Toys - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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San Sebastián, 19/06/1933-San Sebastián, 16/12/2011

Acrylic on canvas

161.5 x 130 cm

Bonifacio (bottom right hand corner)


Last quarter of the 20th century


Acquired in 1977

The abstract paintings Bonifacio did in Bilbao, full of finely described globular forms, sometimes in an almost exclusive white impregnated with a powerful lyricism, was transformed in no time at all into an abstract expressionism close to what Saura and, therefore, De Kooning and the CoBrA group were doing, first in the white he brought from his previous period and later in a gradually increasing wealth of colour that eventually became one of his major virtues, in combination with his mastery of line and drawing.

Toys comes from the peak period of his career. Here he imaginatively harmonizes his graphic abilities and his remarkable sense of colour in a way that enables him to assimilate some of the influences mentioned in a very original way. The painter develops his system for hiding images with great mastery, creating a complex, lively and hugely suggestive whole. [Javier Viar]

Selected bibliography

  • Bengoechea, Javier de. Catálogo de arte moderno y contemporáneo del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. Bilbao, Banco de Vizcaya, 1980. p. 37. (Con el título Juguetes).
  • Guía Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2008. p. 145.
  • Gida Euskal Artistak. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Eder Museoa, 2008. p. 145.
  • Guide Basque Artists. Bilbao, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 2012. pp. 146-147, n° cat. 80.
  • Bonifacio, 1933-2011 [Cat. exp.]. Donostia-San Sebastián, Kutxa Fundazioa, 2012. p. 28.
  • Después del 68 : arte y prácticas artísticas en el País Vasco, 1968-2018 [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2018. pp. 64, 154, 318, il.