Carlos Franco’s (Madrid, 1951) activity as an engraver has been carried out in a very restricted environment and produced through private commissions, which makes him not very well known by the general public, except for his etching illustrations for The Aeneid by Virgil. However nothing better explains the artist's technical strategy than this activity, with its different procedures and its endless potential for overlap and juxtaposition.
Contemporary to other creators who were significant to Spanish art’s recent history such as Carlos Alcolea, Chema Cobo or Guillermo Pérez Villalta, Franco started painting in the early seventies. From then, his work and that of his generation began to be included by the critics in Madrid’s New Figuration mainstream.
The inclusion of a large painting by the artist in this exhibition at the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos aims to show the match between his painting and printmaking, not only for thematic or stylistic reasons, but also for technical or procedural reasons, in addition to material ones. This coincidence is not limited to the overlapping of procedures, but a more intriguing attitude, and eventually more disquieting, regarding artwork, which is understood to be endless, according to a new and radical assumption of the classic "non finito", and which also strives to leave some trace of each of the decisions that have been taken, to thus form a sequence of phases, insinuated both on the surface and in its depth. This insistent piece on its support, which is so characteristic of the etching process, is what has encouraged the exhibition of some of the chalcographic plates, as eloquent testimony to the same, and also by their own technical and material skills.
Moreover, in addition to including the majority of Franco’s stamps, the various techniques used by the artist over the years are part of the exhibition, from his first and naïve silkscreens up until his recent and complex experiments with photo media manipulated on the computer, or the unusual use of fluorescent inks. The exhibition ends with the last series of etchings by the artist on bullfighting which is exhibited to the public for the first time.