Esteban Vicente: The Art of Interruption – Painting, Drawing, Collage

Saturday, September 7, 2013 – Sunday, January 12, 2014

Within the first generation of Abstract Expressionists, Esteban Vicente was a member of the most influential circles of artists. During the course of his long and lauded career, he closely studied shape, light and the possibilities of pigment.

The artist completed his studies at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes in Madrid in 1924. In 1936, Vicente moved to New York and then to Philadelphia. During his first decade in the United States, Vicente exhibited at the Kleeman Galleries, the Bonestell Gallery, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

By the late 1940’s, Vicente was committed to exploring abstraction, giving up his earlier representational style of painting. In the 1950’s, Vicente explored collage, integrating the analytical cubism of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris into works that were highly animated. Vicente briefly taught at the legendary Black Mountain College in the summer of 1953 alongside Joseph Fiore and Peter Voulkos, and by all accounts, had a lasting impact on his students’ careers, including artists such as Dorothea Rockburne. Later in the decade, Vicente fully embraced the tenets of Abstract Expressionism. From the 1960’s to the end of his career, Vicente explored a mode of expression that integrated abstraction, movement and color.

Vicente’s drawings, like his paintings and collages, reflect his primary responsiveness to the medium even as he remained anchored in a Cubist definition of surface. This exhibition, drawn from across Vicente’s career, reveals the artist’s meticulous attention to translating his understanding of Cubism, Constructivism and assemblage from theory to canvas and paper.

Special thanks to Jerald Melberg Gallery and the McConnell Family Collection for their assistance with this exhibition.

View selected works in the exhibition »