The Art of Rafael Coronel at Teatro José Peón Contreras

Rafael Coronel was born 24 October 1931 in Zacatecas, Mexico; he was the son-in-law of Mexican Plastic Art Icon Diego Rivera.

His representational paintings have a melancholic sobriety, and include faces from the past great masters, often floating in a diffuse haze.

There are some paintings of his own in Mexico and in other countries. In what was the convent of San Francisco De Almoloyan y De Asis
(a building from the 16th century), located in Zacatecas, there is a museum named after him; in this museum, his vast mask collection is shown.

As a teenager Rafael dreamed of becoming a soccer player. Although he always liked to draw, he thought that “Art gives no money to eat, and painting is just a complement for other jobs“. Back then, he didn’t even know that there were some professional painters.

Rafael Coronel
Rafael Coronel

When Rafael went to Mexico City in the late 40’s, he promised his father that he would study to become an accountant.
When he arrived in the capital, he started to feel attracted to Architecture, but he never stopped drawing, and in 1952 he won a painting contest. The piece that gave him the victory was the painting known as “Mujer De Jerez”, a piece of art done with crayons, since he had no money to buy other kind of material.

He won a scholarship of 300 pesos a month. After winning the contest he stated: “I betrayed my father, but I’ve done good for the country“.

He studied in the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “La Esmeralda”, in Mexico City, and he quickly developed a unique artistic style.

His work has been exhibited all over the world, from Brazil to New York City, from Milan to Brussels, from London to Los Angeles, just to name a few.

mano negra

And today, you can enjoy Coronel’s work right here in Merida, where the exhibit “Mano Negra” (Black Hand), is in display at the Gallery downstairs at teatro Péon Contreras.

The show features 24 paintings and 9 sculptures that will take you in a journey through the dark tunnels of Coronel’s talent, depicting horror, pain and much more…

You have to check out this fantastic collection of Rafael Coronel, who is one of the most important authors of the movement known as “Mexican New Expressionism”, the exhibit will be on display until November 10th, 2014.

Teatro “José Peón Contreras”
Calle 60 (between 57 y 59)
Centro, Mérida, Yuc.

Tuesday – Friday from 9 am to 9 pm
Saturday & Sunday: from 10 am to 5 pm

Free admission.



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