May. 30, 2020 @ 10:00 am – Aug. 30, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
Artwork used in event banner: Bruno Andrade, Live a Love, 1993, Oil on Canvas, 76”x96”, Bruno Andrade Estate Collection
This first ever retrospective exhibition features the artwork of American painter Bruno Andrade (born in San Antonio in 1947), a native of Corpus Christi in South Texas. He loved the big sky and bright sun of Texas, and he never forgot his Mexican American or Chicano heritage. A highly accomplished painter, Andrade was known as an abstract colorist. His art was exhibited in major exhibitions and reproduced in mainstream art publications. Andrade earned prestigious fellowships and awards throughout his illustrious career. He was also recognized as a master painting teacher, and many of his art students at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, graduated to become art teachers and professional artists. The retrospective includes drawings, prints, and paintings, representing a creative output from his early period as an emerging artist to his later years as a mature painter of landscape and still life genres. A prolific artist throughout his life, Andrade has a unique historical place in both American abstract art and Chicano art. Andrade has been compared to modernists Matisse, Cezanne, and Gauguin.
About The Artist
Andrade first attended art school at San Antonio Junior College on a golf scholarship, then transferred to Texas A&I University (later known as Texas A&M University, Kingsville). There, he was trained by art professors who had also taught now popularly known Chicano artists, like Santa Barraza, Carmen Lomas Garza, and Amado Peña. From1975 to 1977, he studied in the Graduate Art Program at The University of Michigan (U of M) in Ann Arbor, alongside two other Chicano graduate art students from San Antonio, Santos Martinez and Felipe Reyes. In Michigan, Andrade was greatly influenced by the color theory of Josef Albers, a key member of the Bauhaus School in Germany. Also, two of his art professors, abstract expressionists Gerome Kamrowski and Albert Mullen, introduced him to the art of Hans Hofmann, a German-born American expressionist painter, teacher, and writer. Most importantly, Andrade’s creativity was shaped by U of M professor Rudolf Arnheim, a German art and film historian and Gestalt psychologist and theorist on visual perception and the arts.
After teaching at several universities throughout the nation, in 1981 Andrade was hired as an assistant professor of art at Corpus Christi State University (renamed Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi). Later from 1996 to 2001, Andrade co-operated an art gallery in New York City, but felt rootless and homesick in a city dominated by tall skyscrapers that blocked the natural light he loved. He missed the vast landscape and colorful painterly light of South Texas, so he returned home, where he found his true self and creative inspiration. Andrade immersed himself in the lush and beautiful natural environment, a diverse bioecology and famous bird migration center, that faces the Gulf of Mexico. He drew countless sketches to prepare for his paintings, and often painted from memory. His art is not a realistic reproduction of nature, but an emotional response to his environment: how he visually perceived and felt about his place in the natural world. He had finally discovered his second home in his native Texas, which provided him a sense of place from which to create and teach until his death in 2013.
Bruno Andrade is represented in Mexic-Arte Museum’s permanent collection, including the Serie Project print. He participated in Mexic-Arte’s exhibitions in the 1990s. This retrospective exhibition complements Mexic-Arte’s role and mission of collecting, preserving, and interpreting Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art and culture. Unequivocally, Andrade is a major Latino/Chicano artist that has made an impact on the aesthetics of Chicano art. He was a great educator and role model for many young aspiring artists of South Texas.