Alejandro Obregón

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Alejandro Obregón

Alejandro Obregón was known for his painting and sculpting talents. Having a Spanish origin, Obregon was born on June 4, 1920 to a Colombian father and a Catalan mother. He spent most of his early years in Barcelona, Spain before moving to Liverpool in England. His family was mainly involved in a textile factory in Barranquilla.

It was the year of 1939 in which Obregón firmly decided to become an artist. Consequently, he went to Boston to study fine arts for a year. On his return, he adopted the role of a Vice Consul of Colombia for four years. This was followed by a role of a Director of the School of Fine Arts in Santafé de Bogotá. Though he spent just a year there, he made a lot of positive changes in the school.

Obregón was mainly a painter and relied predominantly on colors. Critics noted Obregón’s work was very close to reality and had influence of Picasso in his work. In fact between the years of 1942 and 1946, Obregón’s work had a multitude of other influences too like Graham Sutherland.

Soon after, Obregón married Ilva Rasch-Isla who was the daughter of well known poet. This wasn’t Obregón’s only marriage. He was later married to Osorio before marrying for third time to an English painter, Freda Sargen.

In the year of 1945, Obregón organized his first solo exhibition in Colombia. He was also actively involved in Salón de Artistas Colombianos. The maneuver attracted a huge amount of attention from the press and critics. Obregón returned to Barranquilla in 1945. There he won a number of prizes and held his second exhibition which was organized on February 1946.

Obregón was the one who constructed the mural in Mezrahi building which goes by the domains of the Earth, Sea, and Wind. Due to the delicate artistry, Obregón took around a year to make it and was paid around 15,000.00 pesos to complete the project.

During 1948 Obregón’s work addressed the political violence in Colombia. For this contribution he won the national prize for Colombia in 1956. He also came to be known as the “big five” of the Colombian art. His painting called as Cattle drowning in Magdalena River also met widespread acclaim both by the critics and the audience.

Obregón returned to Paris in 1949. Thereafter his work was showcased in a number of cities throughout France, Germany and Switzerland. This was followed by him relocating to Alba which is a town close Avignon. He stayed there till 1955.

The year of 1955 was turning point in Obregón’s artistic journey. It was in this year that he produced his most famous painting called Still Life in Yellow.

Gradually, Obregón’s work began to incorporate an eclectic pool of themes that drew reference from literary and poetic sources. From the paintings of the landscapes to those of buildings and the sky he had covered a range of genres. His work also included sentiments like the ones he held for his family, friends and for the rights of women. Perhaps that’s why his audience forms a bond with his work. The bond is not only one of emotion but also of affiliation.

On April 11, 1992 Alejandro Obregón died by a tumor in his brain. For the last twenty years of his life he had lived and worked in Cartagena.

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