The Pío López Museum of Art Museo of the University of Puerto Rico-Cayey invites the community to the opening of Fotos de Frade, an exhibition of the photography of Ramón Frade León (1875-1954), one of Puerto Rico’s representative painters of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The exhibition opens on Sunday, December 13, 2009, at 3:00pm in the museum’s Salón Central.
The exhibition presents the artistry and exploration of Ramón Frade through a selection of photographs taken at the end of the 19th and first half of the 20th century. The show includes photographic work by other artists of the time.
The exhibition reveals a Frade in full control of the camera as an additional instrument for the representation of popular figures and subjects that he also explored through drawing and painting. His interest in portraiture, architecture, and rural and urban landscapes are visible in original photos and prints of great artistic quality. [Preparation of digital prints of Frade’s work was made possible by print artist and professional photographer John Betancourt.]
Born in Cayey, Puerto Rico, Ramón Frade lived in Puerto Rico, Spain, the Dominican Republic, and Italy. Although he is best known as a painter, he was also an architect. Frade used a realistic style to paint portrayals of Puerto Rican rural life. One example is his 1905 “El pan nuestro de cada día” [Our Daily Bread], which has become an iconic image of the Puerto Rican jíbaro (agricultural laborer) and is considered a masterpiece.
This photographic exhibition pays tribute to the art historian and painter Osiris Delgado, who studied with the artist and became Frade’s main biographer and specialist on his work. As a painter, Delgado follows in the footsteps and the path set by Francisco Oller and Ramón Frade, using a realistic painting style to interpret island culture in the second half of the 20th century.