NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AMERINGER | McENERY | YOHE is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by Esteban Vicente. The works will be on view from 21 April through 21 May 2016. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication with an essay by Eren Johnson.
I think that no matter what, the painter has to have a sense of the physicality of the world.” – Esteban Vicente
ESTEBAN VICENTE was born in Turégano, Spain in 1903. His father served in the Civil Guard, a police force in the Castile region, and was an amateur painter who took the young Vicente with him on visits to the Prado Museum. In 1918, Vicente entered military school, but left after three months. At fifteen years old, Vicente began at the School of Fine Arts of the Real Academia de San Fernando in Madrid. As a young man living in Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris, he developed friendships with artists and writers. In 1928, he had his first exhibition with Juan Bonafé at the Ateneo de Madrid.
Vicente left Europe for New York City in 1936. The United States became the artist’s permanent home. His contemporaries and associates included Willem de Kooning (their 10th Street studios were on a shared floor), Elaine de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Barnett Newman, and Ad Reinhardt.
The late paintings of Esteban Vicente, exhibited at the gallery, represent the continued influence of his native Spain through his time spent in his Bridgehampton, New York home, purchased in 1964, studying the light and colors of his flower garden. Vicente’s critical role in the evolution and discourse of Abstract Expressionism is evident in the progression of his works. The paintings selected for this exhibition are significant examples of his use of broad bands of color to illustrate perceived landscapes and light. His use of color is attributed to the attention he paid to all of the physical senses – not just his sight. Vaguely defined forms frame his canvases, while hazy veils of blue, deep oranges, powerful greens and subtle yellows introduce a sense of depth and place. This grouping is a confirmation of Vicente’s pursuit of abstraction, his desire to revisit and rework forms until his last days.
Vicente spent a good portion of his career teaching. He was among the faculty at Black Mountain College, Black Mountain, NC; the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, New York, NY; and the University of California, Berkeley, CA, among other institutions.
In addition, he received numerous awards, some of them being the most prestigious given to an artist in the United States. His works can be found in important collections and museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, among others.
At the end of his life, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente, a museum in his honor, was opened in Segovia by the Spanish government. Vicente attended the museum’s opening in 1998.
Vicente died at the age of 97 in 2001 in Bridgehampton, New York, 10 days before his 98th birthday. He had a long and prosperous career, living and working with multiple generations of artists and painting well into his 90’s at his home in Bridgehampton.