Ricardo Martinez, Mexican (1918 - 1983)

 
(b Mexico City, 28 Oct 1918; d 1983). Mexican painter. He came from a family of artists and was self-taught. He initially concentrated on landscapes and metaphysical themes, as in The Astronomer (1944; priv. col., see Bonifaz Nuño, fig. 5). However, the figure of the Indian was a constant element in his production of large-format paintings. Indigenous male and female figures are set dramatically against dark backgrounds; their semi-illuminated bodies are emphasized by the use of a single pure colour, such as blue, red or orange (e.g. The Sorcerer, 1971; Mexico City, Mus. A. Mod.). These colossal images draw their inspiration from Pre-Columbian hieratic sculpture, and their highly individual use of colour and fine draughtsmanship distinguish Martínez from his contemporaries.

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