The Bilbao artist Marisa Gonzalez (1943) has received the Velázquez Prize for Plastic Arts of 2023, organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture and endowed with 100,000 euros. The award jury has highlighted Marisa González for “her extensive career as a multimedia artist, pioneer in the use of new technologies from the 70s to the present”. Furthermore, the jury has pointed out that “feminism, memory and industrial archaeology, recycling and ecology, and attention to the processes of exclusion and precariousness are other notes that characterize her career. Tireless gleaner of archives, documents and industrial archaeologies, always committed to facing social inequalities and ecological threats in our globalized world.
Marisa González has been working with computer language since the time when faxes and photocopiers They were cutting edge technology. After studying piano at the Bilbao Conservatory and Fine Arts at the Complutense University of Madrid (1971), he went to the United States to study generative systems applied to art in Chicago and Washington DC. At that time, binary codes were a new aesthetic. and uncertain that González linked with the tradition of abstract art: repetition, fractalization, sequence… The language of the most intellectual art of the 20th century found its best expression in the repertoire of machines
“When I returned to Spain, I had my first exhibition at Evelyn Botella’s gallery, which was called Ele. I found that in Spain there were still no color photocopiers, that copies had to be brought from the United States. And I remember that the The greatest effort was to take maximum care of the paper and the framing because we knew what was going to happen: that the spectators would come with a magnifying glass to catch me,” González tells EL MUNDO on the morning of his Velázquez Award. “I have been very alone but that has helped me to be completely independent.”
There is another memory that expresses González’s disruptive value and that explains his relationship with art: when he entered Fine Arts, defying the plans of his parents who preferred that he look for a boyfriend, Antonio Lopez He was his painting teacher. López spoke to his students about art as a journey of introspection that leads people to understand his past, and González rebelled. He told her that she was not interested in the past but in the future, he left the classroom and did not return to that class.
It was the eve of ’68 and González participated in a spirit of the time that mixed political dissidence with the break with what was considered a nineteenth-century and bourgeois idea of artThe artist has later said that her desire to break with the old and be in the new was what led her to the United States, to enroll in everything that seemed foreign to the old world.