The sculptor from Salamanca, Ángel Mateos Bernal, died this Friday in Salamanca at the age of 90. Born in Villavieja de Yeltes in 1931, Mateos specialized in the use of concrete as a material for the development of his works. In fact, he was the creator of the popular Concrete Museum, located in Doñinos de Salamanca, which bears his name, is now twenty years old and brings together a large part of his legacy.
Ángel Mateos was born into a family of construction stonemasons, a trade in which he worked from a very young age and which allowed him to discover the secrets of the material that identifies his work, concrete. He studied Fine Arts in Seville and Madrid, where he attended the San Fernando School, although he soon moved to Vitugudino, where he set up a modest workshop.
He won several awards that marked the beginning of his artistic career, such as the XXXVII Madrid Autumn Salon in 1966 and the Plastic Arts Research Award in 1979, among others, although it was in the 1980s when he reached his full maturity. creator.
In the trajectory of Ángel Mateos, a more figurative first stage can be distinguished, which he carried out in the 1960s, although later he leaned towards more abstract works. From 1970 he wanted to find a material that reflected his artistic thought and his sculpture. At the time of abstraction he began to work with formwork concrete, although before that he did some works in cement. Among his legacy, the spatial series and the dolmens stand out.
Some of his works are scattered throughout the Spanish geography or in the hands of individuals. In Villavieja de Yeltes, his hometown, there is one of his favorite creations, 'Obelisco', which is also one of the largest, although it was surpassed five years later, in 1999, by the one he installed as a commemoration of the IV Centenary of Valladolid , and which is located on Salamanca Avenue in front of the Valladolid capital's Trade Fair. To the 'Monolitos' in El Cubo de Don Sancho, the 'Prisma VIII' that shines on the Berodia road, in Asturias, or the 'Dólmenes' in Lumbrales, are added the 'Grandes menhirs' in Zamora.
Already in his retirement, the Junta de Castilla y León recognized his professional career and his contribution to art, with his "independent work, of great personality and expressive force" and awarded him the Castilla y León Prize for the Arts in 2008.