Àlvar Suñol

Alvar Suñol Munoz-Ramos was born on January 29, 1935, in Montgat, a Catalan fishing village on the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona. He started painting oils at age twelve and at age seventeen was accepted at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Jorge, the prestigious fine art school in Barcelona. Before graduating from the Belles Artes, he gave his first solo exhibition at Galleries Layetana in Barcelona in 1957. Alvar also won the Bolsa de Viaje Alhambra de Granada, a summer scholarship study trip to Granada. At age 18, Alvar entered a painting in a competition for the Young Painters Prize sponsored by the City of Barcelona. His painting won the grand prize and it is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Barcelona, Spain. Due to his early artistic successes, Alvar received many invitations for shows in other Spanish cities. During his military service, he submitted one of his canvases for the Institut Francais annual painting competition in Barcelona. The Institut Francais awarded him the grand prize and a scholarship to study in Paris. Alvar arrived in Paris to paint in 1959. He met Juan Fuentes, a fellow Spaniard and director of the prestigious Parisian Galerie Drouant. Fuentes encouraged Alvar in his painting and brought Alvar’s first group of Paris oil paintings to the gallery. Fuentes’ gallery sold the paintings in one week. Alvar’s paintings were exhibited in the United States for the first time at the Monede Gallery, New York in 1962. Alvar produced his first original lithographs for a one-man show at Galerie Drouant in 1963. Since a decisive solo exhibition in Paris in 1963, Alvar has exhibited regularly throughout Europe, the United States, Canada and Japan. For a comprehensive list of Alvar’s museum and private exhibitions, please see the additional information provided. Alvar’s hometown of Tiana hosts one of his permanent public installations. No matter which medium the multifaceted contemporary artist employs, he speaks from his soul about what is important to him: peace, family, love, beauty, nature, art, music and humanity. His works are peopled with strong figures, feminine or androgynous, who embody an earthiness and solidity, yet have an ethereal quality. Women are prominent in his pieces, and they represent life, family and generations. The symbolism in Alvar’s art entices the viewer into an artistic treasure hunt to find and identify the iconography he uses to share his messages and his thoughts about life — thoughts that people around the globe relate to and share.