Homage to the Horse
By Hippo Communications on behalf of Graham’s Fine Art Gallery
Paying homage to the horse is something that Panamanian artist Eduardo Navarro does with aplomb. His exhibition 'Caballos' (Horses) will be showing at Graham’s Fine Art Gallery, in Broadacres Lifestyle Centre at Fourways, Johannesburg from 18 October. This will be the inaugural 2012 cultural exchange between South Africa and Panama, and these magnificent works will be on display until 16 December 2012.
Eduardo Navarro comes from an equestrian background - his family breeds paso and thoroughbred horses in their home town - and a glance through his teenage scrapbook is enough to discover his early attention to the horse’s strength, power and movement. However, it was only in 2002 (coincidentally the Chinese year of the Horse) that he started to show his horses in public, and today they are his most emblematic artworks.
The paintings bring the power of the horse to life and pound with energy and colour. Prancing, dancing, rearing and leaping: the nobility of the horse is shown through Navarro’s vibrant and passionate canvases. The horse paintings represent Navarro’s growth as an artist and are a perfect blend of various cultural and artistic influences.
His first exhibition dedicated to horses, ‘El Año del Caballo’ (The Year of the Horse) at Galerìa Habitante, in Panama, in 2002, showed evidence of three important influences. His original source material of Renaissance art, which is filled with equestrian images, became a base for the works. While the horses were still highly figurative they also started to show a strong expressionist influence, evidencing Navarro’s deep admiration for Ecuador’s great master Osvalso Guayasamin. To this he added another important cultural influence looking to the ancient art of China.
After more than a decade of studying and showing his horses Navarro’s most recent work has taken a further step forward; expressing the power and movement of the horse. The artist employs the techniques of ‘hard-brushing’ and ‘dripping’ to break down the boundaries between subject, the horse, and background. Emphasis is not on the accuracy of the image, but rather on enhancing the movement and the energy of the stallions racing across the canvas.
Endorsed by the Ministries of Arts and Culture from both countries, this exhibition is intended as the beginning of a long journey enabling two countries to become much closer through the understanding of their cultural experiences. It is hoped that this will also trigger the interest of more South Africans to explore and discover Panama in the same way many Conquistadores adventured in search of new frontiers.
Graham Britz, the Director and Curator of Graham’s Fine Art Gallery says: “Some of the finest artists have used the horse as inspiration in their art, from the Renaissance painters, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, to the English painters George Stubbs and John Constable, and German Expressionist Franz Marc. Navarro now creates a more contemporary interpretation of the horse. Applying his own fresh innovation to capturing the horse, Navarro harnesses explosive unbridled power, energy and movement in bursts of colour, incorporating the technique of ‘hard-brush’ and ‘drip painting’ on beautiful textured fields of textile. His works are unique in concept and for any horse lover in the world Navarro’s works are a must have.
"I believe that through this inaugural cultural exchange programme this will not only give an insight into the ‘way of life’ and unique culture of the Panamanian people, this will undoubtedly lay the foundation and open the doorway to many other mutually beneficial opportunities."
Venue: Graham’s Fine Art Gallery, Unit 46 Broadacres Lifestyle Centre, C/r Valley and Cedar Roads, Fourways, Johannesburg
Open from: 18 October to 16 December 2012
Enquiries: +27 11 465 9192
More Info: www.grahamsfineartgallery.co.za
About Eduardo Navarro
Eduardo Navarro was born in Panama City on 1 November 1960 and is self-educated in the arts. He started to draw when he was only 3 and at 15 began to paint, imitating anatomical studies from the 15th and 16th Century Italian, Renaissance masters. His first works therefore took the human figure as their subject and he focused on representing the human condition through images of fallen angels or introspective male and female figures.
Navarro soon extended his area of interest to include the anatomy of the horse, and says that he is drawn to their 'raw power and energy', and for some time now the horse has been his preferred subject.
Eduardo Navarro’s accomplishments include exhibitions throughout Latin America and Europe as well as in the U.S., Japan, China, and Taiwan. In 1996, he was awarded the bronze prize at the Osaka Triennale in Japan and in 1994 the Grand Prize at the XXII Salon International in Columbia. The horse is often regarded as a symbol of diligence and of an enterprising spirit. Navarro’s works are popular in both the eastern and western worlds and are included in a number of important public and private collections including: Osaka Contemporary Art Centre, Osaka, Japan; The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A; Centro Cultural De Miraflores (Miraflores Cultural Enter), Lima, Peru; Deutsch-Iberoamerikaniche Gesellscaft, Frankfurt, Germany; Museo de Arte (Museum of Art), Colombia; Museo Latinoamericano de Arte Contemporaneo (Latin-American Museum of Contemporary Art), Balboa, Panama; Centro Wilfredo Lam (Wilfredo Lam Enter), La Habana, Cuba and the Museo de Angeles (Angels Museum), Turègano, Segovia; Spain.
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