Carmelo Gonzalez

Carmelo Gonzalez (1920 – 1990) Cuban

Carmelo González was born in Havana, Cuba 1920 died in1990. He was a student at Estudio Libre and graduated with the best results of his group, obtaining a grant that allowed him to continue his studies in the United States of America from 1946 to 1948. Afterwards he traveled to Europe. Upon his return he founded the Association of Engravers of Cuba (AGC) with the purpose of renewing the practice of this art in the country and created fruitful exchanges with the Workshop of Popular Graphics in Mexico. He worked as a professor of engraving at the Leopoldo Romañach School in Santa Clara, in the former province of Las Villas, and after the death of Professor Mariano Miguel he obtained by contest the post of professor of Engraving, a subject in which he introduced noteworthy improvements.

Carmelo Gonzalez was one of the initiators in Cuba of xylographic engravings of large size, which he called “mural engraving”. As President of the Plastic Arts Section of the Association of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), he traveled to socialist countries of Eastern Europe to promote a better knowledge of the Cuban plastic arts movement. A painter of symbols, with great knowledge and practice of the classical techniques, Carmelo always admitted the great influence received from the work of Vittore Carpacio, the great painter of the Italian Renaissance, and his admiration for him.

He was director of San Alejandro Art School in the initial years of the Revolution, after 1959. He left numerous works of high technical and poetic values, mainly of social content. He died in Havana in August 10, 1990. An extensive archive of correspondence, engravings, lithographs, and exhibition catalogues are housed within the James Amos Porter Archives at the Dorothy Porter Wesley Research Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

“A single concern has determined Carmelo’s course since he began painting: the drawing, or outline. This concern arose in him spontaneously during his first years of study, when he understood that painting, like all art, is an obstinately rigorous craft that can only be reached through the narrowest of doors… Hence he has been able to enjoy engraving, a craft in which a mastery of drawing is more necessary… As a painter, Carmelo is characterized by his personal style. It is hard not to identify him immediately… Seeing his paintings, we have to confess that they are solidly constructed, with the solidity of the masters of yesteryear.”

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