Eduardo Sanz Fraile Biography

Eduardo Sanz Fraile




Eduardo Sanz Fraile was born in Santander, Spain on July 6, 1928.

In 1953 he began studies at the School of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid and a year later he participated in his first collective exhibition in the "Sala Sur" of Santander, and in 1956 he made his first solo exhibition in the "Sala Delta" of this same city.

Although at first his work can be categorized in the ‘informalist’ work prevailing at the end of the 50s, very soon Eduardo Sanz abandoned it, going through short stages of expressionist figuration, post-cubism or even dedicating all year, 1959, to printmaking, including etching and serigraphy. This jump between different currents and techniques in such a short space of time already presented Eduardo Sanz as an artist-researcher, an artist who tried to find his mode of expression in constant search for a break with the established.

These years of experimentation formed groundbreaking Eduardo Sanz. At the beginning of the 60s, this Cantabrian artist, a pioneer in Spain introduced a new element in his works: the “spectator.”

“We are in a period in which art is in crisis: in its concept, in its object and in its purpose. On the one hand, the industry and its reproduction capacity has provoked doubts in the same concept of work of art. On the other hand, among artists worries the distance, increasingly insurmountable, that opens between contemporary art and the viewer. And, finally, the excessive commodification of art that seems to respond, rather than to an aesthetic or vital need of the artist, to a new form of profit begins to be worrisome.”

Using broken mirrors, the artist sought to have the viewer integrate into the work of art, to learn to look at it with different eyes and, most importantly, to meditate and think about it. It is what is known as the art of ‘participation.’ In the mid-60s, without abandoning the use of mirrors, his compositions begin to be more geometric and rational.

In 1968 the group "Before the Art" was founded, and of which Eduardo Sanz was a founder. It was an artistic movement of short duration (1968-1969) that tried to investigate what science can contribute to art, above all, focusing on the psychology of perception. At the end of the 60s and the beginning of the 70s, his "chapels-reliquaries" as well as carpets, vitolas and sculptures using crystallographic forms began to predominate.    In 1972 he was appointed curator of the Contemporary Art Museum of Vilafamés.

In 1975, a new stage in his work began. Return to the painting with his series "Letters of the sea" or "Letters of love", which are true love letters, full of color, written by the maritime signal code. From then on, the sea became a reference in his works.

From 1978 to 1980, the artist took a break from his creative stage, dedicating himself to the art of making ships in scale. During this period (in 1979) a figurative stage began, traveling along the coast and painting the lighthouses that would give rise to his series of "Spanish lighthouses". In 1983 he created, for the Open Museum of the city of Fuengirola "For an urban art", a 1600 square foot mural titled "The Reencounter", a painting done on plates of fiber cement.

During the 80s and 90s, the artist continued his series of Spanish lighthouses. This collection was to be donated to the Cabo Mayor Lighthouse, constituting the beginning of the Art Center "Faro Cabo Mayor" of Santander.

Entering the 21st century, Eduardo Sanz focused his interest on the sea. With a hyper-realistic painting and great strength, he represented the waves of that sea that affected him so much in his hometown and helped form his passion for navigation.

Eduardo Sanz died in Madrid, Spain on April 14, 2013 at age 85.