María del Carmen Laffón de la Escosura (8 October 1934 – 7 November 2021) was a Spanish figurative painter and sculptor. She was a member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando from 1998 until her death, and received numerous awards and honours, such as the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X, the Wise in 2017.
María del Carmen Laffón de la Escosura
8 October 1934
|Died||7 November 2021 (aged 87)|
Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain
|Alma mater||Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando|
|Organization||Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando|
Carmen Laffón was born in Seville in 1934, into a cultured, progressive, and well-off family. Her parents, who had met at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid, decided not to send her to school. Her education took place in their home, where various teachers visited.
Her introduction to painting took place at age 12 under the guidance of Manuel González Santos, a friend of the family and her father's former drawing teacher. At his recommendation she entered the School of Fine Arts in Seville at age 15. After studying at this institution for three years, she moved to Madrid, where she finished her training at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes. In 1954, she made her final study trip to Paris, where she was especially impressed by the work of Marc Chagall. The following year she had a study residency in Rome with a grant from the Ministry of Education. Her trips to Vienna and the Netherlands were also important milestones in those years.
On her return to Seville in 1956, she continued painting at the family summer house in La Jara, facing Doñana National Park, which would end up being the center of her artistic activity. In the next two years she held her first two solo exhibitions, one at the Ateneo de Madrid and the other at the Club La Rábida in Seville. From 1960 to 1962 she lived in Madrid. In 1961 she met Juana Mordó, who was keenly interested in her work and offered her a contract with the Biosca Gallery. The relationship with Mordó would continue later when she set up her own gallery. The group of artists working for Mordó included many of the most prominent names in Spanish painting of the time: Manolo Millares, Antonio Saura, José Luis Mauri, Lucio Muñoz, Eusebio Sempere, Manuel Hernández Mompó, Pablo Palazuelo, Gustavo Torner, Fernando Zóbel, and Antonio López. Carmen Laffón's painting style was enormously different from the abstraction that prevailed in the creative circles of Spain at that time, in which Mordó's artists had a preponderant position.
In 1962 she returned to Seville but continued her relationship with Juana Mordó. With the creation of the school El Taller in 1967, together with Teresa Duclós and José Soto, Carmen Laffón approached the world of artistic education, to which she would return years later when she joined the School of Fine Arts of Seville's Chair of Natural Drawing in 1975, where she would remain until 1981. In 1982 she received the National Award for Plastic Arts.
In 1998, she was named an academic of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. On 16 January 2000, she gave its entrance speech entitled Visión de un paisaje (Vision of a Landscape), which dealt with her relationship with Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Doñana National Park.
In 2006 she exhibited her work La Viña in the crypt of the cloister of the Silos Abbey, inspired by the vineyard that she cares for like a garden at her residence in La Jara. This exhibition consisted of an oil painting paying homage to Santo Domingo, large-format drawings on the landscape of the Santa Adela vineyard in La Jara, and others around the theme of the vineyard and the vintage, as well as a plaster sculpture, later acquired by the Museo Reina Sofía, and 18 baskets of bronze in clear reference to the tasks of the grape harvest.
Laffón died on the morning of 7 November 2021, at the age of 87.
In 1992, an exhaustive retrospective exhibition of Laffón's work took place at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, covering almost the entirety of her artistic career. Her work, made mainly with the techniques of charcoal, pastel, and oil, includes portraits (including two of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía), still lifes, everyday objects, and especially landscapes. Since the mid-90s, Laffón has also worked in sculpture.
Museums with works by Carmen LaffónEdit
- Fundación Mapfre
- Bank of Spain Collection
- Bank of Santander Collection
- Museo de Arte Abstracto Español
- 20th Century Art Collection, Eusebio Sempere donation, Alicante
- Fundación Juan March
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- Meadows Museum, Dallas
- Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
- Fundación Aena
- Caja de Burgos
- Fundación Casa de la Moneda, Madrid
- Museo ICO Collections (MUICO), Madrid
- Museo de Jaén
- Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville
- Ateneo de Madrid, 1957
- Sala Biosca, Madrid, 1961
- Galería La Pasarela, Seville, 1966
- Galería Juana Mordó, Madrid, 1967
- Juana de Aizpuru Gallery, Seville, 1978
- Galería Maese Nicolás, León, 1980
- Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, 1992
- Fundación Focus retrospective exposition, 1995
- Museo Casa de la Moneda, 2000
- 12 Artists in the Museo del Prado, May–June 2007
Awards and recognitionsEdit
- National Award for Plastic Arts, 1982
- Silver Medal of Andalusia, 1988
- Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts, 1999
- Tomás Francisco Prieto Award, 1999
- Culture Award of the Community of Madrid, 2012
- Favorite Daughter of Andalusia, 2013
- Manuel Clavero Award, 2016
- Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X, the Wise, 2017
- Carrasco, Marta (16 February 2007). "El Monte recupera los murales de González Santos El maestro de Carmen Laffón" [El Monte Restores the Murals of González Santos the Teacher of Carmen Laffón]. ABC (in Spanish). Seville. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- Llosent y Marañon, Eduardo (1957). "María del Carmen Laffón" (PDF). Cuadernos de Arte (in Spanish). Ateneo de Madrid (19). Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Murió Juana Mordó, la galerista de arte que impulso el grupo El Paso y promovió a la vanguardia estética española" [Juana Mordó, the Art Gallerist Who Drove the El Paso Group and Promoted the Spanish Aesthetic Avant-Garde, Dies]. El País (in Spanish). 13 March 1984. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- García-Osuna, Carlos (29 November 2000). "Carmén Laffón: El alma de las cosas" [Carmén Laffón: The Soul of Things]. El Cultural (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- Martínez Novillo, Álvaro (July–August 1983). "Los Premios Nacionales de Artes Plásticas" [The National Awards for Plastic Arts]. Cuenta y Razón (12). Archived from the original on 29 July 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Reflexión" (PDF). Crónica (in Spanish). Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando: 115. 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Llega a Granada 'El paisaje y el lugar', de Carmen Laffón" ['El paisaje y el lugar' by Carmen Laffón Arrives in Granada] (in Spanish). Granada. Europa Press. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Carmen Laffón. La viña". Museo Reina Sofía. 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Painter Carmen Laffón dies at 87". Spain's News. 7 November 2021. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
- "Colección Banco de España: un tesoro que suma quilates al Paseo del Arte" [Bank of Spain Collection: A Treasure that Adds Carats to the Paseo del Arte]. ABC (in Spanish). Madrid. 30 January 2019. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
- "Decreto 41/1988, de 24 de febrero, por el que se concede la Medalla de Andalucía a doña Carmen Laffón de la Escosura" [Decree 41/1988, of 24 February, By Which the Medal of Andalusia is Granted to Ms. Carmen Laffón de la Escosura]. Boletín Oficial de la Junta de Andalucía (in Spanish). Regional Government of Andalusia. 27 February 1988. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Relación de premiados del año 1999" [1999 List of Winners] (PDF) (in Spanish). Ministry of Culture. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- Samaniego, Fernando (22 November 2000). "Carmen Laffón dedica a la infancia su medalla del Premio Tomás Francisco Prieto" [Carmen Laffón Dedicates Her Tomás Francisco Prieto Award Medal to Children]. El País (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "La pintora sevillana Carmen Laffón, Premio de Cultura de la Comunidad de Madrid" (in Spanish). Seville. Europa Press. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Aprobadas las distinciones de Hijo Predilecto y Medallas de Andalucía 2013" [2013 Honors of Favorite Son and Medals of Andalusia Approved] (in Spanish). Regional Government of Andalusia. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- Ramos, Charo (17 January 2016). "Carmen Laffón, una mujer que ha hecho historia en el arte y la sociedad" [Carmen Laffón, a Woman Who Has Made History in Art and Society]. Diario de Jerez (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 May 2019.
- "Real Decreto 970/2017, de 3 de noviembre, por el que se concede la Gran Cruz de la Orden Civil de Alfonso X el Sabio a doña Carmen Laffón de la Escosura" [Royal Decree 970/2017, of 3 November, Which Grants the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise to Ms. Carmen Laffón]. Boletín Oficial del Estado (in Spanish) (268): 105905. 4 November 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2019.