Jose Guerrero Abstract Drawing - Abstract
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Jose Guerrero
Abstract

1956

About

Jose Guerrero (1914-1991) "Abstract" 1956 Watercolor Signed and Dated 24 x 19 inches (paper) approx 30 x 25 (framed) José Guerrero B. 1914, GRANADA, SPAIN; D. 1991, BARCELONA José Guerrero was born on October 29, 1914, in Granada, Spain. From 1930 to 1934 he attended art classes at the Escuela de artes y oficios in Granada, and in 1940, following his friend Federico García Lorca’s advice, he moved to Madrid, where he continued his studies at the Escuela superior de bellas artes de San Fernando (now Real academia de bellas artes de San Fernando). On completing art school in 1945, Guerrero received a grant from the French government to study fresco painting for one year at the École des beaux-arts, Paris, where he experienced firsthand the works of Juan Gris, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso, and became particularly interested in those of Henri Matisse. The landscapes and rural scenes Guerrero painted on his return to Spain reflect Matisse’s profound influence on his work. Starting in 1946 Guerrero embraced the life of a wanderer and spent several years traveling across Europe, staying in Bern, Brussels, London, Paris, and Rome. In Rome he befriended Afro (Afro Balsadella) and his brother Mirko (Mirko Balsadella), and he met Roxanne Whittier Pollock, the American journalist he would marry in 1949. This same year, the couple moved to the United States, staying in Philadelphia first and settling in New York a year later. This move opened a new course in the artist’s work. Guerrero painted his last figurative work, a self-portrait, in 1950. Thereafter, galvanized by Abstract Expressionism, he abandoned his figurative style for abstraction. Characteristic of this new phase, simplified, biomorphic forms float in a quasi-monochromatic background. By the mid-1950s Guerrero’s style had become more gestural, expressing a deeper sense of urgency, as he loosened his brushstroke and introduced a controlled dripping technique. A selection of these new paintings appeared in an exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, in 1954, marking Guerrero’s emergence as a distinctive painter within the New York school. Since moving to New York, Guerrero had become acquainted with some of the most prominent members of the American avant-garde including Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, and Theodoros Stamos. Concurrently he met James Johnson Sweeney, critic and director of the Guggenheim Museum, who included his work in Younger American Painters: A Selection (1954). In 1965 Guerrero returned to Spain and from then on divided his time between his native country and the United States. Coinciding with Guerrero’s return to Spain is the reintegration of purer colors in his works, distant from the anxiety-ridden, predominantly black paintings of the late 1950s. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Guerrero’s abstract style continued to evolve, as he created orderly and rhythmic vertical compositions, followed by increasingly dynamic works in which brilliant hues took the lead. Solo exhibitions include those at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (1952); Galería Juana Mordó, Madrid (1964); Escuela de artes y oficios (1981); and Museo de arte contemporáneo, Seville (1990). Guerrero died on December 23, 1991, in Barcelona. In 1994, the Museo nacional centro de arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, organized a major retrospective of his work.

Details

  • Artist
    Jose Guerrero (1914 - 1991, American/Spanish)
  • Creation Year
    1956
  • Condition
    Good
  • Dimensions
    H 30 in. x W 25 in. x D 2 in.H 76.2 cm x W 63.5 cm x D 5.08 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Missouri, MO
  • Reference Number
    LU74734213032
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