José Luis Cuevas

Mexican , 1934 -

Self-taught draughtsman, painter, printmaker and sculptor José Luis Cuevas was born in Mexico City in 1934. Cuevas’ most characteristic works portray misshapen creatures and misery in the contemporary world. He showed artistic talent at a very early age and he briefly attended the Escuela Nacional de Pintura y Escultura “la Esmerelda” in Mexico City. Cuevas later studied graphic arts at the Institución de Enseñanza in Mexico City.

During the early 1950s, Cuevas joined the politically active group, “Rupture-Generation”, which was opposed to the socialist artists favored by the government. The group rebelled against the official social- content mural art and became instrumental in defining the contemporary artistic panorama of Mexico.

Cuevas had his first exhibition at the Galería Prisse and the following year, he exhibited at the Pan American Union in Washington D.C. Subsequently, he was invited to work in various workshops worldwide, including the Tamarind Workshop in Los Angeles and Poligrafa in Barcelona. He has had one-man shows in Washington, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Santiago, New York, Venice, Sao Paulo and Vienna.

His awards include the Drawing Prize at the V Biennale of Sao Paulo in 1959 and the National Prize of Science and Art of Mexico in 1981. In 1991 the French government named him a Gentleman of the Order of the Arts and Letters. In 1997, Cuevas received the Tomas Francisco Prieto Award in Engraving bestowed by Queen Sofia of Madrid, Spain. The Jose Luis Cuevas Museum in Mexico City honors his contribution to art and displays the artist’s contemporary works.
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