Edgar Negret

Popayán, 1920 - Bogotá, Colombia, 2012

Sculptor. He studied at the School of Fine Arts of Cali between 1938 and 1943. Between 1955 and 1963 he lived in New York and studied at the Clay Club Sculpture Center, where he perfected his work with metals and began to work on aluminum, though he already had produced iron works in 1953. In 1956 he taught at New School for Social Research in New York. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he traveled through New York, Paris, Madrid, and Barcelona, beginning to use metal plates and wire in his sculptural works in an eminently abstract language. He participated in the editions of the Biennial of Venice XXVIII and XXIX of 1956 and 1958 respectively. Among his awards and recognitions are the National Prize of Sculpture of Colombia of 1963 and 1967; Grand Prix of Sculpture XXXIV Venice Biennial (1968); John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Scholarship (1975) and Plastic Masters Award, awarded by the President of Colombia Doctor Belisario Betancur (1986). Negret’s sculpture is immersed in the waters of Abstraction with Constructivist roots, an appearance that is accentuated by using screws and nuts to join the parts of his metal sculptures instead of using folds. This characteristic will give his works a distinctive stamp within the Latin American sculptural Abstraction. It is a work in the discursive that focuses on nature on one side and on the development of science and technology staged by machines on the other. Both are seen as two fundamental sources in the imaginary of Latin America’s project of modernity. From his individual exhibitions the following stand out: “Negret, retrospective exhibition, 1944-1958” National Library of Bogota (1958); “Negret” David Herbert Gallery (New York, 1959); Retrospective Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá from 1945 to 1965 (1966); Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, 1970); “Edgar Negret, 1957-1991, From the Machine to the Myth.” Museum of Monterrey (Mexico, 1991); “The Negret era” National Museum of Colombia (2006). His work is present in important public and private collections such as Nelson Rockefeller Collection, Museum of Modern Art of New York, Organization of American States (OAS); Museo de Bellas Artes (Venezuela), and Museo Rufino Tamayo (Mexico).