Essay A Study of Oswaldo Guayasamin's Paintings

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Oswaldo Guayasamin is the most important Ecuadorian painter of the 20th century. His art in his own words was highly compromised with his political and social views, but that did not adversely affect the symbolic and emotional depth his work carries. One of this artist biggest concerns was the treatment of his fellow indigenous tribes that still live mostly in the Sierra and Oriental regions of Ecuador. His series La Edad de la Ira reflects that concern with an eclectic use of art technics, strongly appealing to the viewers’ sensitivity to Indians plights and suffering. This essay will start by giving a brief biography of the artist and his work, a short introduction to the communist and Indigenismo movement in Latin America, followed by …show more content…
During his time at school, Ecuador suffers the Four Day War, a popular revolt against Ecuadorian president Arroyo del Rio. During the fracas, his best friend, Manjarrés, was killed. This would inspire him to paint Los Niños Muertos, and leave an identifiable mark on his views of people and society. Guayasamin graduated in 1940, afterwards American tycoon Nelson Rockefeller visited Quito and was so impressed with the young painter’s art that he bought five of his paintings and extended an invitation to visit the United States where there the artist spent seven months visiting museums.
His first series called Huaycañan also called El Camino del LLanto or The Trail of Tears was painted between 1946 and 1952. The 103 painting series was sketched and developed during his initial travels around Latin America, and was influenced by the Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco with whom he served as an assistant. His most important work however was the series La Edad de la Ira or The Age of Anger, painted between the 1960’s and well into the 1990’s up until the artist’s death. According to the Guayasamin Foundation, this is his second and the largest of his series or collection with approximately 130 canvases.
Of the series, the artist himself said, “I will end the cycle only when violence is ended. But it is not all that easy to accomplish. For that

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