ENRIQUE TABARA (b. 1930, Guayaquil, Ecuador) is
one of the most important artists of the last century. He is an
Ecuadorian painter of universal importance and Tabara shares that
pedestal with teachers of the stature of Picasso, Joan Miro, Eduardo
Kingman, Oswaldo Guayasamin, Felix Arauz, Rufino Tamayo and Juan
Villafuerte, audacious creators and forjadores of a whole Latin
American pictorial and artistic culture. Tabara took interest in
painting at the age of three, was drawing regularly by the age of
six and was strongly encouraged by both his sister and his mother.
Enrique Tabara nevertheless is a creator who far from taking refuge
in the comfortable finding of an image, that is to him his own,
he investigates and demystifies his own image and finds refuge in
her and a thousand and one images that engage in a dialog which
is permanently renewed. That energetic and innovating spirit in
Enrique Tabara is a constant that reveals the anxious and versatile
spirit of the teacher. A master of experimentation, fully aware
of his roots and the process that he has followed over the years,
with an abundant mass of brilliant works to show for it.
In 1906, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso led Cubism,
the avant-garde art movement that greatly influenced both European
painting and sculpture and paved the way for Futurism and Constructivism.
Around 1915, Constructivism was very big in Russia, led by Russian
artist Vladimir Tatlin. Eventually, the Constructivist style made
its way into Europe and Latin America and was embraced by Ecuadorian
artist Manuel Rendon Seminario, who was a big inspiration for both
Enrique Tabara and Anibal Villacis.
In 1946, Tabara attended the School of Fine Arts
and was mentored by German artist Hans Michaelson and Guayaquileno
artist, Luis Martinez Serrano. In 1951, Tabara finished mastering
the fundamentals and left art school. In 1955 the Ecuadorian government
offered Tabara a scholoarship to study in Spain. Tabara's work was
welcomed with great success in Spain and Tabara befriended surrealist
Andre Breton and Modernist painter Joan Miro. By 1959, Tabara's
work had gained a great deal of international attention and it came
fast. Andre Breton asked Tabara to represent Spain in the Homage
to Surrealism exhibition, among the works of Salvador Dali, Eugenio
Granell and Joan Miro. Miro praised Tabara's work and both artists
had great respect for one another. In 1963, Tabara represented Ecuador
together with Humberto More' and Theo Constante at the Museum of
Modern Art in Paris for the Third Biennial of Paris. By 1964, Tabara's
work was being shown in Lausanne, Milan, Grenchen, Vienna, Lisbon,
Munich, Barcelona, Madrid, Guayaquil, Quito, Washington, and Paris.
On his return to Ecuador, Tabara returned to his roots through the
Latin American current of "ancestralism", which finds
inspiration in pre-Hispanic cultures that inhabited the continent
(third stage). Tabara is the first artist to use the Pre-Colombian
motif as a search for a new aesthetic.
Finally, Tabara started to paint simple shapes
inspired in nature, and also other simple structures, such as his
famed "patas-patas", or feet-feet, and insects. Tabara
is most known for his Patas-Patas works which contain legs with
feet incorporated into the piece. When asked about this subject
matter Tabara says that one day he was drawing a figure and he didn't
like it, so he ripped it up and the feet of the figure landed at
his feet and thus his fate. Tabara is an artist who is in a constant,
infinite search. He likes to experiment and live "pictorical
adventures". He believes that in art one has to pose difficult
problems for oneself and solve them on the canvas. Today, Tabara
is considered one of the most important artist of the last century.
Tabara continues to paint with a vigorous spirit
in his home town of Guayaquil, Ecuador. Barcelona is considered
Tabara's home away from home.