Gamarra, José (1934–)

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Gamarra, José (1934–)

José Gamarra (b. 12 February 1934). Uruguayan artist. Gamarra was born in Tacuarembó, Uruguay, and studied at the School of Fine Arts in Montevideo as well as with Vicente Martin (1952–1959). He studied engraving with John Friedlaender and Iberé Camargo in Rio de Janeiro (1959). In 1963 he was selected for the Biennial of Young Artists in Paris, after which he settled in Arcueil, France.

Gamarra's early works were abstractions inspired by pre-Conquest art motifs and Uruguayan vernacular ironwork. After moving to Paris, he began to paint tropical landscapes modeled after nineteenth-century European and North American visions of Central and South America as a primeval and exotic territory. Historical, mythological, and contemporary figures (Indians, conquistadores, guerrillas, nuns, and pre-Conquest idols) coexist in Gamarra's painted rain forests. War vehicles and artifacts disturb his paradisiacal settings. Objects and human figures have been interpreted as suggesting narratives and critical comments about Latin American history, such as the Spanish Conquest or North American interventions (Five Centuries Later, 1986).

See alsoArt: The Twentieth Century .


Dawn Ades, Art in Latin America: The Modern Era, 1820–1980 (1989), pp. 293-296.

Oriana Baddeley and Valerie Fraser, Drawing the Line: Art and Cultural Identity in Contemporary Latin America (1989), pp. 24-30.

Additional Bibliography

Pérez-Barreiro, Gabriel, ed. Blanton Museum of Art: Latin American Collection. Austin: Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, 2006.

                                           Marta Garsd