Artist Domingo García Passes Away

According to social media and El Nuevo Día, the highly respected Puerto Rican visual artist Domingo García died on May 12, 2022. Born in Coamo, Puerto Rico, he was a multidisciplinary artist who worked in many different media, including printmaking, painting, and sculpture. El Nuevo Día writes:

The fine arts are in mourning, before the unexpected departure of artist Domingo García, whose death was announced this afternoon through his social networks. “I left… I flew to heaven… riding on this cloud… Domingo has just passed away!” reads the message on the artist’s own Facebook account, announcing the death of this master of sculpture and painting, with a photo of his work, “Nube” (2007).

García was a multidisciplinary artist who worked [in various media] from engraving and painting to sculpture. Born in 1932 in Coamo, he also performed the role of cultural manager. García studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition, he studied painting with William Locke in London, an experience that enriched his technique and handling of color.

Upon his return to the island, in 1958, he founded the Campeche Gallery Workshop, an important center for the training of artists, a space for political discussion and a pillar in the promotion of avant-garde currents. In 1988 he founded his second art space, the Galería de Arte Latino-Americano, which remained until 1994 in an old theater on Fortaleza Street in Old San Juan. The Coamo-born artist was an art teacher at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico [School of Visual Arts of Puerto Rico], where he left his mark on the academic development of the sector of contemporary Puerto Rican artists.

“One is a product of one’s environment, and like Oller and Don Miguel Pou, I always wanted to use international modalities to create a [type of] painting that is ours [Puerto Rican art.] … One interprets and uses the international [language], but what one lives is one’s own criollismo, the Puerto Rican condition. And this, inevitably, must appear in one’s painting, or else it would be false,” García expressed in 1987, as stated in Mari Carmen Ramírez’s book “Destello del yo: Seis décadas en Domingo García.”

Among the distinctions that García received in his career, the scholarships awarded by La Casa del Arte (1967-1968), the Guggenheim (1972) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1980) stand out. In addition, he participated in numerous individual and collective exhibitions, as well as in biennials in Puerto Rico, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Spain, among others.

In 2007 he held a retrospective exhibition entitled titulada “Domingo García: Obra selecta en 60 años: 1947‑2007″ [Domingo García: Selected Work in 60 Years: 1947 2007] at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art. In his work he showed the influence of various trends such as expressionism, abstraction and pop art, and a particular interest in harmony and the use of color. Portraits and self-portraits of marked expressive force and psychological depth were the predominant genres in his work. Currently, two of his paintings are on display at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art, “Impresiones de La Perla” (1959) and “Isabel volando” (1963).

In early September 2021, Garcia donated over 50 pieces of art such as paintings, tapestry works, sculptures, and works on paper to the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP). “This invaluable donation from Domingo García, one of the most influential voices of 20th-century artists in Puerto Rico, will allow expanding research on the artist’s career, technique, and style, while building on the history of Puerto Rican art,” said María Del Mar Caragol, director of the ICP Fine Arts and Collections Program, upon receiving the donation.

Article translated by Ivette Romero. For full article in Spanish, see https://www.elnuevodia.com/entretenimiento/cultura/notas/fallece-domingo-garcia-reconocido-artista-plastico-puertorriqueno/

[Photo by VANESSA SERRA DIAZ: Visual artist Domingo García was a professor at the Puerto Rico School of Plastic Arts, where he left his mark on the academic development of the contemporary Puerto Rican artists sector.]

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