A self-taught Spanish artist, Benjamin Palencia's practice is a highly personal fusion of Surrealism, Cubism and Constructivism. Together with Pancho Cossío and Francisco Bores, Palencia developed a lyrical figuration that redirected cubist trends towards a brand of painting that highlighted the sentient value of colour and the recovery of Realism. In 1925 he took part in the Exposición de Artistas Ibéricos. He travelled throughout Europe with frequent stays in Paris-where he was in contact with other Spanish artists and became acquainted with the new avant-gardes-and in Italy. After returning to Madrid he had his first exhibition at the Palacio de Bibliotecas y Museos, where he subsequently exhibited on several occasions.
In 1927, together with Alberto Sánchez, he founded the School of Vallecas, an attempt to renew Spanish art by establishing some distance with the attraction of the Paris-based avant-gardes and engaging more with images derived from the so-called Generation of '98. The experience had an updated version after the Spanish Civil War in the Second School of Vallecas.
In 1974 he was appointed to the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid and in 1978 to the Sant Jordi Academy of Fine Arts in Barcelona. In that same year he obtained the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts.
Lit: BBVA Collection, collectionbbva.com