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    Visitando la exposición Sabogal / José Chioino (Juan de Ega)
    El Comercio (Lima, Perú). -- Jul. 22, 1921.
    Newspaper article – Reviews
    Chioino, José [Juan de Ega]. "Visitando la exposición Sabogal." El Comercio (Lima, Perú), July 22, 1921.

The author of this review notes the merits of José Sabogal’s second exhibition of paintings in Lima (at the Casino Español). He points out that, on the whole, the artist’s work shows a greater reliance on line than on color, and that “there is a strange, pervasive clarity in most of the paintings that are almost uniformly bright, fresh, and pure.” According to José Chioino the portraits in the exhibition capture a good likeness of their subject, and he applauds Sabogal’s skillful drawing that is neither exuberant nor overly in the thrall of “the promiscuity of colors,” therefore achieving a sense of intimacy. He mentions the scenes of places and landscapes in the Peruvian countryside (in particular, the Andean city of Tarma), as well as the views of the convent of San Francisco de Lima. The reviewer pays particular attention to the “Indian heads” with which the painter expresses “the soul of our race.”


In this brief article the Peruvian critic José Chioino, who signs his work with his pseudonym “Juan de Ega,” reviews the second exhibition in Lima of works by the founder of Peruvian indigenist painting, José Sabogal, at the Casino Español, during the celebrations organized to commemorate the first centenary of Peruvian Independence in July 1921.

Indigenist painting flourished in Peru from the 1920s to the 1940s as part of a broader movement that sought to redefine Peruvian identity in terms of indigenous elements. Although at some points it was entirely focused on the “indigenous” story and the Inca glorious past that also championed a mestizo identity portrayed as a result of the integration of “native” and “Hispanic” cultures. The main ideologue and unchallenged leader of the Indigenist movement in the visual arts was José Sabogal (1888–1956), whose profound interpretation of the concept of “being rooted” was deeply influenced by regional art movements in Spain (exemplified by Ignacio Zuloaga [1870–1945], among others) and in Argentina (Jorge Bermúdez [1883–1926], to mention just one); Sabogal spent a great deal of time in these countries during his formative years. When he returned to Peru in late 1918, he settled in Cuzco where he produced about forty oil paintings of people and scenes of the city; these works were subsequently shown in Lima (1919) at an exhibition that is considered the formal beginning of Indigenist painting in Peru. Sabogal’s second solo exhibition at the Casino Español (1921), established his reputation. He joined the faculty at the new Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1920, where he was eventually appointed director (1932–43). There he trained a group of painters who joined the Indigenist movement: Julia Codesido, Alicia Bustamante (1905–1968), Teresa Carvallo (1895–1988), Enrique Camino Brent (1909–1960), and Camilo Blas (1903–1985).

[There are many articles about this artist in the ICAA digital archive, including the following written by Sabogal: “Arquitectura peruana: la casona arequipeña (doc. no. 1173340); “La cúpula en América” (doc. no. 1125912); “Mariano Florez, artista burilador de "mates" peruanos, murió en Huancayo: José Sabogal su admirador y amigo, le rinde homenaje” (doc. no. 1136695); “Los mates burilados y las estampas del pintor criollo Pancho Fierro” (doc. no. 1173400); “Los 'mates' y el yaraví” (doc. no. 1126008); “La pintura mexicana moderna” (doc. no. 1051636); and “Sala de arte popular peruano en el Museo de la Cultura : selecciones de arte” (doc. no. 1173418)].

Gabriela Germaná Roquez, Gustavo Buntinx
Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru