Oswaldo Guayasamín

“My art is a prayer, a cry... and the most elevated result of love and solitude.”

Followed by shows at the São Paulo Biennial, the Luxembourg Palace in Paris, and the Palais de Glace in Buenos Aires, Guayasamín is considered by some to be a national hero. A major legacy of his includes the completion of La Capilla del Hombre, a chapel remembering the mistreatment of indigenous peoples in Latin America. During his life Guayasmín befriended the famed writers Gabriel Garcia-Marquez and Pablo Neruda. His murals can be seen at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and at Adolfo Suárez Airport in Madrid. (Read More)

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In denouncement of violence, painter and sculptor Oswaldo Guayasamín dedicated his practice to exploring expressions of pain and misery in the collective human history. His work, which he considered an homage to the struggle of mankind, was both expressionist and humanist in style; he also borrowed significantly from the folk painting traditions of indigenous peoples of Latin America. As a result, Guayasamín is sometimes considered an “indigenous expressionist.” He produced sculptures, murals, and paintings. The most common subject in his works is the human figure, distorted by pain into an emaciated and skeletal form. He passed away in 1999 and was once quoted, “Mantengan encendida una luz que siempre voy a volver,” or “Keep a light burning for I will always return.”


Important Exhibitions

2010    Guayasamín, Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, Brazil

2008    Of Rage and Redemption: The Art of Oswaldo Guayasamín, Sarratt Gallery, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

2000    Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain

1992    Palais de Luxembourg, Paris, France

1982    Retrospective, L’Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

1971    Museo de Bellas Artes, Mexico

1953    Museo Nacional de Caobos, Caracas, Venezuela

1943    Tres Pintores Sudamericanos, Museum of Art, San Francisco, California, USA


Important Group Exhibitions

2023    What Humanity? The Human Figure After the War (1940-1960), Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

2019    Innovation and Imagination: The Global Dialogue in Mid to Late 20th Century Art, Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Jacksonville, Florida, USA

2013    Intersections, (MOLAA) Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California, USA