"Dark Shadows", 1963. Oil on canvas.
64.5 x 48.5 cm; 85 x 70 cm (frame).
JOSÉ GUERRERO (Granada, 1914 - Barcelona, 1991) "Dark Shadows", 1963. Oil on canvas. Work reproduced in the Catalogue Raisonné of the artist page 478. Exhibitions: José Guerrero, Rose Fried Gallery, New York, November-December, 1963. Presents label of the Cayon Gallery (Madrid). Signed in the lower right corner. Dated and titled on the back. Provenance: Rose Fried Gallery, New York. Clifford Lewis Clark Collection, New York. Size: 64.5 x 48.5 cm; 85 x 70 cm (frame). Various masses of color star in the composition of this work, through the use of rapid brushstrokes, sweeps, and drippings, Guerrero defines a completely abstract and expressive scene. An evidence of the aesthetic experimentation of the artist himself, produced during the 60's. Thus showing the great aesthetic influence of the New York school, but at the same time standing out personally for the visual aspects; the two-dimensionality, the use of very intense colors, the use of expressive forms and the almost protagonist presence of the color black. A protagonism to which the author referred to in this way: "Ever since I can remember, black was always there, as a part of life; in people, in the landscape, in solitude". A Spanish painter and engraver who became a naturalized American citizen, José Guerrero developed his work within abstract expressionism. He began his training at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios in Granada, and soon moved to Madrid to continue his studies at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, where he was a student of Daniel Vázquez Díaz, who recommended that he continue his academic training in New York. In 1942 he obtained a scholarship from the Casa de Velázquez, and in 1945 he moved to Paris thanks to a new scholarship, this time granted by the French government. In the French capital he learned first-hand about the European avant-garde, and came into contact with the Spanish painters of the School of Paris. In the fifties, he discovered the abstract expressionism of the New York school. After studying English in London, Guerrero moved to New York in 1950, encouraged by his wife, the New York journalist Roxana Pollock, whom he had married a year earlier. In 1954 he exhibited with Joan Miró at the Art Club of Chicago, an exhibition that meant his definitive international projection. His art dealer was Betty Parsons, one of the most important gallery owners in New York at the time, gallery owner of important artists such as Pollock, Rothko, Clifford Still and Barnett Newman. During his stay in America, Guerrero's style changed completely, showing a profound influence of Rothko and Kline; he definitively abandoned figuration and built compositions where a marked tension between spaces, colors and unrecognizable objects is evident. He returned to Spain in 1965, and participated in the creation of the Museum of Abstract Art in Cuenca. He soon returned to New York, although he continued to make trips to Spain. His production, which continues to be characterized by the power of masses of color, planes and lines, is influenced at this time by Clyfford Still and Barnett Newman. Today, José Guerrero is recognized as one of the most outstanding Spanish painters of the New York School. He achieved early recognition, being named Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in 1959. Likewise, in 1976 his first anthological exhibition was held in his hometown. In 1984 he received the Gold Medal of Fine Arts, and in 1989 he was decorated by the Rodriguez Acosta Foundation.