Omar Rayo

Roldanillo, Colombia, 1928 - Cali, Colombia, 2010.

Painter, engraver, and sculptor. He studied drawing by correspondence at the Zier Academy of Buenos Aires. In 1945 he published his first caricatures, which manifested first his bent for geometry. In 1954 he began his travels in South America and in 1959, thanks to a scholarship, he spent a year in Mexico City. Having contact with the pre-Columbian art arose in him an interest in the artistic possibilities of geometry, which would eventually define his work, developing a singular poetics inspired by the geometric abstract primitivism of pre-Columbian art. In 1960 he received a Guggenheim Grant and moved to New York; in 1970 he won the first prize for painting at the XXI Salón Nacional. One year later he was invited to the Biennale of São Paulo. He traveled to New York in 1976, where he definitively settled down and where his work reached full international recognition. Among his most important solo exhibitions is National Library of Bogotá (Bogotá, 1950); New School for Social Research (New York, 1952); Van Riel Gallery (Buenos Aires, 1957); Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango (Bogotá, 1958); Miami Museum of Modern Art (Miami, 1963); Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma (Oklahoma, 1967); Jack Misrachi Gallery (New York, 1970); “Retrospective 1960-1971”, Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá (Bogotá, 1971). His works are in prestigious museums and collections like Museum of Modern Art NY; Miami Museum of Modern Art (Miami, USA); National Museum of Modern Art (Tokyo, Japan); Museo de Bellas Artes (Caracas, Venezuela); Museum of Modern Art (Munich, Germany); Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris, France) and Deering Millken Collection (South Carolina, USA).