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 Oswaldo Guayasamin  (1919 - 1999)

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Lived/Active: United States/Ecuador      Known for: painting

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Ad Code: 2
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Quito en rojo
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
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.

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

Oswaldo Guayasamin was born in 1919 in Quito, Ecuador.  He was the oldest of ten children in a poor family. He enrolled at Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Quito against his father's wishes and studied architecture and painting.   

Guayasamin is a passionate, plump and indefatigable Ecuadorian Indian  (the name means " white bird flying" in Inca). He studied with Orozco and has a similar social consciousness, amounting to aching rage at Man's inhumanities, and a similar range of technique, from abstraction to hammer-blunt realism.  But his subject matter, Equador, is all his own; he sees it as a tragic land.   

Following his first exhibition in Ecuador, he was invited by the US State Department to show in a traveling exhibit in the United States of America.  He also traveled to Peru, Chile, Argentina and Bolivia and painted a series of 103 paintings focusing on life among the poor Indians and Blacks of Latin America.  He exhibited in Quito, Caracas, Washington, DC and in Barcelona.  He also painted murals, two of which are in Quito.  He visited Cuba, China, Russia and painted many heads of state, including Salvador Allende.  He dedicated a museum to the town of Quito. 

He died in 1999 in Quito.

Sources include:   
The Oxford Companion to 20th Century Art, edited by Harold Osborne   
Time Magazine, June 20, 1955


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