Manuel Felguérez Barra, Valparaiso, Zacatecas, born 1928 masterful Mexican painter and sculptor.
In 1947, he had the chance to travel to Europe and impressed with the art there, decided to dedicate himself to the vocation. Upon his return he became disillusioned with the education offered at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico and he returned to Paris, where he did most of his studies. He specialized in abstract art, something that was not accepted in Mexico at the time. In France he worked with the Russian-born French sculptor Ossip Zadkine (1949-1950). Zadkine, an artist trained in Cubism, became one of the major influences for his later work.
Upon his return to Mexico, Felguerez was part of the first generation of abstract artists national openly confronting the tradition of the Mexican School of Painting, headed by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco, to the generation of rupture belong include: Vicente Rojo, Fernando Garcia Ponce and Lilia Carrillo.
In the late 1950s and during the 1960s, abstract art was not accepted by Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura and Felguérez was mostly limited to exhibiting in galleries. However, as attitudes in Mexico changed towards art, Felguérez found acceptance for his work and remains active at over ninety years of age. The formation of Felguérez’s style and imagery is closely tied to the various movements of Europe such as incorporate geometric-constructivist, informalism and abstract expressionism which he was exposed to in his early training. He has melded these elements into his own style. His work often contains basic geometric figures such as circles, triangles, rectangles and squares, in combinations to form his own "language." His work has been compared to Picasso and Rufino Tamayo by art experts. He claims many influences but does not follow any one specifically.
His career has included painting, planning sculptures, thirty years as a professor, work in theater and cinema and handcraft design. He has had over 250 individual exhibitions and over 1,500 with other artists. He feels his most significant work has been his sculpted murals and public sculptures.