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We present a series of works on paper made by Victoria Civera between Valencia and New York in 2021, for the current opera season at the Liceu.


Seduced by the idea of working in the world of the opera, which brings back memories of her childhood (“the great emotion I felt when I heard Maria Callas’ voice for the first time while I was drawing in my room when I was about nine years old”) and since her beginnings in New York (“we used to go to an endearing little theatre that no longer exists, Amato Opera, a small but exceptional space”), Victoria Civera starts from the senses that are, as in life, a fundamental component to transmit and perceive emotions and to enrich life experience, without separating emotion from commitment and a binding attitude to life.


The artist takes on the commission as a challenge, letting herself be led by her own hand, and deciding at the same time that the drawings should be illustrative of each opera. Made from an intense work, rhythmic and loose stroke, the artist lets herself be carried away by the drama and, at the same time, faces it with a lot of humour, considering humour necessary to revitalise strong experiences.


In a process that begins with listening, reading and viewing the operas, enjoying the music and learning the plots, Victoria Civera has made sets of four drawings for each opera, to which she has given different tempos, but when together they form a globality of expression and execution. Interested in the contemporaneity of the themes of the operas, the artist wondered about the possibility of creating a single Opera from the fragments of each of the operas, with love, heartbreak, betrayal, revenge and killings that are also reflecting the present-days issues.


Victoria Civera considers that works are born through experimenting with the senses, then emotion is formed and our consciousness allows us to conceptually edit those experiences and emotions to formalize a work with a particular charisma. As in sheet music, the written words are also our mental pictures. “I think that in my work there is often the search for a global experience, which starts from the combination of differentiated sensory experiences.”


Along with her drawings, we find the work “Sudario”, from 1998, a 450 x 300 cm wool and cotton fabric that was part of her exhibition ‘El trance de las tijeras’ at the Palacete del Embarcadero de Santander. It is a protest piece, where a series of military blankets, masculine, sewn together, have an infinity of embroidered insults that the artist and women in general have received. This violence against women is present in the Opera and in Victoria Civera’s drawings.





Victoria Civera (Port de Sagunt, Valencia, 1955) lives and works between New York and Saro, Cantabria. Her career began in the seventies, working mainly on photomontage and introducing painting in the following decade. In the mid-eighties, Victoria Civera moved to New York and included sculpture in her artistic practice. Her work, with a dreamlike content and based on the feminine universe, has moved between large-scale pieces and pieces of a restrained and suggestive poetics, often incorporating objects from domestic life.


Her solo exhibitions include Inasible, Real Casa de la Moneda, Madrid (2019), Every Day. Ni la palabra ni el silencio, Centro de Arte Alcobendas (2017), Sueños inclinados, IVAM, Valencia (2011), Atando el cielo, CAC, Málaga (2010), Túnel eterno, Palacio de los Condes de Gabia, Granada (2006), and Bajo la piel, Espacio 1, MNCARS, Madrid (2005).


She has also participated in exhibitions in art centres such as CGAC in Santiago de Compostela, MAS in Santander, Bombas Gens in Valencia, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Caixaforum in Barcelona, Mumok- Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna, MACBA in Barcelona, The Rose Art Museum, Massachusetts, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Saint-Étienne Métropole, The New Museum of Modern Art, New York. Her work is part of the collections of institutions and museums such as Macba, MNCARS, IVAM, CAC Málaga, Es Baluard de Palma, Artium de Vitoria-Gasteiz, Colección Banco de España, Colección “la Caixa”, Patio Herreriano de Valladolid or Collection European Bank.