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Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Quetzaltenango, Jan 26, 1897; d Guatemala City, Jun 1, 1970).

Guatemalan painter, collector, and writer. He began his artistic studies in Quetzaltenango, where he was fortunate to come into contact with the Spanish painter Jaime Sabartés (1881–1968) and Carlos Mérida, with whom he became friends. He continued his studies in Guatemala City and then in Mexico City at the Real Academia de San Carlos, where his fellow students included Rufino Tamayo, Roberto Montenegro, and Miguel Covarrubias. He returned briefly to Guatemala only to leave for Europe. He studied in Madrid at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and from 1924 to 1925 lived in Paris. He returned to Guatemala City in 1927 and in 1928 became director of the Academia de Bellas Artes. By then he had developed a style derived from French Impressionism, although he gradually moved toward a more naturalistic style, perhaps in response to the taste of his clients.

Garavito generally painted in oils on a medium or small scale, concentrating on the beautiful Guatemalan landscape, of which he can in a sense be considered the “discoverer.” His preferred subjects were the mountains, volcanoes, and lakes of the Guatemalan high plateau, and he was the first to incorporate in his works the Indians in their brightly colored clothes. He was the central figure and teacher of a group of figurative painters and painters working in a naturalistic style, such as ...

Article

Leonor Morales

[Chucho]

(b Guadalajara, Oct 10, 1882; d Mexico City, Aug 5, 1977).

Mexican painter, sculptor, and collector. He led a very curious life, surrounded by the antiques that he collected. In Guadalajara and later in Mexico City he produced what he called his ‘smeared papers’: sheets of India paper painted with washes of brilliantly coloured aniline dyes that he prepared himself, with the occasional addition of silver or gilt. Horses and cockerels were his favourite subjects, but he also painted exhausted girls, bleeding Christs, angels, demons and angel–demons, skulls, clowns, prostitutes, circus performers, monks, doves, and flowers. His painting has a very particular charm, inspired by popular and colonial art, the aesthetic value of which he was instrumental in promoting. Though influenced by Georges Rouault and by Marc Chagall (whom he met in Mexico in 1942), he was one of the most original figures in 20th-century Mexican art.

Kassner, L. S. de: Jesús Reyes Ferreira: Su universo pictórico. Mexico City, 1978....

Article

Xavier Moyssén

revised by Ana Garduño

(b Oaxaca, Aug 29, 1899; d Jun 24, 1991).

Mexican painter, printmaker, sculptor, and collector. He is one of a select group of Mexican painters who attained international reputations in the 20th century. Opposed to the ideological current represented by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco, Tamayo was involved with an aesthetic search detached from nationalism and more interested in addressing pictorial and aesthetic questions. He was born in Oaxaca, a region noted for its traditions and indigenous groups, its Pre-Columbian art and highly colored popular art, all of which, together with Tamayo’s travels to New York and Paris where he experienced the impact of artists such as Picasso and Jean Dubuffet, produced a highly original appropriation of the popular, the “primitive,” and the modern. Tamayo, with his painting and declarations of the need for artistic independence, became a model for a new generation of painters in the 1950s and 1960s who broke away from the Mexican school of painting....

Article

Teresa del Conde

revised by Deborah Caplow

(b Juchitán, Oaxaca, Jul 17, 1940).

Mexican painter, sculptor, textile designer, printmaker, and collector. He grew up in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, an area that was rich in legends, rites, and beliefs springing from a strong Zapotec tradition predating the Spanish conquest of Mexico. He began to draw and paint at a very early age, studying first in Oaxaca, where he produced linocuts in the graphic workshop run by Arturo García Bustos (1926–2017). In 1957 he moved to Mexico City to attend the Escuela de Diseño y Artesanía of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. After holding his first solo shows of gouaches and prints in 1959 in Fort Worth, Texas, and Mexico City, he moved in 1960 to Paris, where until 1963 he studied printmaking under Stanley William Hayter. While continuing to work within Western traditions, he became interested in the art of Asian cultures and in ancient Mexican art, especially in those forms that were not officially sanctioned....

Article

Veerle Poupeye

(b Lucea, Hanover, Jamaica, Dec 9, 1931; d Kingston, Jamaica, Jan 26, 2016).

Jamaican painter and dealer. He studied at the Royal College of Art, London, the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, and elsewhere in Europe. In the early 1960s, together with Karl Parboosingh and Eugene Hyde, he was one of the founding members of the Contemporary Jamaican Artists’ Association, which gave impetus to the second generation of the Jamaican Art Movement. His approach was essentially academic and realist, with occasional modernist intrusions. He experimented with abstraction, and in some works he employed a futurist analysis of movement. He is best known for his large-scale, epic depictions of Jamaican life painted in grand academic manner, such as the Garden Party (1976; Bank of Jamaica col.), which is a panoramic commentary on the idiosyncrasies of Jamaican society. He was also a popular portrait painter, and his finest portraits, such as the portrait of Valerie Bloomfield (1962; Kingston, N.G.), have an intimate, immediate quality. He was also well known for his nudes and erotic scenes, painted mainly in oil and watercolor. From ...