TORRENS Bernardo


Bernardo Torrens (Madrid, Spain 1957) is a self-taught painter primarily known for his monochromatic nudes. Torrens infuses temperature into his black and white paintings to create the feeling of color within his gray palate. He photographs live models, often in evocative poses, from which he builds his paintings.

In spite of the fact that he is virtually self-taught, he is a master painter, and can be securely positioned in the tradition of Spanish realism from the seventeenth century to the present. In Torrens’ work one recognizes both the heightened reality and gravitas that are hallmarks of Spanish realism. The canon was set in the seventeenth century by artists such as Zurbarán, Ribera, Sánchez Cotán, and Velázquez. The Spanish realists, though all-embracing in terms of subject matter from which to draw, tended to concentrate attention on a few objects, or even a single object. However, these excerpted objects, handled with great sobriety and rendered with exquisite detail, hold great power. It is precisely such qualities that underpin Torrens’ work. He is also a master of his medium, the airbrush, achieving nuances of color and surface texture that are remarkable, even for this much-touted tool of the twentieth-century “superrealists.”

Bernardo Torrens’ works have been shown in solo and group exhibitions internationally.

Several of his works were also featured in traveling museum exhibitions such as Hyperrealism 1962 – 2012 (2013 – Present, Kunsthalle Tuebingen, Germany, Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain, Saarland Museum, Saarbrucken, Germany, and now at the Museum of Fine Arts, Bilbao, Spain) as well as Photorealism Revisited (2014 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OK and the Butler Museum of American Art, Youngstown, OH). He has also worked on commission to produce portraits of notable Spanish dignitaries such as the former Presidents of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, Felix Pons and Jose Bono.