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José Caballero (1915-1991)
A painter, illustrator and theatrical designer, Caballero was born in Huelva, Spain in 1915. In 1924, he began studying drawing with José Fernández Alvarado. In 1931, he went to Madrid to study engineering but soon enrolled in painting classes in the School of Fine Arts of San Fernando and in the workshop of Daniel Vázquez Díaz
He was connected to the avant-garde poets of his time, like Neruda, Alberti, García Lorca, among others. In 1935 his drawings were shown in the surrealistic conference in the Cultural club of Seville. He also painted the scenery for Weddings of Blood, by García Lorca.
Between 1940 and 1948 he devoted himself to the theatrical and cinematographic scenery. Also, he traveled to Italy. In 1950 he had his first solo exhibition in Madrid, winning his first awards in 1951: that of the Circle of Writers Cinematográfico and that of Young Painting of the first Biennial Spanish American (celebrated in the Spanish capital).
In 1952 he exhibited at the Biennial in Venice and at the International Exhibition of the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The following year, he exhibited at the Modern Art Museum of Madrid and took part in the International Exhibition of Arts of London.
He received the Award of Painting in the Spanish-American Biennial II of the Modern Art Museum of Havana.
In 1955 he obtained the Big Award of Painting in the Biennial III of Spanish-American Art celebrated in Barcelona. In 1960 he was rewarded in the International Contest of the Decoration of the Big Theater of the Opera of Geneva and launched an exhibition in Lausanne.
In 1963 he exhibited for the first time in the United States; in 1970 at the Gallery owned by Juana Mordó of Madrid, where he continued exhibiting.
In 1971, in Paris, he prepared with Pablo Neruda the edition of bibliography of his poem “Oceana“ with fourteen lithographies; and the following year he realized his first anthological exhibition in Huelva.
In 1973 a retrospective of his painting was inaugurated in the Foundation Gulbenkian of Lisbon. In 1984 he received the National Award of Plastic Arts. Five years later he traveled to Bulgaria to be receive an Honorary Doctorate from the Top Institute of Fine Arts of Sofia and to inaugurate his anthological exhibition of graphic work at the International Museum.
That same year he received the Fine Arts Gold Medal. In 1990 there he received the Award of Plastic Arts of the Andalusian Culture, exhibited his graphic work in the Chapel of the Judge of the Foundation School of the King of Alcala de Henares and Juan Gris of Madrid inaugurated his last exhibition at the Gallery.
He died in Madrid on May 26, 1991.
His pictorial work, which evolved from surrealism to abstraction, keeps on being exhibited in Spain and other countries as well. His work is represented in numerous museums of Europe and of America and institutions such as:
Academy of Fine Arts Nicolai Paulovich, Sofia (Bulgaria)
National Library, Madrid
House - Museum Federico García Lorca, Source Jeans, Granada
Andalusian Center of the Theater, Seville
Collection Obtains EFE, Madrid
Collection Savings Bank, I FELL DOWN, Saragossa
Collection Chase Manhattan Bank, New York (United States)
Foundation Bartolomé March, Palma
Foundation BBVA, Madrid
Foundation Caixa Gallicia, Corunna
Foundation Carnegie Institute Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States)
Foundation García Lorca, Madrid
Foundation Juan March, Madrid
Foundation Pablo Neruda, Santiago de Chile
Foundation Prop and Joan Miró, Palma
Foundation Rafael Alberti, The Port of Santa Maria, Cadiz
Foundation Hispanic Central Santander, Madrid
Telephone Foundation, Madrid
National Gallery of Foreign Art, Sofia (Bulgaria)
Museum Oriel window Aznar, Saragossa
Contemporary art museum of the High Aragon, Huesca
Spanish Contemporary art museum, Museum Courtyard Herreriano, Valladolid
Contemporary art museum, Managua (Nicaragua)
Contemporary art museum, Seville
Museum of the Center of Esthetic Investigations, Turin (Italy)
Museum of the Drawing Castle of Larrés, Sabiñánigo, Huesca
Museum of the Spanish Contemporary Engraving, Marbella, Malaga
Museum of the Theater, Spoleto (Italy)
Museum Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid
Municipal Museum, Madrid
National Museum I Center of Art Queen Sophia,
National Madrid Museo of Fine Arts, Equatorial Guinea
Museum Rufino Tamayo, Mexico, D. F.
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