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 Ricardo Martinez  (1918 - 2009)

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Lived/Active: Texas / Mexico      Known for: surreal, abstract image painting-figure

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BIOGRAPHY for Ricardo Martinez
1918 (Mexico City, Mexico)
2009 (Mexico City, Mexico)

Texas / Mexico

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surreal, abstract image painting-figure

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ricardo Martínez de Hoyos (28 October 1918 – 11 January 2009) was a Mexican painter.  He was born to a large family in Mexico City comprising 16 siblings, with five of them who would pursue a career in fields related to the fine arts: Oliverio, an architect who greatly contributed to Ricardo's education; Jorge, an actor; Enrico and Homero, both of them architects; and Ricardo.

Between his nine and fourteen years of age, Ricardo Martínez de Hoyos lived in San Antonio, Texas, during the first years of the Great Depression.  When his family moved back to Mexico, he faced difficulties at speaking Spanish; however, his knowledge of the English language allowed him to read the works of English language writers such as Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, William Faulkner, John Dos Passos and Walt Whitman, among others.

From a very young age he had to earn an income by painting to help his family.  His knowledge in painting was self taught.  He learned from research books, from which Max Doerner's The Materials of the Artist stands out.  His English language edition of 1934 of that book revealed him the secrets of the technique.

Ricardo Martínez de Hoyos had the support of Federico Cantú, a neighbor to the place where Martínez used to work, who took him to Inés Amor's Gallery of Mexican Art, where he was allowed to sell his paintings and learn techniques by 1940.  He studied Law and got married to Zarina Lacy.

His first works were still life paintings, followed by non-narrative monumental figures related to Pre-Colombian sculpture.  He had his first art exhibit in Guadalajara, Jalisco, in 1942.

His works were among the "Master Works of Mexican Art" exhibit sent to several European countries and the United States between 1961 and 1963.  At the end of the 1960s decade Martínez created surreal* atmospheres in his works by using light and shadow.

In 1971, he received the Moinho Santista Award at the São Paulo Art Biennial*.  Among his most important art exhibits are the ones displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City in 1969 and 1974, and at the Museum of the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City in 1984 and 1994.

He died in January 2009 in Mexico City, Mexico.


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