Julio Rosado Del Valle: The Father of Contemporary Abstract Painting

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“Abstraccion” 22 x 30 Mix Media Collage 1970

For many art historians and collector, the decade of the 50s was considered the golden age in Puerto Rican Art. No other decade in Puerto Rican art history has been able to reproduce the caliber of artists like we saw in that decade. For example: Myrna Báez, Francisco Rodón, Rafael Tufiño, and Augusto Marín, among others.

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“Self Portrait” 1993 Oil/Paper 5″x7″

Francisco Rodón worked in the portrait territory, Lorenzo Homar had the title for Master Painter, and Julio Rosado was considered the father of the abstract movement in Puerto Rico, and I need to say it: what a TALENT he had for it!!! The kind of talent that will be very, but very hard to surpass by other artist in the future. Julio was a key figure in Puerto Rican art because he was among those who paved the way for innovative approaches and experimentation in painting. I consider him something special because, at that moment in time, Puerto Rico was being observed and evaluated by art critic and writer Marta Traba. She expressed within her writings that almost every artist in Puerto Rico, with the exception of few, was working in the same theme, which at the moment was “Costumbrismo”, over and over again; while others were doing what she called “the easy way out”, meaning they were imitating American art.  Julio Rosado Del Valle was clearly an exception to this critic.  On her book “Propuesta polémica sobre arte puertorriqueño”, she wrote that Rosado Del Valle was, perhaps, the only Puerto Rican painter of continental stature in Puerto Rico.

Now, let me show you an example of Julio Rosado’s work for 1959. You will see a glass cup in a simple black pattern of oil.

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La Copa
16 by 20 Oil/Board
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Signature

In my opinion, the composition of his work was superb, making a great integration of different colors in the pattern with black bold lines and simple elements of figurative abstract reasoning, while maintaining a modern abstract / “nice to the eye decorative pattern” LOL. I noticed that, as time went by, Julio Rosado’s technique didn’t change much, but his work started to look more colorful than his earlier work, where black was the predominant color.

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La Sandalia Serigraph

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