Born in Bolivia in 1935, artist Alfredo Da Silva had his first one-man show at the age of sixteen at the Municipal Gallery in La Paz, and he continued to show his work in both group and one-man exhibitions throughout Bolivia during the 1950s. He initially came to international prominence in 1959, just one year after obtaining his degree as a teacher of drawing and painting from the Prilidiano Pueyredon Academy of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, when he won first prize in a competition for foreign artists at the Salon National of Painting in Buenos Aires. Just two years later he was awarded a Pan American Fellowship in Washington, D.C., where he was given a one-man show and then invited to represent the Pan American Union at the Biennale of San Paulo. He returned to the U.S. in 1962 to study graphic arts at the Pratt Institute in New York City.
During the 1960s, he continued to amass honors, including his Guggenheim Fellowship and a Pratt Graphic Center Grant, as his artwork attracted ever increasing attention and plaudits. Since then, he has participated in dozens of group exhibitions at such prominent venues as the Museum of Fine Arts, Mexico; the Contemporary Art Museum of Dallas, Texas; the Museum of Fine Arts in Helsinki, Finland; the gallery of the Central University of Caracas, Venezuela; the Institute of Contemporary Art in London; the Museum of Aberdeen, Scotland; and the Cultural Center of Villa Madrid, Spain. His work has also been exhibited in numerous one-man shows throughout North and South America and Europe and is in the permanent collections of the Coin Museum of Potosi, Bolivia; the National Museum of La Paz; the Metropolitan Museum of New York; and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro; to name just a few of the public collections that boast his works. His many prizes include the Grand Prize at the II Biennale INBO in La Paz in 1977.
The creation of my work is the result of a harmonious experience, intuitive and mental, that becomes crystallized on the canvas, sometimes taking organic forms, and other times the amorphousness of cosmic space. The colors acquire their intensity from my psychic state of the moment. Each art work has great plasticity; each begins in one marvelous adventure, like the flight of the condor free in space, where each movement of the line becomes transformed little by little, shaped by the rich spiritual experiences of time and cosmic space in my subconscious. Slowly each work evolves an abstract structure of distant transparencies where the colors acquire luminosity and mystery, almost as if bathed by the patina of time. The textures culminate in a visual quality and tactile flood of personal experiences, where finally the total work acquires its dimension of time and space. My art is a human adventure full of both personal and universal experiences in which we try to find ourselves again.
Profile image: Self Portrait, 1970. 16 x 20 inches, oil.
Follow these links for more information about Mr. Da Silva's work:
Fine Art America