At the age of 5, Raúl Anguiano was already drawing famous models such as Charlie Chaplin, Álvaro Obregón, Venustiano Carranza and Rodolfo Gaona. At the age of 12 he leaves his school and goes to the Escuela Libre de Pintura. He studied with Ixca Farias, José Vizcarar and José Salomé Piña and in 1933 he organized the Young Painters from Jalisco. A year later he moved to Mexico City where he met Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco and studied their work. He painted his first mural that same year and joined the League of Revolutionary Writers and Artists. In 1935 he presented his work at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, being the youngest artist to exhibit work in this prestigious venue. In 1938, together with Leopoldo Méndez, Alfredo Zalce, Pablo O’Higgins and Fernando Castro Pacheco, he founded the Taller de Gráfica Popular. In this workshop he made engravings and lithographs with the general idea of having solidarity with workers and peasants. In 1949, together with other prominent artists and patrons, he founded the Salon of Mexican Plastic Arts. Additionally Anguiano was a teacher at the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving La Esmeralda. In 1990, together with the Casa de Jalisco, Grupo Arte Contemporáneo edited and published the book Raúl Anguiano.
He has had more than 100 individual exhibitions in museums in Cuba, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, France, Italy, the USSR, Israel, Germany, Japan, the United States and, of course, Mexico. Examples of public works can be seen in the murals of the National Chamber of Commerce, the National Museum of Anthropology, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic in Mexico. Outside of Mexico, he has murals at the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, and a 70-square-meter mural at East Los Angeles College. Some of the awards he has received are the Winter Distinction of the Mexican Plastic Show (1954), the José Clemente Orozco Decoration of the Jalisco Congress (1956), the Gold Medal of the Pan-American Show in Porto Alegre, Brazil (1958), Order to the Merit of the Italian Republic Commander Degree (1977), Jalisco Prize (1988), National Prize for Sciences and Arts in the Fine Arts area (2000), among others.
Anguiano’s work is an important ingredient to understand the development of new artistic movements in Mexico and South America. Raúl Anguiano captured themes related to native, rural and indigenous Mexico in his works, festivals, traditions and religion make a presence through his paintings. The female nude was a recurring theme in her artistic work, as were the landscapes that illustrated her travels. Innately, he leaned towards a rigorous geometric construction, reinforced by the study of the French painter Paul Cézanne. The geometric and solid structure is evident in all his plastic work. Through his work, a clear, simple and vigorous style is appreciated, based on neoclassicism, which was the first thing he saw in the house of Prisciliana, his paternal grandmother. For Anguiano, drawing is the foundation of all artistic creation. Through his work he consolidated the practice of a strong outline that characterizes his pictorial compositions and is a clear reference to the solid formation of the graphic school.