Rodolfo Nieto

Oaxaca, 1936 - Mexico City, 1985

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Excerpts about Rodolfo Nieto

"I try to do an antagonistic painting, full of tensions. Tension is the key to my painting. I make abject materials with precious materials, chords finest color next to lashes, shots who want to give clarity to the night. And those fine chords have value because they are next to the shooting, and so there is abject matter courting the beautiful. One runs tension to the other. " (Source: by Rodolfo Nieto, in Twelve plastic expressions today)

Often asked if he was an abstract painter. He always defended himself from that idea, and did not understand how people could be confused, as he had never stopped doing figuration, but certainly not realistic. He told to his brother Carlos between laughs: "If I did abstract painting and would like to send a message, I better have written a novel." (Source: By Jaime Moreno Villarreal, in "Homage to Rodolfo Nieto," MARCO, 1995)

Having been an artist that very early found his elements, style and personality, Rodolfo Nieto never resigned to his findings, he always tried to change. According to Octavio Paz, "The interesting thing about him was seeking, restlessness, lack of satisfaction he felt with what he did, which is a symptom of undoubted talent. He was an intelligent man, a critically rare bird." Find the simplest elements and compose with them, in an almost a musical sense, seems to be the goal that guides the formation of its new characters ... (Source: By Jaime Moreno Villarreal, in "Homage to Rodolfo Nieto," MARCO, 1995)

Rodolfo Nieto arrived in Paris, where the concern of consecration in the illustrious French capital, seducing spirits between various latitudes painters and artistic movements.

Alternate at that stage: The Pop Art, The Informalismo, New Figuration, The Cobra Group, The (then) last Spanish Vanguardia, represented by Tápies ... Exhibits at the Galerie de France, where Picasso surprises with its extraordinary expressive gifts. Braque, Dubuffet, Hartung and Jorn configured, along with Picasso, the compendium of European masters he admired all his life.

In his study of the Belle Epoque, near the Salle Pleyel, the Oaxacan artist comes with singular passion for his work, drawing all experience, inside and outside its boundaries that could enrich it. His painting becomes ironic, violent and vibrant colors; emerge from a deep abyss of shadows and ancestral resonances. Not infrequently we have compared this anguished need for revelation, to give "objective" nature to his own universe of signs and forms, with the primitive imagination.

Paris, is the period that begins gestation of original syncretism between his Mexican legacies and the newly acquired European influences, which regulate the permanent qualities of his language.

The aesthetic achievements of Rodolfo Nieto, had the critical acclaim, galleries and museums abroad, which at the time led to a memorable victory for the Mexican painting. (Source: By Ernesto Guzman, Exhibition Catalogue "Rodolfo Nieto: Paris 1960-1968", Mexico 1989)

Great lover of imaginative literature, Rodolfo Nieto illustrated a book by Jorge Luis Borges (Fantastic Zoology) in an admirable understanding and sensitivity. His devotion to the Argentine writer, and other poets of the same spiritual family, confirms the impression given by his paintings: this is a artist in which the imagination is central. But imagination is a word too vast. In his case this is what might be called fantastic reason. That is, a fantasy in which the wonder is the result of a logical necessity. Step by step gradually and inexorably leads us down a winding corridor on completion of which an image expect us (or a proposition), that accepted by reason, is intolerable for the spirit. The best paintings of Rodolfo Nieto are evocations or convocations of this final image. Experience is to decide hastily, in showing the indecipherable nature of reality. (Source: By Octavio Paz, Exhibition Catalogue "Rodolfo Nieto: Paris 1960-1968", Mexico 1989)


Rodolfo Nieto Main Solo Exhibitions


1959 "Rodolfo Nieto", Academia de San Carlos, Mexico City

1962 Exposición simultánea con Francisco Toledo, Kunterness Hus, Oslo.

1964 "Rodolfo Nieto", Galerie de France, Paris

1966 "Rodolfo Nieto", Galerie La Balance, Brussels.

1967 Galerie de France, Paris

1969 Galerie de France, Paris

1969 "Rodolfo Nieto: Laboratorio en papel", Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City

1969 Galerie La Balance, Brussels

1970 Galerie Michel Cassé, Paris

1973 "Rodolfo Nieto: Signos y ritmos", Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City

1976 "Rodolfo Nieto: Pinturas Recientes", Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City

1984 "Rodolfo Nieto: Retrospectiva", Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City

1985 "Rodolfo Nieto", Museo de la Ciudad de Oaxaca, Oaxaca

1986 "Rodolfo Nieto: Exposición Homenaje", Museo de la Ciudad de Oaxaca, Oaxaca

1986 "Rodolfo Nieto: Exposición Homenaje", Centro Cultural de la Secretaria de Hacienda,Mexico City

1988 "Rodolfo Nieto: Laboratorio en papel", Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City

1994 "Rodolfo Nieto: Bestiario", Casa de América, Madrid, Spain

2009 "Rodolfo Nieto: Retrospectiva", Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Monterrey, N.L.

2010 "Rodolfo Nieto: Retrospectiva", Fomento Cultural Banamex, Mexico City