González, Carlos (1905–1993)

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González, Carlos (1905–1993)

Carlos González (b. 1 December 1905; d. 1993), Uruguayan artist, who specialized in woodcut. Born in Melo, in the department of Cerro Largo, González studied with Andrés Etchebarne Bidart. In his youth, he traveled throughout the Uruguayan countryside selling his family's wheatmill products; later he devoted himself to forestry. It was not until 1938 that he began to make woodcuts. He received gold medals from the National Salon of Fine Arts in Montevideo in 1943 and 1944. His subjects were local legends, traditional countryside scenes, and socially concerned testimonies to the poverty-stricken rural areas. In a typical González woodcut, the central scene is surrounded by a printed border filled with written messages and symbols representing rural work, leisure, and culture. The figurative elements on the margins complement the central scene. Together, both marginal and central illustrations narrate events from Latin American and Uruguayan history. His printing style was harsh and sketchy, often the result of carving wood with a common knife.

González wanted his art to have a didactic function, specifically, to tell the history and social reality of Uruguay as he interpreted it. This task, he believed, required a collective (or cooperative) effort. Feeling isolated, he abandoned artistic practice at the prime of his career, in 1944. In 1970 he was credited with the invention of Uruguayan printmaking at the Fourth American Biennial of Printmaking in Santiago, Chile.

See alsoArt: The Twentieth Century .


Angel Kalenberg, Carlos González o la invención del grabado uruguayo (1970).

Alicia Haber, "Vernacular Culture in Uruguayan Art: An Analysis of the Documentary Function of the Works of Pedro Figari, Carlos González and Luis Solari," in Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida University, Occasional Paper Series (Spring 1982): 9-15, and Carlos González: El grabado como puente visual (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Museo Blanes. Realismo social en el arte uruguayo: 1930–1950. Montevideo: División Cultura IMM, Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Juan Manuel Blanes, 1992.

                                           Marta Garsd

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González, Carlos (1905–1993)

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González, Carlos (1905–1993)