The Stunning Reality of Antonio Lopez Garcia

Michael Hogan

The MFA is shining this spring with a medley of art from the exotic world across the Atlantic.

The current special exhibition at the MFA is entitled “El Greco to Velasquez: Art in the Realm of King Philip III,” and brings the work of the Spanish masters together here in Boston.

To complement the exhibition of artists from the Iberian Peninsula, the MFA is featuring a satellite exhibit in the Foster and Rabb galleries that features the art of one of today’s most renowned Spanish artists, Antonio Lopez Garcia.

Lopez Garcia is a man of many media; sculptures, sketches and paintings by this prolific artist are all found in this exhibit. Oftentimes, Lopez Garcia’s work can be simultaneously confrontational and comforting.

Before even entering the museum on the Huntington Avenue side, the visitor is confronted with this dichotomy in a big way. Two gigantic bronze baby heads make up “Day and Night,” a sculptural work that depicts one baby laughing and the other sleeping. While the pudgy cheeks and precious smile of an infant are familiar, to see them on such a grand scale is slightly disturbing.

Amazingly lifelike infantile heads are only the very beginning of the journey through the stunning realism of Lopez Garcia’s work at the MFA. There are moments throughout the exhibition, as happens often in Lopez Garcia’s work, that the viewer is forced to question the medium used.

The precision and perfection of the artist’s ability with a paintbrush are evident in many of the works; many of the paintings on display look as if they are perfect photographs rather than oil on canvas.

Lopez Garcia uses his art to reveal a world with which we are familiar and, at the same time, distant from. Madrid, Spain, is captured with immaculate care in a series of landscapes that look out over the city. While standing in front of these huge canvases, the viewer is instantly transported to the heights of the Spanish capitol.

The toilet, the sink and the studio are all subject of Lopez Garcia’s exactitude. It feels as if you are walking through a home, looking at the rust stains dripping down the bathroom wall, while the toothbrush remains in the holder on the sink.

A series of sculptures capture the people in the artist’s life. His daughter Maria is the subject of a full body sculpture, and, along with his other children, she is one of the many sculpted heads that can be found in the mixed media work, “Children.”

The world comes to life with stunning realism in this exhibition that is on view from April 13-July 27. The Museum of Fine Arts is located at 465 Huntington Avenue. More information on this and other exhibitions can be found at the MFA website,