Grau, Enrique (1920–2004)

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Grau, Enrique (1920–2004)

Enrique Grau (b. 18 December 1920, d. 1 April 2004), Colombian painter. Grau was born to a prominent family from Cartagena that encouraged his creative talents. His first exhibition, in 1940, preceded formal art studies, which he began at the Art Students League in New York City (1941–1942). Grau worked in many media, including set design, costumes, and films. However, his reputation as one of the most important Colombian artists—along with Fernando Botero, Alejandro Obregón, Edgar Negret, and Eduardo Ramírez Villamizar—was established in the early 1960s by his paintings. Although he was always a figurative artist, Grau's works of 1955–1962 show the influence of abstract geometry; his images—in painting, drawing, and sculpture from 1962—demonstrate the development of a style that combines refined mimetic skills with satire.

Retrospectives of Grau's work have been organized in Colombia by the Universidad Nacional, Bogotá (1963); the Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá (1973, 2002), and the Fundación Da Vinci, Manizales (graphic work, 1988). Grau's work also has been featured in international exhibitions focusing on contemporary Colombian and Latin American art: Latin American Art Since Independence (Yale University Art Gallery and University of Texas Art Museum, 1966); Lateinamerikanisch Kunstaus-stellung (Kunsthalle, Berlin, 1964); El Arte Colombiano a Través de los Siglos (Petit Palais, Paris, 1975); Perspective on the Present: Contemporary Latin America and the Caribbean (Nagoya City Art Museum, 1991). In 2004 the Enrique Grau Cultural Center opened in Cartagena.

See alsoArt: The Twentieth Century .


Germán Rubiano Caballero, ed., Enrique Grau (1983).

Stanton L. Catlin, et al., Enrique Grau, Colombian Artist (1991).

Additional Bibliography

Fiorillo, Heriberto. La Cueva: Crónica del Grupo de Barranquilla. Bogotá: Planeta, 2002.

Grau, Enrique, et al. Enrique Grau: Homage. Bogotá: Villegas Editores, 2003.

                                            Fatima Bercht