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 Alberto Mijangos  (1925 - 2007)

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Lived/Active: Texas / Mexico      Known for: abstract painting, art education

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following information was submitted by Terry Carpenter:

A figurative abstract painter and art educator, he was born July 25, 1925, in Mexico City. He dropped out of school at an early age, but went on to study art at San Carlos Art Academy in Mexico City, and in the late 1940s at the Art Institute of Chicago. From there he moved to  San Antonio, Texas, where he found a job working on window displays, and had his first art show soon after. Every one of his paintings sold, and he called it his "breakout moment" into the San Antonio art scene.

In 1959, he began operating a small art museum for the Mexican government, which eventually became the Mexican Cultural Institute, now known as the Instituto de México. He served as director of the institute until 1972.

In the 1970s he moved back to Mexico for a few years but returned by the end of the decade. Mijangos taught at the Southwest School and the Hill Country Arts Foundation and gathered a circle of students in his studio and gallery on South Flores Street.  His students included Linda Lang, Missi Smith, Jenny Crone, Kenneth Karcher, Susan Straus, Kathy Vargas, Cristina Salgado, Antonio Gomez, Rosa Gonzalez and Sally Walker.

During the 1990s, Mijangos' work underwent major transition, beginning with his personal, iconic T-shirt paintings and on through a series based on AIDS patients transformed into contemporary versions of Edouard Manet's reclining nude, "Olympia." In his show "Trusting the Darkness" at the Southwest School, he divided his paintings into light and dark, reflecting the concept of yin and yang explained in the "Tao Te Ching." "To me, painting is a search. It's an adventure," Mijangos said in an interview in 2001. "It's a way of getting out of yourself and discovering the universe within. To me, painting is the act of surrendering to whatever is happening. I am constantly changing what I am doing, going from one direction to another. I don't want to paint the same style the rest of my life. I don't want to paint the same thing over and over."

His work has been exhibited in shows in Texas, Arizona, New York, and Mexico.

Mijango died in June of 2007 after a long battle with lymphoma.

Obituary, San Antonio Express News, 6/20/2007

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