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 Eduardo Kingman  (1913 - 1994)

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Lived/Active: United States/Ecuador      Known for: figure and genre painting, teaching

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Biography from Art Cellar Exchange:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Eduardo Kingman (1913-1997/98), one of the best-known artists to emerge from Ecuador in the 20th century, was a man of the people; an artist concerned with the struggle of his country's indigenous men and women.

Kingman was born in Loja, Ecuador and studied at the Esceula de Bellas Artes in Quito and several other institutions in Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and the United States. Later Kingman returned to the Escuela de Bellas Artes to teach and also served as the Director of the Museum of Colonial Art in Quito.

Kingman's paintings represented a new generation of ideas in politics, literature and art. He was committed to presenting a social message on a figurative aesthetic plane. All his works are convey a solitary emotional state, not unlike Kingman's personality. The artist lived an isolated and secluded lifestyle, submerging himself in the confusion of colors and creation of his art to produce a strong and expressive body of work. "Sin título - Muchacho en el umbral (Untitled - Boy in Doorway)" is indicative of this strong expressivity and bold aesthetic.

The subject of this painting conveys a profound tenderness, in response to the hostility that awaits him in the vulgar world. He is the son of workers, the downtrodden prisoners of the land. There is a sincerity and purity that fills this apparently simplistic canvas.

As is common among Kingman's oeuvre, the subject's hand is an important focal point in this painting. The boy's hand foreshadow his strength that will be called upon as an adult male. They appear aged far beyond his time and allude to the labor and production that will one day confine him.

Eduardo Kingman's work emphasizes expressivity and spontaneity with strong color and line. The boy's face is frank and expressive and his dark eye sockets convey a sadness and abandon that exemplify the poverty and hardship of Ecuador's indigenous people.

In 1940, Kingman founded the Caspicara Gallery in Quito which became an artistic venue and meeting place for many Latin American artists. The work of Eduardo Kingman has been featured in exhibitions in Paris, Washington, San Francisco and Mexico.

--Gretchen Van Camp
Latin American Art
Art Cellar Exchange

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