ARS Atelier (Union City, New Jersey, USA). -- Spring, 1999
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This article by Gustavo Valdés, Jr. serves as a review of the final phase (1990–97) of the work of Dominican painter Darío Suro, emphasizing its fierce and iconoclastic form of expressionism, particularly with regard to his depictions of the self, death, and human sexuality. Valdés argues that Suro’s understanding of the Pre-Raphaelite style and spirituality can be seen through his expressionistic paintings. For the author, he was one of the first to desacralize and demystify art, moreover, to show the terrible beauty of the self.
Published as part of a posthumous homage issue on ARS Atelier, this is one of six short essays and a poem dedicated to the life and work of Darío Suro. Gustavo Valdés, the author of this essay, was the editor in chief of the magazine, which, according to their front page, was “a space and publication dedicated to promoting the visual and the performing arts, as well as the literature of contemporary Cuban artists.” Other articles that are part of this special issue include: “Suro en la Encrucijada de la Identidad” by Laura Gil Fiallo (doc. no. 821643); “Darío Suro: Presente, Admirado y Querido” by Marianne de Tolentino (doc. no. 821622); “Darío Suro” by Alejandro Anreus (doc. no. 809430); “Darío el Dibujante” by Federico Suro (doc. no. 822016); “Ceremonias y Tiempos. Suro y su ritual. Darío y el presente” by Sara Hermann (doc. no. 822037); and “Fantasía,” a poem by Zoé Valdés (doc. no. 822057). Darío Suro (1917–1997) was an art critic, painter, and diplomat from the Dominican Republic. In his country he first studied under his uncle, the painter Enrique García Godoy, and later on, when he lived in Mexico City (from 1943 to 1947), with Diego Rivera and Agustín Lazo. Upon his return to the Dominican Republic, Suro had an important solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Fine Arts. His sojourn in Mexico exerted a great stylistic impact on his work. Whereas before, Suro had opted for an impressionist style, marked by a harmonious palette and a melancholic tone, after his return from Mexico, the artist began using bolder colors that went hand in hand with the ethnic backdrop he began applying to his production. Suro, the painter, often had to divide his time between his art and his responsibilities as cultural attaché to countries such as Spain, Mexico, and the United States. Together with Yoryi Morel and Jaime Colson, he is considered one of the founders of modern art in the Dominican Republic.