Jorge Rigol, Avant garde and Tradition

/ 1 March, 2018

From the publication of his first and relevant drawings in 1934, we can see in the young Jorge Rigol two main features that lasted throughout his career. Those features characterizing his artistic work are the updating of a visual style in harmony with the booming avant–garde movement in Cuba and the affinity with a type of art of national nature with deep social content. The combination of both elements made the artist one of the most lucid to emerge from the illustrious group of the 1930s.

His advanced ideas were soon seen in his graphic work. While exploring the innovative trends visualized in drawings like Mujer desnuda, El bebedor and El payaso, the representation of workers and labor demands appeared in accordance with the revolutionary work developed by Marcelo Pogolotti in Europe and with the work of some Cuban artists like Arístides Fernández, Carlos Enríquez and Alberto Peña. Thus emerged Rigol’s drawings of a deep social and vigorous aesthetic character, as in the illustration for the anti–Machado Masas magazine (…)

The quality (…) of his artistic work, placed him in (…) the First Modern Art Exhibition. Painting and Sculpture, hosted in the Halls of the Centro de Dependientes de La Habana, between March and April, 1937. Jorge Rigol exhibited ten pieces together with the most distinguished personalities of the painting avant–gard of the time (…).

In the first lustrum of the 1950s (…) the linoleum is the techniquehe used the most, creating very outstanding illustrations. With the mentioned technique, by giving the illusion of volume through the perspective, he masters drawing. His imagination enabled him to go beyond immediate reality, exploring several topics like the literary (…) the social (…) customs (…) and biographical (…)

In 1957, the artist created a surprising group of drawings. From his works (…) where he used a line of exquisite synthesis, he progressed to a dense drawing, full of volumetric construction, close to sculpture. He used the felt pointed pen to achieve dramatic strokes. With realistic vision he depicted the rural context. (…)

His last creative cycle was the series of 26 drawings about Vietnam. In these drawings Rigol goes back to a simplification of lines, (…) creating a poetic universe, capturing the daily life of a brave people that in all serenity faces the vicissitudes of war.

In present times, there is a need to get closer to Jorge Rigol’s work, one of our indisputable classics, a master of drawings and engraving of 20th century Cuba. (…)

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