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 Raul Anguiano  (1915 - 2006)

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Lived/Active: California/New York / Mexico      Known for: Mexican historical easel and mural painting, teaching

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Raul Anguiano Valadez is primarily known as Raul Anguiano

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Ad Code: 2
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
"La evolución de Comercio y los Transportes en México"
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following is written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California:

Raul Anguiano was born in Guadalajara, Mexico on February 26, 1915. He studied with art teachers in Guadalajara and at the Art Students League.  He had many commissions for murals in Mexico. He held the position of general secretary of the Art Teachers Union, Mexico City and Vice-president of the Mexican Association Plastic Arts.  He was art supervisor of adult education at Esmeralda Art School, Mexico from 1942 to 1964 and taught life drawing at the University of Mexico City at the same time.   

Throughout his works he maintained a faithful realistic tendency which he enriched with fantastic elements. He developed prints, drawings, paintings and murals (National Museum of Anthropology) dealing with the essential themes of the Mexican Revolution.  Besides his vocation for painting, he studied ethnology, a subject which he loved and further developed mainly about the women of the Lacandona area.   

He was a distinguished-looking man with a head of silver hair.  Most who knew him called him "Maestro".  He lived in Huntington Beach in California for several months of every year with his wife Brigita.  In 2002 he painted a mural in the auditorium of East Los Angeles College, teaching a class of art students at the same time.  These students were inspired and awestruck by this artist, who, at the age of eighty-six,  moved up and down a two-story scaffolding as if he were fifty years younger.  He taught as he worked, remembering Mexican art history without having to resort to books.   

Sources include:    Who's Who in American Art, 1993-1994, R.R. Bowker   
Yahoo on the Internet   
Los Angeles Times Saturday, February 23, 2002

Biography from
Raúl Anguiano was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, on February 26th, 1915.  He started drawing cubist pictures at the age of 5, taking as his first models movie stars, as Mary Pickford, Pola Negri and Charlie Chaplin. Anguiano recalls that his first artistic influence or aesthetic emotion came from the Holy Family by Rafael Sanzio.

At the age of 12, Anguiano attended Guadalajara's Free School of Painting under the tuition of Ixca Farias.  From 1928 to 1933, he studied with the Master painter José Vizcarra, the disciple of Santiago Rebull and José Salomé Piña, and organised the group "Young Painters of Jalisco" with other artists.  During this period, Anguiano worked with different kinds of models: workmen, employees and a few intellectuals like Pita Amor.

In 1934 Anguiano moved to Mexico City.  He began teaching in primary schools and taught drawing and painting at La Esmeralda academy and the UNAM School of Art.

Anguiano is member of the Mexican Artistic Renaissance movement which was started in the 1920's by the Mexican School of Art in which he belonged.  This renaissance began with the San Carlos Academy movement -- among whose leaders were Ignacio Asúnsolo and Jose Clemente Orozco -- and which emerged out of the students' and teachers' discontent with the traditional paintings methods (academicism), and the close contact that the young artists had with the problems of Mexico and its people, explaining the marked critical realism to the painters of the time, including Anguiano himself.

The same year, Anguiano received a commission to paint his first mural, Socialist Education, a 70 meters fresco located at A. Carrillo School in Mexico City.  Other works followed, including Mayan rituals (oils on canvas and wood), for the Mayan Hall in the National Museum of Anthropology, and Trilogy of Nationality (acrylic on canvas and wood), for the Attorney General's Office.

In 1936 he moved into his surrealist period, which lasted almost a decade.  He painted circus performers and prostitutes.  The most notable among his works of the time are: The Madame (gouche, 1936), The Clown's Daughter (oil, 1940), the Pink Circus Artist and the Grey Circus Artist (oil, 1941).  Also during this period, Anguiano produced a series of drawings based on his dreams, with cold tones and silver-greys predominating.

In 1937 Anguiano joined the Revolutionary Writers and Artists League.  Together, with Alfredo Zalce and Pablo O'Higgins, he was also a founding member of the Popular Graphics Workshop, where artists practised a graphic style based on Mexico's folk traditions.  This was due to the powerful influence of the recently discovered Jose Guadalupe Posada and Goya.

Raúl Anguiano belongs to the so-called "Third Generation" of post-revolutionary painters, along with Juan O'Gorman, Jorge González Camarena, José Chávez Morado, Alfredo Zalce, Jesús Guerrero Galván and Julio Castellanos, all known for being unorthodox, associated in politics and in art, while at the same time, holding to certain traditional canons.

Anguiano's work is viewed as an expression of its time because of its undeniably Mexican flavour, and the link to his people is clear, not only in his murals but also on canvas, etchings, pencil and ink drawings, lithographs and illustrations, and also more recently in sculpture and ceramics.  Without compromising his personality or ethnic roots, and at the same time not allowing them to limit him, Anguiano has vindicated and taken advantage of the principles of modern art, giving him a universal and transcending character of his boundary work.

Anguiano held his first solo exhibition, entitled "Raúl Anguiano and Máximo Pacheco" at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, in 1935; and in 1940 he took part in his first collective exhibition "Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art".  These were followed by more than 100 shows in many countries as Cuba, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, United States, France, Italy, the former Soviet Union, Israel, Germany and Japan. His most recent exhibitions include the presentation of a series of four colour lithographs, held at the Hall of Graphic Arts SAGA 88, from 1989 to 1990, in Paris; and the retrospective look at Anguiano's work in graphics (1938-1940), held at the National Print Museum in Mexico City in 1990.

Since 1982, Anguiano has been full member of Mexico City's Academy of Arts, and since 1993, he has also been Creator Emeritus of National System to the Creators of Art.

Biography from Artistic Gallery:
Mexican artist Raul Anguiano attended the Guadalajara Free School of Painting before moving to Mexico City.  He taught art there before traveling to New York as a professor at the Art Student's League.

During his artistic career, he illustrated many books and participated in individual and group exhibitions in Mexico, the United States, Europe and Japan.  As a guest lecturer in Europe and the Middle East and for a year at the University of California in Los Angeles, he often talked on "Muralism and the Mexican School of Painting".

He was an academician in Mexico City.

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