the new CNN program in Spanish. Exhibition of drawings in Galería Maria Salvat (Barcelona). 1997 Created sculpture, Brother-Brotherhood, in granite and iron for the La Salle Bonanova school in Barcelona in homage to the brothers of the La Salle order. Began to work on what would be a collection of works about Africa. Individual exhibition in Galería Trece (Ventalló, Girona) 1998 Created cast iron sculpture Femininity for Villanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona). Created collection of jewelry Agua for the exhibition Joyas de Escultor (Vilarobau, Girona). Individual exhibition in Zoellner Arts Center, Leigh University (Bethlehem, PA, USA). 1999 Created sculpture Mediteranean for Al Campo in iron, steel and Carrara marble. Presentation of works inspired in Africa and his book Africa designed by Bassat Ogilvy and with commentaries by Lluis Bassat, Manuel Vásquez Montalbán and Joaquim Maria Puyal, in the Estudi la Seca. Designed new trophies for the Regata Almirante Conde de Barcelona. Individual exhibition in Galería de Rosa Pous (Girona).

2001 Created public work, El Bolo, for Sant Feliu de Codines (Barcelona) in iron commemorating their independence. Created public work for El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona) an homage to the president Lluis Companys in commemoration of his execution. Installed public work, Lluis Companys, for the Parliament of Catalunya. Individual exhibition in Galería Trece (Ventalló, Girona). Individual exhibition Galería Fabrice Galvani (Toulouse, France).

2003 Completed and installed public sculpture titled Empremta i Matriu of Carrara marble in Viladecans (Barcelona). Installed public sculpture in El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona) titled Dialog. Created sculpture Maxi Torso for the headquarters of Roche Diagnostics (Barcelona). Designed and made trophies for the Regata Almirante Conde de Barcelona. 2004 Inauguration of his new studio-workshop and exhibition of recent large format works in Saus (Girona). Designed trophies for the Regata Almirante Conde de Barcelona. Finished working on his series Africa and began focusing exclusively on his series The Old Testament. 2005 Exhibition of Africa in Espai Volart of the Fundació Privada Vila-Casas (Barcelona). Created public work, Inicial, in black Zimbabwe granite and Carrara marble for Omnium Finance (Toulouse, France). Created public work, Horizonte Urbano, for Construcciones Riera (Barcelona). 2006 Exhibition in Franklin Bowles Gallery (New York,USA). Created public work Dialog II in Roman travertine for Florida Atlantic University (Jupiter , FL, USA). 2007 Exhibition of sculptures and drawings from the series Africa in Gallery Cyprus Art; San Feliu de Boada (Girona). Exhibited large and medium format pieces of Africa in Franklin Bowles Gallery in San Francisco (CA,USA) Created public work Dorso di Pigro in Bardiglio marble for the ciy of Stresa (Lago Maggiore, Italy). Installed sculpture in large format The Tree of Knowledge in iron and aluminium for the city of Salt (Girona). 2008 Exhibition of large scale drawings and medium and small format sculptures in Fundació Josep Niebla (Girona). Bassat Ogilvy design and edit his book The Old Testament. 2009 Exhibition Franklin Bowles Gallery (San Francisco, CA, USA) Exhibition Dones, Donetes i Donasses: una visió, Atrium Torroella (Torroella de Montgrí, Girona). Participated in the inauguaral exhibition of the Tucson Jewish Community Center Sculpture Garden (Tucson AZ, USA) 2010 Exhibition of drawings and presentation of book Dibuixos Km 7 Espai d’art (Girona).


Selected Individual Exhibitions


1974 Galería Lleonart (Barcelona)

1990 Galería Maria Salvat (Barcelona) Exhibition and presentation of his second book.

1976 Galería Lleonart (Barcelona) Fundazione Pagani (Milan, Italy) 1978 First individual exhibition in Belgium (Kunscentrum Vaalbek). Galería Tolmo (Toledo). Niavaran Cultural Center (Tehran, Iran) 1979 Tom Maddock Gallery (Barcelona) Galería Lleonart (Barcelona) Galería Cau Serrat 1786 (Tossa de Mar) Galería Ferrari (Brescia, Italy) Exhibits included engravings created at the Cité International des Arts (Paris, France)

1980 1980 Galería Souto (Orense) Galería Cau Serrat 1786 (Tossa de Mar) Galería Eden Mar (Girona) 1981

Galería Cisne (Madrid) Galería Lleonart (Barcelona) Galería Cau Serrat 1786 (Tossa de Mar) Galería AB (Granollers)


Galería Época (Barcelona) Galería Castro (La Coruña) Galería Cau Serrat 1786 (Tossa de Mar) Galería Palafrugell Art (Girona) Galeria Roura Cava (Sitges)

1983 Galería Lleonart (Barcelona) Galería Academia (Barcelona) 1985 Presentation of recent works in his studio-gallery in Barcelona. Awarded the prize for the 1st Biennal de Art, Futbol Club Barcelona. 1986 Presentation of recent work in his studio-gallery (Barcelona) 1987 Carrara en Nueva York, Galería Lavaggi (New York, USA) Serie-Disseny (Barcelona) Presentation of his first book in Serie-Disseny (Barcelona) 1988 Galería Sant Jordi (Barcelona)


1991 Galería Sadalla (Sâo Pâulo, Brazil) Exhibition and presentation of his third book. 1992 Galería Espaço Escultural (Sâo Pâulo,Brazil) 1993 Galería DETURSA (Madrid) Santa Apollonia Art Centre (Venice, Italy, Biennale di Venezia) 1994

Aerospace Cultural Centre (Toulouse, France) Galería Palau (Girona) Museum of Contemporary Art (Sâo Pâulo, Brazil) AM Gallery (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) Galería Escritori de Arte Caribé (Sâo Pâulo, Brazil)

1996 Exhibition of drawings in Galería Maria Salvat (Barcelona) 1997 Galería Trece (Ventalló, Girona) 1998 Zoellner Arts Center, Leigh University (Bethlehem, PA,USA) 1999 Galería de Rosa Pous (Girona) Presentaion of works inspired by Africa and his book Africa in the Estudi la Seca (Barcelona)

2000 2000 Saks Fifth Avenue, Atlanta (Georgia, USA) 2001 Galería Trece (Ventalló, Girona) Galería Fabrice Galvani (Toulouse, France) 2002 Galeria Claudia (Houston, TX, USA) 2004 Inauguration of his new studio-workshop and exhibition of recent large format works, Saus (Girona, Spain) 2005 Espai Volart, Fundacion Privada Vila Casas (Barcelona) 2007 Cyprus Art (Sant Feliu de Boada, Girona) Franklin Bowles Gallery (San Francisco, CA, USA) 2008 Fundació Josep Niebla (Girona) 2010 Km 7 Espai d’art (Girona) Drawings, presentation of book Dibuixos

Selected Group Shows 1976 Galería Arturo Ramón (Barcelona) Pinoteca (Tossa de Mar) 1977 Grupo Spazio (Carrara, Italy) Mostra de Nicola; Mostra in Marmo (Pietrassanta, Italy) Galería Laietana (Barcelona) 1978 Awarded critic´s prize in the III Biennale in Arese, II Rasegna Internazionalle di Scultura e· Pintura (Brescia, Italy) Mostra di Scultura all´aperto a Porto Venere (La Spezia, Italy) Mostra d´Escultors Catalans, Galería Serrallonga (Barcelona)

1980 1980 IV Biennale di Arese (Monza, Italy) 1983 Exhibited in America for the first time in Los Angeles and New York. 10th Exhibition of the Luigi Corsanini Studio (Carrara, Italy) Galería AB (Granollers) 1986 Scultura Internazionale, Castello Malaspina (Massa, Italy) Scultura Simposio e Mostra (Alessandria, Italy) 1987 Galería d’Art Contemporany, ARCO 87 (Geneva, Switzerland) 1989 Organized symposium Sculpture in the Street in El Prat de Llobregat, with three important invited sculptors, creating large-scale works.

1990 1997 II Joyas de Escultor (Vilarobau, Girona) 1999 Created series of furniture for Mob Art, as part of the Primavera del Disseny (Barcelona)

2000 2001 Batecs de Memoria, Museum of Catalonian History (Barcelona) 2002 Coordinated and participated in the second symposium Sculpture in the Street , El Prat de Llobregat. II Symposium of Sculpture in the Street (El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona) Art Nimes (Nimes,France) Espace Languedoc-Roussillon, Hôtel de Région (Montpellier, France) 2003 L´Art et l´Arène (Toulouse (France) Exposició d´Escultura de Gran Format (Sant Feliu de Guixols. Girona) 2004 Rojo , Km7 Espai d´art (Girona) 2005 Galería Ignacio de Lassaletta (Barcelona) 2006 Km 7 Espai d’art (Girona) 2007 Fundació Josep Niebla (Girona) 2008 Km 7 Espai d’art (Girona) Feria de Milano (Milano, Italy) 2009 Dones, Donetes i Donasses: una visió, Atrium Torroella (Torroella de Montgrí, Girona) Inaugural exhibition of the Tucson Jewish Community Center Sculpture Garden (Tucson, AZ USA)


Public Works 1976 Monument to Coronel Sanfeliu, cast bronze, 2,5m x 1,5m x 1,5m, El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona) 1984 Blanca, Carrara marble, 1,60m x 0,83m x 0,32m, Hamburg Saar (Germany) 1986 Mini-Maxi Torso, Carrara marble, 2,30m high, (Alexandria, Italy)

2001 El Bolo, iron, City of Sant Feliu de Codines (Barcelona) 2001 Lluis Companys, Corten steel and cast iron, 1,70m x 1,10m x 0,60m, Parliament of Catalunya (Barcelona)

1988 Bird Spirit, Cararra marble, 7m x 14m x 11m, Uriach Laboratories (Barcelona)

2001 Lluis Companys, Corten steel and cast iron , 2m x 1,80m, City of El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona)

1989 Mini-Maxi Torso, Carrara marble, 3m x 2m x 0,60m, City of El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona)

2003 Dialog, Iron and Roman travertine, 12m x 3,50m x 1,50m,City of El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona)


2003 Empremta i Matriu, Carrara marble, 4m x 13m x 1,5m, City of Viladecans (Barcelona)

1991 Triangular Personage, bronze (Sâo Pâulo, Brazil) 1993 Porta al Cafetal, granite and iron, Nestle; (Girona) in commemoration of their 25th anniversary. 1994 The Orient, Calatorao marble and iron, 2,55m x 1,70m x 0,85m, Salvat Laboratories (Barcelona) 1995 Art and Science, basalt and iron, 5m x 1,16m x 0,45m, Plaça del Dr. Reventós (Barcelona) 1996 Dance of Peace, Georgia marble, 7,50m dia. x 3m high, Fulton County Courthouse (Atlanta, GA USA.) 1996 Covering Spaces, Corten steel and bronze, 3m x 3m x 0,60m, University of Georgia (Athens, GA USA) 1996 Mythical Door, Corten steel, 11m x 5,60m x 3,20m, City of Esplugues de Llobregat (Barcelona) 1997 Brother-Brotherhood, granite and iron, 3,30m x 2,40m x 0,60m, Col·legi La Salle Bonanova (Barcelona) 1998 Femininity, cast iron, 3m x 0,60m x 0,36m, City of Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona) 1999 Mediterránea, iron, steel and Carrara marble, 13m x 7m x 3m, Alcampo; Sant Boi (Barcelona)



2003 Maxi Torso, Spanish Travertine and iron, 1,89m x 1,33m x 0,24m, Roche Diagnostics (Barcelona) 2005 Initial, Black Zimbabwe granite and Carrara marble, 4,50m x 1,45m x 0,65m, Omnium Finance (Toulouse, France) 2005 Horizonte Urbano. Carrara marble, Bardiglio marble, aluminium and iron, 4m x 4,20m x 0,30m, Construccions Riera (Barcelona) 2006 Dialog II, Roman travertine, 2,73m x 1,55m x 0.84m, Florida Atlantic University (Jupiter, FL, USA) 2007 Tree of Knowledge, iron and aluminium, 10m x 10m x 0.95m, City of Salt (Girona) 2007 Dorso di Pigro, Bardiglio Marble, 3.40m x 2.27m x 0.61m, City of Stresa (Lago Maggiore, Italy)


‫הקדמה‬ ‫מוזיאון ארצות המקרא ירושלים גאה לארח את התערוכה הבינלאומית "בהשראת" – מנל אלברז‬ ‫בעקבות התנ"ך‪ ,‬של הפסל מנל אלברז המוצגת לראשונה בארץ‪ .‬מוזיאון ארצות המקרא‪ ,‬הממוקם‬ ‫בלבה המודרני של העיר ירושלים‪ ,‬מציג את ההיסטוריה של התרבויות והעמים הנזכרים בתנ"ך‪.‬‬ ‫אוסף העתיקות החשוב והייחודי שלו‪ ,‬המכיל חפצי אמנות וארכיאולוגיה‪ ,‬מציג את עולמן הרוחני‬ ‫והתרבותי של ארצות המזרח הקרוב הקדום‪ ,‬מערש התרבות ועד לראשית הנצרות‪.‬‬ ‫תצוגה של אמנות עכשווית במוזיאון ארצות המקרא היא עניין יוצא דופן‪ .‬התערוכה האחרונה מסוג‬ ‫זה היתה תערוכת הפסלים של דוד זונדלוביץ'‪ ,‬אחד מי יודע שהוצגה במוזיאון בשנת ‪ .2002‬אבל‪,‬‬ ‫קשה שלא להבחין עד כמה תערוכות מן הסוג הזה תורמות ורלוונטיות כיום לרעיון המוזיאון‪ .‬תכניות‬ ‫התרבות והחינוך‪ ,‬המלוות את תצוגות המוזיאון‪ ,‬מביאות את הדיון בהיסטוריה ובתרבויות העבר‬ ‫לחזית העכשווית‪ .‬כך גם תערוכתו של אלברז מעניקה מבט עכשווי ואישי למורשת העבר‪ .‬בהקפדה‬ ‫על שילוב זה בין עבר להווה‪ ,‬אנו נשארים נאמנים לחזונו של מייסד המוזיאון ד"ר אלי בורובסקי‬ ‫)ז"ל(‪:‬‬ ‫"עתיד האנושות יונק משורשי העבר – רק אם נבין את ההיסטוריה שלנו נוכל לבנות עתיד טוב יותר"‬ ‫באוגוסט ‪ 2010‬נפלה בחלקנו ההזדמנות לשקול את הצגת תערוכת עבודותיו של אלברז במוזיאון‬ ‫ארצות המקרא ירושלים‪ .‬ההתרשמות מעוצמת הפסלים‪ ,‬כפי שנראו בצילומים ובסקיצות הראשונות‪,‬‬ ‫הבהירו לי שנדרש ביקור מיוחד בסטודיו של מנל אלברז על מנת לראות את העבודות באופן אישי‪.‬‬ ‫ואכן‪ ,‬אין דבר המשתווה לעוצמת החוויה הבלתי אמצעית‪ .‬מייד התחלנו לבדוק כיצד ניתן להביא‬ ‫את התערוכה הזו ולהציגה בירושלים בפני קהל רב ככל האפשר‪ .‬מאז ומתמיד היוו סיפורי התנ"ך‬ ‫השראה לאמנים רבים‪ .‬אנו ביקשנו להציג עבודות אמנות החוקרות נושאים תנ"כיים ומשקפים את‬ ‫פרשנותו רבת העוצמה של אמן מסוגו של אלברז‪.‬‬ ‫ירושלים היא עיר יוצאת דופן‪ ,‬בעלת מרכזיות היסטורית ודתית‪ ,‬הממקמת אותה כאחת הערים‬ ‫החשובות בעולם‪ .‬היא מגלמת בתוכה את ניגודי העבר וההווה‪ ,‬העתיק והעכשווי‪ .‬דוגמא טובה לכך‬ ‫הוא מוזיאון ארצות המקרא הממוקם בליבה של שדרת המוזיאונים‪ ,‬ומציג מנקודת מבט חדשנית את‬ ‫התפתחות התרבות באזורנו ואת ההיסטוריה שלו‪ .‬אין זה פלא כי מנל אלוברז רצה שירושלים‬ ‫ומוזיאון ארצות המקרא יהיו התחנה הראשונה ליצירותיו‪ ,‬במה שהוא מקווה שיהפוך למסע‬ ‫בינלאומי‪.‬‬ ‫אלברז מבטא ברהיטות‪ ,‬באמצעות פסליו‪ ,‬את כוחו ואת עוצמתו של התנ"ך‪ .‬פסל מגדל בבל ניצב‬ ‫לגובה של עשרה מטרים וחצי בהדר רב‪ ,‬לצד פרשנותו הויזואלית לשניים‪‬עשר השבטים כפי שהיא‬ ‫באה לידי ביטוי במגוון פסלים‪ .‬הצגת פסלי עץ החיים ועץ הדעת זה לצד זה‪ ,‬נוגעת בדיכוטומיה של‬ ‫הטבע האנושי ובהתקדמותו מגן העדן לעידן המודרני‪.‬‬ ‫אנו גאים מאוד בהזדמנות שניתנה לנו להשיק את התערוכה הזו בירושלים ומבקשים להודות‬ ‫לאנשים הרבים שהיו חלק בהגשמת החלום הזה‪ ,‬שתמכו בהבאתה לארץ‪ ,‬בהקמתה ובפרסום‬ ‫הקטלוג שלה‪ .‬אנו מודים לאסתי דרורי ודורון פולק מארטורא‪ ,‬יוזמי הקשר בין המוזיאון לבין מנל‬ ‫אלברז‪ ,‬שאצרו את התערוכה‪ .‬אני מודה לצוות המוזיאון‪ ,‬ובמיוחד לראע'דה קשקוש על תרגום‬ ‫הפנלים וכתוביות התערוכה לערבית ולרוני בר‪‬ששת על הסיוע בעיצובה‪ .‬תודה מיוחדת לתמיר‬ ‫פרוינד שהתמודד עם הבעיות הסבוכות ביותר שעמדו בפנינו והפך כל קושי לאתגר בר פיתרון‪.‬‬ ‫כמו כן‪ ,‬תערוכה זו לא הייתה מתאפשרת ללא תשומת הלב המיוחדת של לינדה מליסאני‪ ,‬אשתו‬ ‫המסורה של מנל אלברז‪ ,‬שעבדה ללא לאות כדי להניע את הפרויקט הזה קדימה‪.‬‬ ‫מעל הכל‪ ,‬אני רוצה להודות לאמן‪ ,‬מנל אלברז‪ ,‬שהיה שותף לאורך כל הדרך וללא תמיכתו‬ ‫בתערוכה ובקטלוג דבר מזה לא היה אפשרי‪.‬‬ ‫אמנדה וייס‬ ‫מנכ"ל‬ ‫מוזיאון ארצות המקרא ירושלים‬ ‫ירושלים‪ 7 ,‬באפריל ‪2011‬‬



MANEL ALVAREZ on the Bible

inspired MANEL ALVAREZ on the Bible