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In this essay, Teresa del Conde traces the artistic evolution of Enrique Echeverría during the 1950s-1960s; during the years that an artistic renovation was occurring in Mexico. Del Conde explains how from the beginning Echeverría’s career was aided through his exhibitions at the Galería Proteo: the space in which he and his vanguard colleagues showed their once marginalized abstract art. Such adversities, however, would quickly be overcome when Echeverría won the Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as by his participation in the IV São Paulo Biennal and other international exhibitions. In this way Echeverría turned into a key artist at the vanguard exhibitions that took place in Mexico during the 1960s. Unfortunately, his early death in 1972 cut short what was then one of the most original abstract art productions on the national scene.


The importance of this essay stems from the fact that it provides a detailed study of Enrique Echeverría’s artistic evolution. He is often forgotten as an artist, despite having been one of the most distinguished abstract painters in Mexico at the midpoint of the twentieth century, as well as a harbibger member of the movement that would later be known as Ruptura. His obscurity is mostly due to Echeverría’s premature death (at the beginning of the 1970s) when he was just becoming known. Through her essay, Teresa del Conde rescues and re-assesses the figure of the abstract painter within the Mexican context of his era, allowing us to observe the paths he blazed for contemporary art in Mexico. 

It is also worth noting that Teresa del Conde’s text also summarizes more than a quarter century of modern art history in Mexico, comparing its nexus to modern art in other latitudes, particularly with the American continent and Spain. This allows us to have a more precise idea of how dynamic and cosmopolitan the Mexican artistic scene would become during the period from the 1950s through the beginning of the 1970s.

Alejandro Ugalde
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Courtesy of Teresa del Conde, Mexico City, México
Biblioteca Justino Fernández del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México