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Abramo, Lívio  

Roberto Pontual

revised by Gillian Sneed

(b Araraquara, 1903; d Asunción, Paraguay, 1992).

Brazilian printmaker and teacher. Abramo was born into a middle-class Italian immigrant family in Araraquara, in the state of São Paulo, before moving to the city of São Paulo in 1909. In 1911 he studied drawing with painter Enrico Vio (1874–1960) at the Colégio Dante Alighieri in São Paulo. In 1926 he came into contact with German Expressionism and the work of engraver Oswaldo Goeldi, and made his first woodcut print, Vista Chinesa (1926; Echauri de Muxfeldt 2012, pl. 122), depicting a village bridge in an Expressionist style. Initially self-taught in printmaking, his work addressed social themes such as the São Paulo working class. In 1928 and 1929 he created linocuts depicting images of the working class in a Cubist style for the newspaper Lo Spaghetto. In the early 1930s he became influenced by the paintings of Tarsila’s anthropophagic phase (1928–1929) and Lasar Segall’s Expressionism. In 1930 Abramo joined the Communist Party (PCB), but he was expelled in 1932 after he was accused of being a Trotskyist. In 1931 he began working as a draftsman for the ...


Cruz Azaceta, Luis  

Ricardo Pau-Llosa

(b Havana, Apr 5, 1942).

Cuban painter, active in the USA. He left Cuba in 1960 and settled in New York, where from 1966 to 1969 he studied at the School of Visual Arts. He was a protagonist of the neo-expressionist movement that emerged in New York in the 1970s (see Neo-Expressionism in America). His work of this date is characterized by a humor lacking in some of the work by European exponents, for example The Dance of Latin America (acrylic on canvas, 1.96×2.34 m, 1983; New York, Met.). In 1985 he won a Guggenheim Fellowship in painting. Works by Cruz Azaceta are in a number of collections (e.g. A Question of Color, acrylic on canvas, 3.05×3.66 m, 1989; Houston, TX, Mus. F.A.) including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; Boston Museum of Fine Arts, MA; and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, TX....


George, Milton  

Veerle Poupeye

(b Asia, Manchester, Jamaica, Jul 23, 1939; d Kingston, 2008).

Jamaican painter. He attended the Jamaica School of Art in Kingston part-time, although he was essentially self-taught. He started exhibiting in the late 1960s and he was a major exponent of the expressionist trend in Jamaican art. His central theme was the absurdity of the human condition, as seen from a personal, highly subjective perspective. While his early work is characterized by a gentle melancholy, his mature work has satirical, albeit anguished overtones. The human figure is central to most of his paintings and is usually subjected to caricatural distortion, although on occasion he also experimented with full abstraction. His major subjects were the self, the artist and the art world, the individual versus society, the man–woman relationship. Occasionally he also commented on political issues. Most of his works include self-images, in the form of direct self-portraits or projections into other personae such as the Christ figure. Among his major works is a fourteen-panel work, ...


Médici, Eduardo  

Jorge Glusberg

(b Buenos Aires, Dec 15, 1949).

Argentine painter. He studied drawing and painting under Anselmo Piccoli (1915–1993) and obtained a degree in psychology. His work occupies a transitional position between Neo-Expressionism and painting with a more symbolic emphasis and is characterized by an abstraction full of semiotic nuances. The lyricism of such works as Buenos Aires is a Fiesta (1984; see Glusberg 1985, 525) has a rhythmic, measured structure. It depicts colored areas that revolve around a more densely colored nucleus, the expanding universe, as it were. Portrayal of movement is constant in the works of the 1980s, some of which also depict bodies whose contours merge into the harmonic fabric of the painting. In subsequent works Médici used a more clearly semiotic approach, combining anthropomorphic figures with numbers, letters, lines, crosses, spirals, and various designs suggestive of animals or other forms.

Glusberg, J. Del Pop-art a la nueva imagen. Buenos Aires, 1985; Eng. trans., abridged as ...


Milián, Raúl  

Ricardo Pau-Llosa

(b Havana, 1914; d Havana, 1984).

Cuban painter. He was a member of the Grupo de los Once, which introduced Abstract Expressionism into Cuba without great success, although he is difficult to categorize in any one school. He had no formal training and worked entirely in small formats with ink and watercolor, producing haunting images of flowers (e.g. Sunflower, 1961; Havana, Mus. N. B.A.) and figures as well as purely abstract work (e.g. Abstraction, 1959; Havana, Mus. N. Cuba). His dark palette enabled him to have a subtle control of color and transparency. His first solo exhibition in Havana was not until 1953. A silver medalist at the third São Paulo Biennial, works by Milán are held by the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Enciclopedia de Cuba. Madrid, 1975, vol. 7, pp. 200–202.Hernández, O. and Vega Dopico, E. Raúl Milián: espacio mínimo...


Monzo, Osvaldo  

Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, Jul 3, 1950).

Argentine painter. He was self-taught and came to prominence in the early 1980s as part of a current of Neo-Expressionism and New Image painting that related to international developments emanating from Europe and the USA. He favored schematic images presented as signs, their flatness counteracted only by the sensations of space induced by his use of color and texture. He often incorporated written inscriptions into his pictures, as in a series entitled ...


Orozco, José Clemente  

Francis V. O’Connor

revised by Mark A. Castro

(b Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco, Sept 23, 1883; d Mexico City, Sept 7, 1949).

Mexican painter, muralist, draftsman, printmaker, illustrator, and caricaturist. Orozco, together with Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, was an outstanding member of the Mexican mural movement that dominated the field of the visual arts in post-revolutionary Mexico until the 1950s. Orozco and his particular approach to expressionism in color and form would be influential among younger generations of muralists and painters in Mexico and abroad.

Orozco was born into a middle-class family in the city of Zapotlán El Grande, today known as Ciudad Guzmán, but the family relocated Guadalajara in 1885. Five years later the family moved to Mexico City. In 1898 he began studying agronomic engineering at the Escuela de Agricultura de San Jacinto, eventually earning the title of agronomist two years later. In 1901 he began taking evening classes in architecture at the Academia de San Carlos. Three years later, Orozco lost his left hand and suffered some visual and auditory impairment from an explosion that occurred while he was handling gunpowder from fireworks....


Pellón, Gina  

Ricardo Pau-Llosa

(b Havana, 1926; d Paris, Mar 27, 2014).

Cuban painter. She settled in Paris as a political exile in 1959, combining in her paintings the strong chromaticism of the Cobra painters with the calligraphic, automatic brushwork associated with Abstract Expressionism. She concentrated on the female figure, often shown singing, dancing, or in some dramatic pose, for example She Has Left the Page...


Rodríguez, Juan Luis  

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, Nov 24, 1934).

Costa Rican painter, sculptor, and engraver. He studied at the Casa del Artista, San José (1955–1958). In his early one-man shows between 1957 and 1959 his painting was expressionistic, and his landscapes and self-portraits were of an intimate nature. In 1959 he won a scholarship to study engraving at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The following year he helped organize the first open-air exhibition in the Parque Central, which aimed to bring fine arts and literature to a wider public. From 1961 he began exhibiting internationally in one-man and group shows. He showed the sculpture The Combat at the sixth Paris Biennale in 1969. His use here and elsewhere of objets trouvés made Rodríguez a pioneer in Costa Rican experimental sculpture, paving the way for the installations of Otto Apuy in the 1970s and of Rafael Ottón Solís in the 1980s. He continued his studies in engraving at the Vrije Akademie in The Hague (...


Salas, Carlos  

Natalia Vega

(b Pitalito, Huila, Jan 5, 1957).

Colombian painter. Salas has been recognized for his contribution to the regeneration of expressionist painting especially by expanding the reaches of abstract painting through the incorporation of context and a personal narrative.

Salas studied architecture at Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá; from 1982 he devoted himself to painting and moved to Paris where he lived until 1987. He studied at Ecole de Beaux-Arts where he participated in an exhibition with fellow Colombian students (1984) and later on, in 1988, in the exhibition Doce Mundos Colombianos at the 39th Salon de la Jeune Peinture at Petit Palais and several cities in Colombia. He began exhibiting in Colombia in 1987 and participated in institutional events such as Salón Nacional (1990), which were followed by other exhibitions in Venezuela and Costa Rica. His works, constructed by the assemblage of square paintings of diverse sizes, and multiple superimposed layers of painting and marks, which stressed their physical and structural qualities, soon gained recognition and positioned him as a solid and articulate exponent of abstract painting. He was supported by critics who highlighted the formal constructive and coloristic aspects of his work; the Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá organized a retrospective exhibition in ...


Tábara, Enrique  

Cecilia Suárez

(b Guayaquil, 1930).

Ecuadorean painter. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Guayaquil. In 1955 he received a grant to go to Spain, and he lived in Barcelona until 1964. He first used Expressionism as a reaction against indigenism; Tábara’s work was central to the Latin American movement, which began to abandon social realism in the 1950s. In his early work he painted characters on the margins of society in a hard and grotesque manner. From 1953 he started to experiment with abstraction, and in the 1960s he constructed a language of magical and mythical connotations derived from Pre-Columbian calligraphy. His work from this period is rich in texture, combining elements glued to the canvas, serial calligraphy, and telluric forms. In 1969 he began to search for new signs, notably feet and legs (his pata-pata motif), and from 1985 he revitalized his use of color and added leafy vegetation to the feet and legs in his quest to create morphologies compatible with the mythical culture of American man. Tábara exhibited worldwide to great critical acclaim....