In 1987 Ricardo Cotanda earned a degree from the School of Fine Arts in Valencia, an incubator that produced a group of artists some critics were quick to label the ‘Valencia School of Sculpture’. Cotanda, however, did not share the defining features of the group when it came to aesthetic principles and the use of materials. That said, the fame achieved by the artist in the latter years of the 1980s was boosted when he won the Premio Muestra de Arte Joven in 1987 and the Premio Pablo Gargallo de Zaragoza a year later. The same year he was invited to take part in the Aperto of the Venice Biennale, a highly effective route to recognition as an emerging artist on the international scene. Over the years, and after a period of relative withdrawal, Cotanda—who had explored more subtle sculptural forms, as well as working with photographic elements—returned to his simple aesthetic symbolism, imbuing his work with beautiful Lorcan and Duchampian references. His work has been exhibited at galleries in Barcelona, Zaragoza, Madrid, Valencia and Sion (Switzerland), and the artist also teaches at the School of Fine Arts in Cuenca.
Juan Vicente Aliaga