Arnaldo Roche: “Siempre contemporáneo”


The exhibition “Siempre contemporáneo” [Always contemporary] opened on December 19, 2019, at Walter Otero Contemporary Art Gallery. With this exhibition, Walter Otero honors a master of Puerto Rican painting, the late Arnaldo Roche Rabell (1955 – 2018) a year of his death. The exhibition will be on view until Saturday, February 1, 2020. Schedules run from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm by appointment at Walter Otero Contemporary Art, located at 402 Constitution Street, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Description: “This legendary neo-expressionist artist said, ‘everything must leave a mark,’ and he undoubtedly bequeathed to Puerto Rico and the world an extraordinary corpus in his unique style, which continues to be celebrated in his memory.”

The exhibition will have as its main feature the painting “La naturaleza siempre enmarca a lo salvaje” (2002). This piece from the “Fraternos” series, from a private collection, was inspired by one of Roche Rabell’s great influences, Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. The work—as explained by one of the Puerto Rican artist’s closest students, gallery owner Walter Otero—was previously exhibited at the Ponce Museum of Art, and has been reviewed in multiple art catalogs. Furthermore, it was the most acclaimed piece in the series. “In this series, Roche was inspired by the figure and tragedy of acclaimed painter Vincent Van Gogh to speak about his personal life, and thus, to not relive tragic events he had gone through in his own family,” said Otero. “Siempre contemporáneo,” motivated by the importance of highlighting works that continue to contribute to the visual arts even when they were created in other historical periods, will also present Roche Rabell’s self-portrait, of a socio-political nature, produced in the 1990s.

The tribute exhibition will be accompanied by the works of other important exponents of Caribbean painting, such as Olga Albizu, Zilia Sánchez, and Myrna Báez.

[Excerpts translated by Ivette Romero. See the original (in Spanish) at For more information, see and]


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