Manuel Felguérez was born on December 12, 1928 in Zacatecas and died on June 8, 2020.
Manuel Felguérez was born on December 12, 1928 in Zacatecas and died on June 8, 2020. When the father died prematurely in 1935, the family moved the following year – permanently – to the Federal District with the maternal grandparents who owned the then Ideal Theater. Felguérez received his education at the Colegio México from the Marist brothers and was a member of the Scouts of Mexico, where he met Jorge Ibargüengoitia. Later he enrolled in the Academia de San Carlos, where he only stayed four months before deserting, tired of the emphasis that was made of the Mexican School of Painting.
However, he studied at the National School of Plastic Arts -Academia de San Carlos- of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1948, at the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving “La Esmeralda” in 1951, at the Academia de la Grande Chaumier in Paris between 1944 and 1959 and between 1954 and 1955, at the Colarossi Academy in Paris, France thanks to a grant from the French government. These last two are of utmost importance for his training, since it is there that he works with the French sculptor of Russian origin Ossip Zadkine (1949-1950), who, trained in Cubism, will have to become one of the greatest influences for the later work by Manuel Felguérez.
Felguérez’s style formation and images are closely linked to the various movements in Europe, such as incorporating geometric-constructivist, informalism and abstract expressionism that was exposed in his first formation. He has merged these elements into his own style. Her work often contains basic geometric shapes like circles, triangles, rectangles, and squares, in combinations to form her own “language.” His work has been compared to Picasso and Tamayo.
Upon his return to Mexico, he is part of the first generation of national abstract artists, openly confronted with the tradition of the Mexican School of Painting, headed by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco; The Generation of Rupture includes, among others: Vicente Rojo, Fernando García Ponce and Lilia Carrillo.
His academic career, carried out in parallel to his artistic activity, led him in 1966 to be a visiting professor at Cornell University, United States, and in 1975, guest researcher at Harvard University, as well as to teach the Composition class of the Structure of the Painting in the National School of Plastic Arts. From 1977 he became a researcher at the Institute of Aesthetic Research at UNAM, until his retirement in 1990.
He made his first solo exhibition in 1958, at the Antonio Souza Gallery. He was an artist of interdisciplinary activity, walking between painting, murals and sculpture. In 1959 he made a mural for an apartment building located on a street in Mexico and with mosaic and marble material. In this work its geometric articulations are seen combined with areas that, despite the rigidity of the materials, exhibit a volatile gesture.