Morales, Armando (1927–)

views updated

Morales, Armando (1927–)

Armando Morales (b. 1927), Nicaraguan painter. Born in Granada, Morales studied under Rodrigo Peñalba at the School of Fine Arts in Managua (1948–1953). He received the Ernest Wolf Award for best Latin American artist at the Fifth Biennial in São Paolo (1959). With a Guggenheim Fellowship he studied engraving at the Pratt Institute Graphic Center in New York City (1960) and in 1965 he won a gold medal for painting from the Association of American Writers and Artists in Managua. He taught at the Cooper Union in New York City from 1972 to 1973, and in 1982 he moved to Paris. During that time he was a UNESCO representative for the Nicaraguan revolutionary government. When the Sandinista rebel government lost the 1990 elections, he left this position and opened a studio in London. The Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City showcased an exhibition of his lithographs in 1993.

Even in Morales's most abstract paintings there are allusions to the landscape—forest, sea, sky, and beach. Some of his paintings incorporate animate and inanimate forms, frequently architectural. His work became more figurative, focusing on the depiction of the female figure, for example Woman About to Return (1972). Since then he has painted jungle scenes of overlapping trees (Tropical Forest II, 1984) and female figures, often with segmented limbs. He painted Farewell to Sandino (1985), an iconic image of the Nicaraguan revolutionary surrounded by other militants.

Morales's carefully crafted technique, consisting of glazes and polished brushstrokes, endows his images with a patina of archaic fragility, often reinforced by the inclusion of painted architectural fragments, reminiscent of Central American pre-Conquest architecture. Morales's work is particularly distinguished by his refined control of tonal variation.

See alsoArt: The Twentieth Century .


Gilbert Chase, Contemporary Art in Latin America (1970), pp. 56-57.

Félix Angel, "The Latin American Presence," in The Latin American Spirit: Art and Artists in the United States, 1920–1970, by Luis R. Cancel et al. (1988), pp. 246-247.

Oriana Baddeley and Valery Fraser, Drawing the Line: Art and Cultural Identity in Contemporary Latin America (1989), pp. 25, 95, 111-112.

Additional Bibliography

Ashton, Dore. "Y los sueños sueños son …" Correo de los Andes 46 (Aug.-Sept. 1987): 66-72.

Bayón, Damián Carlos. "El espacio próximo y palpable en la pintura de Armando Morales." Plural (Mexico) 36 (Sept. 1974): 51-54.

Craven, David. "Armando Morales." Latin American Art 1 (Fall 1989): 45-49.

Morales, Armando and Lily S. de Kassner. Morales. Italy: Américo Art Editores, 1995.

                                        Marta Garsd

About this article

Morales, Armando (1927–)

Updated About content Print Article