Eugenio Espinoza

Eugenio Espinoza

Fellow: Awarded 2017
Field of Study: Fine Arts

Competition: US & Canada

Eugenio Espinoza was born in 1950, in San Juan de los Morros, in central Venezuela. From 1966 to 1974, he studied at the Escuela de Artes Plasticas Cristobal Rojas and the Instituto de Diseno Newmann-Ince in Caracas. From 1977 to 1981, he lived in New York where he studied at Pratt Institute, New York University and the School of Visual Arts. In 1972, Eugenio Espinoza exhibited cut and folded canvases at the Museo de Bellas Artes and his “Impenetrable” at Ateneo de Caracas. His later conceptual works include found objects and photography. In 1985, he represented Venezuela at the Bienal de Sao Paulo. His work is in the permanent collections of Tate Modern, London, U.K.; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Fine Arts Museum of Houston, TX; the Perez Art Museum Miami, FL; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; Galeria de Arte Nacional, Caracas; Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas; and Museo Alejandro Otero, Caracas; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Sao Paulo; Museo de Arte Moderna, in Rio de Janeiro; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Bogota; Fundacion Gego, Caracas; The Cisneros Collection, New York; the Cisneros-Fontanels Art Foundation, Miami, FL; and several other prestigious private and corporate collections.

Artist Statement:

Since my youth, when I started to study art, I understood that art was a representation of reality, which to me seemed unreal. One day, looking at a print by Alberto Durero, I realized that the grid was the graphic representation of real space. It was then that I discovered that the grid could be all I needed to create art without resorting to the use of traditional materials and compositions. Though I had interest in color, I liked the dynamic and harmonious result of black paint over the raw canvas. The horizontal and vertical black lines generated what seemed to me something that was both geometric and non-geometric.

In my art studies, my interest was always in geometric art. Inspired by Gego’s rejection of modernist traditions and her profound interest in space and structure as well as in breaking the limits of expressive freedom, I decided to focus on the grid and a non-traditional use of the stretcher to create my work.

In 1971 I created my first work, (Circunstancial/12 cocos which consists of a tridimensional square painted in a grid with black acrylic on raw canvas containing 12 coconuts inside. The work hung from the ceiling and the coconuts gave it an unexpected volume while softening the rigidity of the geometric grid.

Since then, my interest in the space, the black and white grid and tropical or folk objects are recurrent elements in my work.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Harn Museum of Fine Arts
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)
The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) international contemporary art

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