No. 3

Esteban Vicente

Turégano, Segovia, Spain, 1903 - Bridgehampton, New York, USA, 2001
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    177,8 x 200 cm
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  • Donation of Harriet and Esteban Vicente Foundation, New York, 2017

Esteban Vicente moved to the United States in 1936. There he participated in two of the foundational exhibitions of American Abstract Expressionism: New Talents 1950 and 9th Street. His name is thus attached to the first generation of the New York School, and he was the only Spaniard to belong to it. Esteban Vicente contributes a very personal diction to the new treatment of abstraction, as he moves away from the action painting of the American artists and instead paints in a way marked by the structure of the composition and by chromatic work. Vicente brings a measure of intimacy that seeks clarity and simplicity, giving less importance to drama and gesture than his contemporaries did. To do so, he makes use of collage work as preparatory pieces for his paintings. Through collage, he experiments with how to modify the pictorial plane using rhythm, vibration and the interaction of colour fields created by pieces of cut-out or torn paper. No. 3 shows the characteristics of his mature language, which over his long trajectory displays interest in progressively simpler compositions, the essence of which refers to both the Baroque painting of Zurbarán and the Cubism of Juan Gris.