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2017 > June

Alejandro Obregón was born on June 4th



Condor 1970


Born in Barcelona in 1920, Alejandro Jesús Obregón Roses, is a Spanish painter. He is also a muralist, a sculptor and an engraver.

From 1930 to 1934 he studied at the Stony Hurts School in Liverpool and then in Boston, where in 1936 he began to paint landscapes without training.

In 1937, he left for Barranquilla, in Colombia, where he worked in the family textile factory. He works  in 1939 as a truck driver in the Río Catatumbo region. In 1940 he returned to Boston to study painting for a few months at the Museum of Fine Arts.

From 1940 to 1944 he returned to Barcelona, where he served as Vice-Consul of Colombia. He trained as a self-taught artist through the personal study of paintings by Goya, Velasquez and Rembrandt.

Back in Colombia, Obregón participated in the Salons of Colombian artists in 1944 and 1945. In 1945 he presented his first solo exhibition and his second one took place in February 1946. In 1948 he became director of the School of Fine Arts in Santafé de Bogotá, where he renewed the academic program.

In May 1949, Obregón left Colombia for Paris. In 1954 he met Picasso as well as the English painter Freda Sargent with whom he married in Panama.

In July 1955, Obregón returned to Colombia and settled in Cartagena de Indias. The same year his painting Souvenir de Venise (1954) was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

At different points in his career, Obregón paints political violence in Colombia. Massacre, April 10, refers to the popular revolt of 8 April 1948 (Bogotazo) and El Velorio at the demonstrations of 8 and 9 June 1954 at the National University against the dictatorship of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla and the massacre of thirteen students by the armed forces. He also paints  The Dead Student in 1956, and Violence in 1962.

He made several murals in Barranquilla in 1956, Tierra, Mar y Aire in 1957 and Tribute to the Book, for the Bogotá Library. In 1958,  he presented an exhibition whose common denominator was the presence of condors.

In 1959 Obregón was appointed professor at the School of Fine Arts of the National University of Colombia. He exposes in 1963 Homage to a missing poet, Jorge Gaitán Durán.

In 1966, he renounced the oil painting to use acrylic paint. In 1967, the management of the Museum of Modern Art in Bogotá was entrusted to him.

In 1972, he made a series of works on air navigation for the company KLM and in 1975 a monumental sculpture (Soltando la Onda, twelve tons of bronze and seven meters high) for Telecom de Bogotá. He also designed in 1981 102 pieces of crockery for the porcelain brand Corona, the most famous in Colombia.

The work of Alejandro Obregon expresses a fascination for the nature of Colombia. The landscapes, the sun, the sea, the wind and the clouds, the flowers the numerous animals present in his paintings take a symbolic dimension. From 1959 the condor appeared in about fifty of his paintings.

In February 1992, Obregón was diagnosed with a brain tumor and went to the United States for treatment. He died on April 11 in Cartagena and is buried in the mausoleum of the Obregon family in the Universal cemetery in Barranquilla.


Alejandro Obregon (1920-1992)

Alejandro Obregon on You Tube

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Last update: January 15  2018

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