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Enrique Grau (Colombian, 1920-2004)
Birth Place: Panama City, raised Cartagena
Enrique Grau was born in Panama City and raised in Cartagena, Colombia. The Colombian government granted him a scholarship to attend the Art Students' League in New York from 1940 to 1943, where he studied painting with Harry Sternberg, Morris Kantor, and George Grosz. His subjects, mostly Amerindian and Afro-Columbian figures, can be divided into three phases: from the early 1950s, lyrical, Impressionistic forms; following his trip to Florence in 1954, cubist figures; and after 1957, classicized female portraits showing the influence of his colleague, Alejandro Obregón. The recipient of the coveted title Hijo Predileco de Cartagena de Indias (Favorite Son of Cartagena de Indias), he also won the National Prize in the 1959 Salon of Latin American Art, Cartagena. Both the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museum of Modern Art in Paris have held major exhibitions of his work. Shortly before his death in 2004, Grau donated to the city of Cartagena over 1300 of his artworks for a new museum.
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