L’Arbre de la Vida
(The Tree of Life)

Alvar Suñol Munoz-Ramos (Spanish, 1935—)

created 1986
Green Patinated Bronze, 15.25" x 12" x 4.5"
A Gift of the Stuart and Barbara Padnos Foundation
Physical rights are retained by Grand Valley State University. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. Copyright laws.
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About The Artwork

At first glance, this bronze table-top sculpture resembles the tree evoked in its title. Upon further exploration, however, it becomes clear that L’Arbre de la Vida expresses sentiments that Alvar Suñol Munoz-Ramos has treated throughout his career: a love of nature combined with the traditional trope of women as muse and giver of life. Born in the Catalan fishing village of Montgat, the artist trained in painting and printmaking at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Jorge in Barcelona and later won a scholarship to study in Paris. His work has been exhibited throughout Europe, North America and Asia.

Chiefly known for an extensive output of prints and paintings, Alvar also experimented periodically with bronze and precious metals. The overall profile of L’Arbre de la Vida coupled with the green patina mimics a fully foliated tree. The “trunk” is actually comprised of an arm that holds aloft the faces of two women (one in profile) along with a small dove. Flowing hair provides the contours of the foliage. Although it is a free-standing sculpture, the surface and orientation align in such a way that there is a front and a back, with each surface resembling a relief sculpture.


Assistant Professor, Frederik Meijer Honors College, Grand Valley State University



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