Valverde, José Antonio

José Antonio Valverde was born in Madrid, Spain. He came to Canada in 1963 to further his academic studies and to take up an appointment as lecturer at the University of Alberta, before settling in Nova Scotia in 1971.

José pursued an academic career teaching Spanish literature and culture until 1989. He painted throughout this time, and in 1989 he began working full time as an artist, finally able to pursue the career he loved.

José been honoured with a number of grants and awards, including the Order of Civil Merit at the Commander Level by King Phillip VI of Spain in 2014, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions, and his works can be found in public and private collections in Nova Scotia, across Canada and abroad.

Artist Statement

My work emphasizes colour, line, shape and the organic quality of texture as opposed to the traditional ideas of realism and perspective. I use a gestural, intuitive paint handling, sometimes even with excursions into abstraction. I aim at using a playful concert of colours until the painting vibrates with a life of its own.

The subjects are either products of my imagination or come from the storehouse of recollected visual experience. At times, I paint as a mode of returning to my roots—the Mediterranean, Spain, family homes—to find what is meaningful to me. At other times, my artwork celebrates the terrain in which I now live. It is a healing process of coming to terms with my own reality.

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