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 Mario Abreu  (1919 - 1993)

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Lived/Active: Venezuela      Known for: painting and sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Mario Abreu (August 22, 1919 - February 20, 1993)

A Venezuelan artist, he was know as the “master of magic objects”.

Competent in drawing since childhood, Abreu made his first drawings aged 9 and 10, when he painted his first landscapes, and moved to Caracas at a young age.  He worked as a laborer in Casa Benzo while studying at night to finish his primary education.  Later he attended night school from 9 to 11 pm at the Caracas School of Fine and Applied Arts, directed by Antonio Monsantos.  In 1942, after winning a painting competition and winning a scholarship worth 100 bolivars per month, he was able to leave work and attend the day courses at the same school, from which he graduated in 1947.  He participated in the Free Art Workshop, founded the year after his graduation.

In 1951 he received the National Prize for Painting at the XII Annual Official Hall Venezuelan Art, allowing him to get a scholarship to continue studies in Europe.  Between 1952 and 1961, he lived in Paris, where he developed an intense intellectual life and began a new phase of his work.

In 1961 he returned to Caracas.  In 1975 he received the National Prize of Plastic Arts of Venezuela and in 1985 the Armando Reveron Award, granted by the Venezuelan Association of Artists.

He always maintained an independent position, lonely and far from institutional activity, in the search of magical realism that surrounded the art of his time.

At his death, the Museum of Visual Arts in Ottawa was renamed the Museum of Contemporary Art in Maracay Mario Abreu (MACMA).


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