Alicante, 1924 – Madrid, 1990
Juana Francés studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid. In 1953, she participated in the International Congress of Abstract Art organized by the International Summer University of Santander. If Francés’ early work can be characterized as largely figurative, though geometric and symbolic-laden, from the mid-1950s on, she immersed herself fully in the world of abstract painting and Informalism.
In February 1957, she co-founded the group El Paso together with the critic José Ayllón and the artists Rafael Canogar, Luis Feito, Manolo Millares, Manuel Rivera, Antonio Saura, Pablo Serrano, and Antonio Suárez. However, she quit the group that same year alongside a handful of other original members, having participated in the first two collective exhibitions (Madrid and Oviedo). From 1963, Francés reintroduced formal structure into her works, reincorporating the human figure as a way to focus on themes such as interconnectivity and communication (or the lack thereof) between human beings.
In recent years, the artist’s work has garnered interest from several researchers and art historians. Stand-out retrospective exhibitions of her work include those organized by the Caja de Ahorros de Asturias in Gijón (1994), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Alicante (1995) and the IAACC Pablo Serrano of Zaragoza (2019).