Friday, July 24, 2015

10 Lithographs by Francisco Zuniga, "Impressions of Egypt"

1
Francisco Zuniga
Untitled, Plate 9
Suite: Impressions of Egypt 1982
Original lithograph in colors on Arches paper
From the limited edition of 90
Mourlot, Paris
Size: 14" x 19 1/2"
Hand signed by the artist in pencil

José Jesús Francisco Zúñiga Chavarría (December 26, 1912 – August 9, 1998) was a Costa Rican-born Mexican artist, known both for his painting and his sculpture. Journalist Fernando González Gortázar lists Zúñiga as one of the 100 most notable Mexicans of the 20th century, while the Encyclopædia Britannica calls him "perhaps the best sculptor" of the Mexican political modern style.

1
Francisco Zuniga
Untitled 1982, Plate 6
Suite: Impressions of Egypt
Original lithograph in colors on Arches paper
From the limited edition of 90
Mourlot, Paris
Size: 14" x 19 1/2"
Hand signed by the artist in pencil

Zúñiga was born in Costa Rica on December 27, 1912. His father worked as a sculptor of religious figures, and in stone work. His artistic inclinations began early and by the age of twelve had already read books on the history of art, artistic anatomy and the life of various Renaissance painters. In 1926 he enrolled in the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Mexico, but left the following year to continue on his own. As part of his self-study, he studied German Expressionism and the writings of Alexander Heilmayer, through which he learned of the work of Aristide Maillol and Auguste Rodin, coming to appreciate the idea of subordinating technique to expression

1
Francisco Zuniga
Untitled 1982, Plate 5
Suite: Impressions of Egypt
Original lithograph in colors on Arches paper
From the limited edition of 90
Mourlot, Paris
Size: 14" x 19 1/2"
Hand signed by the artist in pencil

Zúñiga’s painting and sculpting work began receiving recognition in 1929. His first stone sculpture won second prize at the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes. In the following two years he continued to win top prizes at this event. This work made critics recommend him for study abroad. He won first prize in a 1935 Latin American sculpture competition, the Salón de Escultura en Costa Rica, for his stone sculpture La maternidad, but the work caused controversy and the government rescinded its award. In the 1930s, he began to research pre Hispanic art and its importance to contemporary Latin American art, as well as what was happening artistically in Mexico. 

Francisco Zuniga
Untitled 1982, Plate 7
Suite: Impressions of Egypt
Original lithograph in colors on Arches paper
From the limited edition of 90
Edition Number:  XI/XLV
Mourlot, Paris
Size: 14" x 19 1/2"
Hand signed by the artist in pencil

The scholarship never materialized so various colleagues organized his first individual exhibition in Costa Rica. The earnings from this endeavor earned his passage to Mexico City. In 1936 he immigrated to Mexico permanently.

1
Francisco Zuniga
Untitled 1982,  Plate 1
Suite: Impressions of Egypt
Original lithograph in colors on Arches paper
From the limited edition of 90
Mourlot, Paris
Size: 14" x 19 1/2"
Hand signed by the artist in pencil

In Mexico, he did some formal study at La Escuela de Talla Directa. In 1937 he worked as an assistant to Oliverio Martínez on the Monumento a la Revolución. In 1938, he took a faculty position at La Esmeralda; where he remained until retiring in 1970. In 1958 he was awarded the first prize in sculpture from the Mexican National Institute of Fine Arts.

1
Francisco Zuniga
Untitled 1982, Plate 3
Suite: Impressions of Egypt
Original lithograph in colors on Arches paper
From the limited edition of 90
Mourlot, Paris
Size: 14" x 19 1/2"
Hand signed by the artist in pencil

In the 1940s, the New York Museum of Modern Art acquired the sculpture Cabeza de niño totonaca and the Metropolitan Museum of Art requested two of his drawings. In 1947, he married Elena Laborde, a painting student.


Lithograph - Francisco Zuniga - Impressions of Egypt Suite, Plate 8
Francisco Zuniga
Untitled 1982, Plate 8
Suite: Impressions of Egypt
Original lithograph in colors on Arches paper
From the limited edition of 90
Mourlot, Paris
Size: 14" x 19 1/2"
Hand signed by the artist in pencil

In 1971, he received the Acquisition Prize at the 1971 Biennial of Open Air Sculpture of Middelheim in Antwerp, Belgium. In 1975 twenty of his drawings obtained the silver medal at the International Book Exposition of Leipzig. 


Francisco Zuniga
Untitled 1982, Plate 4
Suite: Impressions of Egypt
Original lithograph in colors on Arches paper
From the limited edition of 90
Mourlot, Paris
Size: 14" x 19 1/2"
Hand signed by the artist in pencil

In the 1980s, he was named an Academic of the Accademia delle Arte e del Lavoro in Parma, Italy. In Mexico he won the Elías Sourasky Prize.


1
Francisco Zuniga
Untitled 1982, Plate 2
Suite: Impressions of Egypt
Original lithograph in colors on Arches paper
From the limited edition of 90
Mourlot, Paris
Size: 14" x 19 1/2"
Hand signed by the artist in pencil



He became a Mexican citizen in 1986, fifty years after his arrival in the country. Near the end of his life, illness left him nearly blind, which caused him to shift his artistic work to terra cotta, using his hands to create the lines.

Francisco Zuniga - Impressions of Egypt Suite, Plate 10
Francisco Zuniga
Untitled 1982, Plate 10
Suite: Impressions of Egypt
Original lithograph in colors on Arches paper
From the limited edition of 90
Mourlot, Paris
Size: 14" x 19 1/2"
Hand signed by the artist in pencil

Acknowledgment: WikipediaGreat Dane Auctions