search facebook twitter instagram phone envelope fax external
Skip to the main content

Magee-Image: Latin-American Artists Living and Working in Paris

Magee-Image: Latin-American Artists Living and Working in Paris

By Magee-Image, a group of Hispanic Painters | February, 2005

The exhibit honored the Milwaukee-Nuevitas and the Madison-Camagüey Cuban Sister City Associations

The early 1980s was an exciting time to be an Hispanic painter in Paris; a historic exhibit of the works more than 300 Latin Americans had just taken place in the prestigious Grand Palais, offering these young artists an unparalleled chance to become acquainted with each other's work and artistic ideology. In 1983, several of these young artists formed Magie-Image, a cluster of avant garde Hispanic painters who found similarities in style and outlook. The talent of these painters attracted the attention of the famous Chilean surrealist Roberto Matta, who served as their advisor and spiritual leader. This remarkable exhibition of 29 original paintings, prints, and drawings brings together the works of this circle, including Saul Kaminer and Eduardo Zamora (Mexico), Carlos Aresti (Chile), and Heriberto Cogollo (Colombia), as well as the great Roberto Matta himself. On loan from the private collection of Jim Winter and the Rev. Stephanie Monahan, these works represent a singular blend of indigenous and European influences, resulting in unique works that convey an entirely new language of meaning and identity.

Carlos Arresti's (Chile, b. 1944) works, primarily executed in acrylics, combine figurative and abstract elements in a style that melds surrealism with cubism. He works and teaches in France. Heriberto Cogollo (Colombia, b. 1945) is regarded as one of the most important contemporary Latin American artists, Cogollo creates powerful, meticulously rendered compositions – primarily nudes and horses – set in mysterious, surrealistic settings. His oils and prints have been exhibited and critically acclaimed throughout the Americas and Europe. Saul Kaminer (Mexico, b. 1952) is often cited as one of the great modern painters of Mexico, Kaminer is not only influenced by the surrealists, but the forms of ancient Mexican cultures and contemporary Mexican artists like Orozco. He has turned his focus to ceramics and is one of the best known Latin American artists in Europe. Roberto Matta (Chile, 1911-2002) is counted among the masters of the original Surrealist movement, Matta worked alongside Salvador Dali and Andre Breton. In 1947, he was expelled from the group (an honor for any Surrealist) and forged his own distinctive style, blending subconscious images with social, political, and spiritual commentary. Eduardo Zamora's (Mexico, b. 1942) work is I]imaginative yet disquieting, the "painful ironies" of Zamora's work combine humor and horror reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch and Frieda Kahlo. Still based in Paris, he enjoys a respected position among the artists of Mexico, and his singular paintings have been exhibited in major museums in Europe.