Biography \ Sonia Toneu, Aiguaviva, 1988 (Catalonia – Spain) lives and works in Berlin.
Her artistic research is focused on abstraction, through painting, installation, and digital media, as a way of proposing different realities to those we perceive. She completed the Higher Diploma in Visual Arts and Design for Mural Arts at the Escola Massana in Barcelona and moved on to the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya to complete her Arts Degree. She has also studied Art History, Graphic Design, Artistic Management and a Master of Art Practices.
Growing up in a country house within a creative family environment, she was surrounded by mountains, Mediterranean forests and vineyards. From a young age found interest in nature, art, architecture, science and music. When arriving in Barcelona, she worked in fashion and advertising as both a model and photographer, surrounded by designers, photographers, and set designers. This connection with fashion accentuated her aesthetic and formal view of art. After graduating, her passion and curiosity to explore different societies and customs made her decide to travel to different European countries. As a result of these trips, landscape, maps and geography became a central interest, exploring the concept of “place” and the relationship it has with emotions: physical space and the interrelation to the history of those who live, have lived, or will live there.
She was selected as a finalist in several international painting competitions, such as the Iluro Foundation Biennial (2015), the Ibercaja Prize (2015), and the Ricard Camí Prize (2015). She was also selected for several art residences, such as Art Circle (Slovenia, 2019), Nautilus (Lanzarote, 2019), and GlogauAIR (Berlin, 2020).
Her works have been presented in group exhibitions at contemporary art galleries throughout Spain as well as international art fairs. Toneu has had solo exhibitions at the Espai B Gallery (Barcelona, 2014 and 2018), Antoni Pinyol (Reus, 2016 and 2017), and Juan Manuel Lumbreras (Bilbao, 2019). In recent years, she has worked on various artistic installations, large murals, and performed live painting sessions for festivals such as Poblenou Urban District (Barcelona). Currently, Sonia is researching and continuing to develop her artistic practice in Berlin.
Besides, she collaborated with the Espai B Contemporary Art Gallery in Barcelona (Spain) during the years 2014 to 2018, coordinating and curating exhibitions, as well as founding and directing a program of artistic residencies during the years 2017 to 2019 in a rural setting, focused on cultural exchange in non – urban places, sustainability, and revitalization of sparsely populated environments.
Statement \ My research focuses on questioning, connecting, and expressing the reflections produced by places, landscapes, their social context, and emotions after an introspection into space. The media I use comprise painting, photography, installation, digital creation, and writing.
My interest in complexity and seemingly opposite and chaotic elements in fields that fall within geography, geometry, sociology, psychology, and affective science, favor the aesthetic and conceptual making of the artworks. The process is based on tacit and practical knowledge, acquired from direct contact and experience. That is, researching the places that attract me and physically walking through the territory, absorbing maps, sensations, and sounds captured in this prospection. So also bring my own and others’ knowledge, emotions, and feelings by a sharpened intuition and imagination.
Built from allegories established between visual and compositional art elements and my perception of the specific experiences of place and time, my own constructions aim to create a personal universe (stage, environment) for analysis, reflection, and research. As a result, the saturation and superposition of elements in a background with a constant need for stimuli, leading to an accumulation of links, observations, and thoughts that inevitably scratch the shallowness to reach deeper and instinctive.
CV \ SOLO SHOWS
2021 – UPCOMING – Expanded Spaces. FundBüro Gallery, Berlin.
2019 – Introspecciones en el paisaje. Galeria Lumbreras, Bilbao.
2018 – Sònia Toneu. Galeria Espai B, Barcelona.
2017 – Defensar la cultura (two artists solo). Galeria Antoni Pinyol, Reus.
2017 – Cartografia imaginaria. Convent de les Arts, Alcover.
2016 – Sound scapes. Galeria Antoni Pinyol, Reus.
2014 – Sound maps. Galeria Espai B, Barcelona.
2013 – Impuls orgànic (two artists solo). Galeria Espai B, Barcelona.
SELECTED GROUP SHOWS
2021 – WORK IN PROGRESS – Joven llama joven. Galeria Lumbreras, Bilbao.
2020 – WAC Poblenou Urban District festival, mural. Simon Electric, Barcelona.
2020 – BAIR Project. Jorg Contemporary. Kalmthout, Belgium.
2020 – ArtConnect Open Studios. HER Contemporary, Berlin.
2020 – Virtual Open Studios. Glogau AIR, Berlin.
2019 – WAC Poblenou Urban District festival, mural. La Plataforma art gallery, Barcelona.
2019 – Tzompaltli, Group show, Galería 18, Playa del Carmen, México.
2019 – WAC Poblenou Urban District festival, outdoor mural rooftop Playground, Barcelona.
2019 – Affordable Art Fair Milano, with Galeria Espiral. Italy.
2018 – WAC Poblenou Urban District festival, exterior mural for Hotel The Gates, Barcelona.
2018 – Festival Llambordes Street Art, exterior mural, Reus, Spain.
2018 – Impulsarte – Hybrid Festival. Petit Palace Savoy, Madrid.
2018 – X Premi Salou de recerca pictòrica. Torre Vella, Salou, Spain.
2018 – STRIPART XXIII, outdoor mural. CC Guinardó, Barcelona.
2018 – Poblenou Open Day, live interior mural on the festival. Poblenou, Barcelona.
2017 – Reus Urban Art. Street murals in collaboration with Galeria Antoni Pinyol, Reus, Spain.
2016 – Group show Arteles Creative Centre. Haukijarvi, Finland.
2016 – Group show Farran 23. Pop-up Gallery, Barcelona.
2015 – 100x100Photo. Galeria Espai B, Barcelona.
2015 – Telax 2015. Galeria Antoni Pinyol, Reus, Spain.
2015 – Bienal de arte joven. Sabadell, Spain.
2015 – BBVA Ricard Camí premio de pintura. Terrassa, Spain.
2015 – Premio de pintura joven. Fundació Iluro Mataró, Spain.
2015 – Premio internacional de pintura joven. Ibercaja , Zaragoza, Spain.
2014 – Kölner Liste Contemporary Art Fair. Germany.
2014 – De la paraula a la música. Setba, Barcelona.
2014 – Més enllà de la Massana. Javier Puértolas, Oliver Roura, Joan Cabrer, Sònia Toneu. Jim Contemporani, Barcelona.
2013 – SWAB Contemporary Art Fair, Barcelona.
2012 – SETBA Jove 2012. Setba, Barcelona.
2012 – STRIPART, XVII mostra d’art jove. CCG, Barcelona.
2012 – Col·lectiu El Fresc. La Carbonea. Girona, Spain.
2012 – Open Studio. Satoko Nagashima and Sònia Toneu. ArtFunkl, Manchester, UK.
2012 – Col·lectiu 13. Palau de Congressos. St Julià de Lòria, Andorra.
2012 – FIGRAMU. Sala Blava Escola Massana, Barcelona.
RESIDENCES \ AWARDS
2021 – UPCOMING – Artist in residence grant World Art Forum, Egypt.
2021 – UPCOMING – Artist in residence grant Soria Arte, Spain.
2021 – UPCOMING – Artist in residence grant SiaNoja, Spain.
2020 – BAIR Project. Residence grant. Bad Honnef, Germany.
2020 – Artist in residence GlogauAIR, Berlín.
2019 – Artist in residence grant, Casa del artista Nautilus, Lanzarote, Spain.
2019 – Artist in residence grant Art Circle, Slovenja.
2017 – Convent de les Arts d’Alcover. Award for the project Cartografies Imaginaries, Spain.
2016 – Artist in Residence, Arteles Creative Centre, Finland.
2015 – Artist in Residence, Nordanbal, Iceland.
2015 – Finalist in Telax award. Galeria Antoni Pinyol, Reus, Spain.
2015 – Finalist in young art biennale. Sabadell, Spain.
2015 – Finalist in BBVA Ricard Camí painting prize. Terrassa, Spain.
2015 – Finalist in Young painters grant. Fundació Iluro Mataró, Spain.
2015 – Finalist in internacional Young painters grant. Ibercaja , Zaragoza, Spain.
2014 – Artist in Residence, Cerdeira Village Arts&crafts, Portugal.
2013 – Finalist in Why I love BCN, Generator Barcelona Art Competition, Spain.
2012 – Artist in Residence, ArtFunkl, Manchester, UK.
2012 – Select for Art Kudos International Competition.
COMMISSION WORKS \
2020 – Exterior mural for Mirage Bistrot, Reinickendorferstr. 110, Wedding, Berlin.
2018 – Interior mural for the rooms in The Gates Diagonal Barcelona Hotel, Av. Diagonal 205, Barcelona .
2020 – Poblenou Urban District Interview \ https://www.poblenouurbandistrict.com/en/entrevista-con-la-artista-emergente-catalana-sonia-toneu/
2020 – Simon Electric Interview “El lenguaje femenino de la luz” \ https://www.instagram.com/p/CInRmfHDuuz/
2020 – GlogauAIR \ https://spanien-kultur.de/2020/04/18/sonia-toneu-en-glogauair-open-studios/
2020 – GlogauAIR \ https://spanien-kultur.de/2020/03/19/glogauair-virtual-open-studios/
2019 – Nautilus Lanzarote \ https://residencianautilus.org/2019/12/18/sonia-toneu-entusiasta/