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Ernesto Gutierrez (b.1941)
'El Guitarrista (The Guitarist)' original oil painting by Ernesto Gutierrez




The present painting is a small but impactful work by the Peruvian artist Ernesto Gutierrez. The image is tightly cropped around the figure of a guitar player, their hands in the act of strumming the strings. The figure wears a dark poncho and red scarf, and the brim of their hat hides their gaze. In the background, Gutierrez places the figure among repeating arches and sunlit columns, relating to the cubist fracturing of space typical of the artist's oeuvre. Paintings like this show the artist's observation of daily life on the streets of Peru, but at the same time elevate these figures with mystery and magic. 18 x 14 inches, artwork 27.75 x 23.5 inches, frame Signed in yellow paint, lower right Signed and entitled in ink, en verso Framed to conservation standards using a linen liner and gold gilded moulding A leading Peruvian artist, Ernesto Gutierrez, was born in Lima, Peru, in 1941. His father was a Spaniard and his mother a descendant of the Incas. Upon completion of his high school education, Gutierrez entered the School of Fine Arts in Lima, Peru, where in 1964 he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and was awarded a Gold Medal. Sponsored by the Brazilian government, Gutierrez received the Itamarti Scholarship and studied for two years (1966-67) at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, while extensively exhibiting his works throughout the art centers of South America: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Cordova, Santiago de Chile, Lima, etc. In 1971, Gutierrez was granted a Fulbright Scholarship and studied at the University of Wisconsin where in 1974 he received a Master of Fine Arts . Gutierrez has been influenced by both local artistic factors: Pre-Columbian forms, native-popular Peruvian art, and also by modern French masters, such as Cézanne, Gaugin and, to a certain extent, Matisse. He is not of the school that needs the art critic to explain pallid lines to uncomprehending viewers. The boldness of Gutierrez’s colors, shocking pink, chartreuse, mauve hues and the whole gamut of blues, purples and greens – sometimes underlined and emphasized by opposite colors, such as black, maize or even pure white, adds to their dramatic effect, creating almost sensual excitement. In some of his paintings, Gutierrez assumes a cubist-realist simplification of forms and volumes and a precise rendering of surfaces. Gutierrez’s sensibility strikes as essentially Spanish while his inspiration derives from his Inca heritage, Peruvian landscapes and folklore.


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