Deira, Ernesto (1928–1986)

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Deira, Ernesto (1928–1986)

Ernesto Deira (b. July 1928; d. 1986), Argentine artist. Born in Buenos Aires, Deira turned to pop art, expressionism, and informalism to define a style halfway between abstract and figurative painting. He studied with Leopoldo Torres Agüero and Leopoldo Presas in the 1950s. Early works were reminiscent of Goya's grotesque creatures. A member of the Argentine New Figuration group, in 1961 he received a fellowship from the Argentine National Fund for the Arts to study in Paris. In 1964 he won the Guggenheim International Award and two years later a Fulbright fellowship to study in New York City, where he was a visiting professor at Cornell University.

Deira's work is characterized by gestural brushstrokes and harsh contrasts of color. He allowed paint to drip freely over the canvas to generate informalist structures which he accentuated with graphic signs and dribbles to define distorted figures. Some of his segmented figures, with exposed entrails, are erotic. His images became more serene after 1966, although they still tended toward ironic, nightmarish themes. In his later years he settled in Paris, where he died.

See alsoArt: The Twentieth Century .


Gilbert Chase, Contemporary Art in Latin America (1970), pp. 152, 155.

Félix Angel, "The Latin American Presence," in Luis R. Cancel et al., The Latin American Spirit: Art and Artists in the United States, 1920–1970 (1988), p. 259.

Miguel Briante et al., Nueva Figuración: 1961–1991 (1991).

                                         Marta Garsd