Home Artists Juan Luis Goenaga

Juan Luis Goenaga

San Sebastián, Spain

6 Works exhibited on Kooness

Represented by


Works by Juan Luis Goenaga



49 x 38cm



53 x 69.5cm



26.5 x 35cm



24.5 x 34cm



33.5 x 23.5cm



49.4 x 40.5cm

Juan Luis Goenaga Mendiola (San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Spain, January 9, 1950) is a Spanish painter with a style ranging between expressionist and materialistic.

An outstanding name in Basque painting, his style can be defined as expressionist figuration, which is often hidden under a very free and sometimes material gesture, in mostly dark colors. Goenaga refuses to use labels, although he claims to move in figuration "almost always", which sometimes remains "more diluted".

Goenaga's art is recurrently inclined to ethnographic themes, cave painting, Basque mythology, and landscape. Inspired by the local orography and climate, Goenaga opts for earthy, stony and dark colors, although sometimes he surprises with bright flashes: red, green, yellow. Another of his interests is the world of the couple and the nude, of which numerous pieces, thought to be uncommercial because of their audacity, remain unpublished.

In 2020, the American filmmaker Woody Allen shot some shots of his film Rifkin's Festival recreating Goenaga's workshop in Alkiza, for which the painter lent paints and equipment.


Goenaga exhibited for the first time in 1971, in a group show in Paris. His first individual exhibitions took place in Durango (Biscay) (1973), in the San Telmo Museum in San Sebastian and several Basque galleries.

In spite of the age difference, he is usually related to the Gaur group, of José Luis Zumeta and Rafael Ruiz Balerdi (born in the 30's), due to his precociousness and his close relationship with them, both artistically and personally.

Among his individual works, we can point out: Bilbao Fine Arts Museum (1978), three in the San Telmo Museum (1979, 1981 and 1986), Windsor Gallery in Bilbao (1981, 1984 and 1990), Paris (1985), New York (1987), Bayonne (1999)....

His presence in group exhibitions is even greater: Prague (1978), Pontevedra (1983), Cologne (1984), Zaragoza (1986), a traveling exhibition in the U.S. (1998-2001), Biarritz... Special mention should be made of Torre Luzea in Zarauz (1984), where he exhibited with Balerdi and Zumeta, and the group show El modernismo at the Bonnat Museum in Bayonne (1985).

In 2001 he presented a controversial series of erotic themes, Postura txinarrak. In June 2003, he was exhibited together with Ruiz Balerdi and Vicente Ameztoy in a small show in San Telmo, and months later in the Sala-Kubo of the Kursaal in San Sebastian, together with Zumeta, Remigio Mendiburu and Ruiz Balerdi. In the latter, Goenaga surprised with a more vivid color, influenced by a trip to Menorca.

At the end of 2005, he exhibited again in Bilbao, mainly paintings on paper, although in his eagerness to experiment, he had tried painting on atypical supports, such as garments.

In 2017, a retrospective on his career took place in the halls of the Fundación Vital Fundazioa in Vitoria curated by Juanma Arriaga, from Kur Art Gallery.1

The poster for the 79th Edition of the Quincena Musical was starred by a work of art by Juan Luis, in 2018.2

In September 2020, the Kubo-kutxa gallery in San Sebastian opened a major retrospective of his work.



His work is present in the most important Basque museums and collections: Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Museo de San Telmo, ARTIUM of Vitoria, Museo Diocesano de San Sebastián, as well as in the Kutxa Foundation, BBVA Group, etc.

XI National Youth Art Contest, 1969, Malaga.
VI Basque Painting Grand Prize, 1975, San Telmo Museum (Eduardo Chillida is part of the jury).
First Prize Villa de Bilbao, 1985, Bilbao
First prize in the Donostia Biennial of painting, 1985, San Telmo Museum
First prize in the "Gure Artea 87" painting contest, 1987, Vitoria, Spain