Isabel Oliver Cuevas

1946 | Valencia, Spain
Informations

Spanish visual artist.

Isabel Oliver studied at the Facultad de Bellas Artes in Valencia. In the early 1970s her figurative paintings caught the attention of the Equipo Crónica collective, which was founded in 1964 by Rafael Solbes (1940-1981) and Manuel Valdés (born in 1942) and promoted a return to figuration and the use of the language of popular media in the context of the Francoist regime. I. Oliver joined the movement in 1971 and was an active member for four years. But while the men in the group questioned what it meant to be Spanish, I. Oliver, like fellow artist Ángela García Codoñer (born in 1944), questioned what it meant to be a woman.
In an aesthetic similar to that of magazines at the time, I. Oliver created series after series highlighting the roles traditionally assigned to women and the burden they endured as a consequence. In the series La Mujer [The woman, 1970-1973], women are shown in a domestic setting. One of these pieces, La Familia [Family], gives insight into what it means for a woman to be solely defined as a mother. The mother holds her youngest child in her arms while her daughter sits nearby; in the background, the father looks directly at the viewer. Our perception of this family portrait, in which the protagonists are all naked, is disrupted by the superimposition of the colourful pattern of a popular Spanish board game, Parchís, which acts as a metaphor of a life dictated by the rules of a predetermined plan. The painting Feliz Reunión [Happy gathering, 1971] portrays women chatting in a living room, while violence irrupts into their silent conversation in the form of nightmarish scenes showing through the windows around them. Cosmética [Cosmetics] depicts a woman standing in a sea of cosmetic products.

In the 1990s the artist distanced herself from the Pop art movement and painted works in a more abstract style, with a focus on the theme of the passing of time. Her works from the 1970s were rediscovered, in particular thanks to the exhibition The World Goes Pop at Tate Modern London in 2015-2016.

Read more

Mathilde de Croix

Translated from French by Lucy Pons.

Publication made in partnership with the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain of Nice, in the framework of the exhibition She-Bam Pow POP Wizz! The Amazons of the POP (1961-1973).

© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions

Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Reunión feliz [Good Meeting], from the series La mujer [The Woman], 1970-1973, acrylic on canvas, 98 x 98 cm, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Bordado ciervos [Deer Embroidery], from the series De profesión, sus labores [By Profesion, your Work], 1972-1974, embroidered fabric, 85,5 x 93,7 cm, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Señoritas rosa  [Pink Ladies], from the series El juego [The Game], 1973, acrylic on cardboard, 104.5 x 82.5 cm, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Reverso [Back], from the series El juego [The Game], 1973, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 101 cm, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, No quiero ser Marilyn [I don’t want to be Marilyn], from the series El juego [The Game], 1973, acrylic on canvas, 104 x 82 cm, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Las Tres Gracias [The Three Graces], from the series La mujer [The Woman], 1970/2017, oil and acrylic on canvas, 157 x 124 cm, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, La pareja [The Couple], from the series El juego [The Game], 1973, acrylic on canvas, 104 x 82 cm, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, La familia [Family], from the series La mujer [The Woman], 1970-1973, acrylic on canvas, 98 x 98 cm, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Game over, from the series El juego [The Game], 1973, acrylic on canvas, 95 x 120 cm, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Familia numerosa [Large Family], from the series La mujer [The Woman], 1970-1973, acrylic on canvas, 98 x 98 cm, Universitat Politècnica de València, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

"> Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Familia numerosa [Large Family], from the series La mujer [The Woman], 1970-1973, acrylic on canvas, 98 x 98 cm, Universitat Politècnica de València, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, ¡¡Es niña!! [It’s a Girl !], from the series La mujer [The Woman], 1970-1973, acrylic on canvas, 98 x 98 cm, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Cosmética [Cosmetics], from the series La mujer [The Woman], 1970-1973, acrylic on canvas, 98 x 98 cm, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Isabel Oliver Cuevas — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Cirujía [Surgery], from the series La mujer [The Woman], 1970-1973, acrylic on canvas, 98 x 98 cm, Courtesy Galeria Punto, © Isabel Oliver

Explore
Linked theme
Artists
Discover other artists

Archives
of Women Artists
Research
& Exhibitions

Facebook - AWARE Twitter - AWARE Instagram - AWARE
110 boulevard Saint Germain 75006 Paris (France) — info[at]aware-art[.]org — +33 (0)1 55 26 90 29