Oswaldo Guyasamín is without a doubt one of the greatest painters from Ecuador and Latin America. He was born in Quito in 1919 to an indigenous father and a mixed race mother, the first of ten siblings. He studied painting and sculpture and held his first exhibit in 1942. Ten years later he won the “Premio de la Bienal de España” (Biennial Prize from Spain), followed by the “Premio Bienal de Sao Paulo” (Biennial Prize from Sao Paulo) in Brazil.
His work in painting and sculpting was humanist and included three important stages: “el camino del llano” (the path of the plain) and his observations during a trip through Latin America and its cities. The second stage is “la edad de la ira” (the age of rage) and the destructive XX century, which draws our eyes to how humanity turned on itself; and the third stage “la edad de la ternura” (the age of tenderness), which sees his work become expressions related to his mother and to love.
His legacy is the greatest contemporary art estate in the country, which can be visited at the Chapel of Man, where his home –museum is also located. This is a must-see tour to visit not only one of the most representative places with regard to Ecuadorian art, but to learn of the history of Latin American peoples and miscegenation. The themes and expressions of anguish, rage, submission, struggle, and frailty addressed by the painter, fragmenting forms in a chromatic game, propel the visitor to enter his social denunciation and his appeal to frailty, love and tenderness as an inspiring resource.
The Chapel building is covered in stone and divided into three levels. It is a monument to Latin American man, to human survival of all forms of violence. One of the most important works is the “Los Mutilados” (The Mutilated) mural, located in the main dome, which Guayasamín himself considered one of his most important works, as there are two million ways to appreciate it.
The Guayasamín Foundation has managed the painter’s works since 1976, so that Ecuadorians and foreigners alike may get to know them. The house – museum opened its doors in November of 2012, and is a space that demonstrates the intimacy of the painter, who enjoyed the company of his family and hosted distinguished, world-renown celebrities in that very place.
The House - Museum is open to the public every day from 10:00 to 17:00. Its closed on national holidays. The entrance fee is USD $8. Students, senior citizens and persons with disabilities pay half rate. Children below the age of 12 are welcomed for free. Entry is free for all on Sundays.
You can find additional information at www.guayasamin.org
Written by: Ramiro Garrido / Picture: Jorge Vinueza, Francisco Veintimilla, Humberto Montero - Quito Turismo
The painter’s work, get lost within the images and explore them.
The movement of visitors, all of them looking to find the message in each piece.
The smell of wood and the atmosphere in every corner of the painter’s house.
Plaster, clay and wood, used by the artist in his sculptures.