Sculptor, draftsman, and printmaker Francisco Zúñiga (1912 – 1998) was one of the most prominent Latin American artists of the 20th century. He was born in San José, Costa Rica, and as a young man helped his father in his work sculpting religious figures. Later he studied drawing and sculpture at the School of Fine Arts in San José. In 1936, he moved to Mexico where he worked with painter Manuel Rodríguez Lozano and sculptor Guillermo Ruiz. With this experience came an exposure to the work of European artists such as Paul Gauguin, Henry Moore, and Constantin Brâncuși and he combined this influence with his knowledge of pre-Columbian art to create sculptures and drawings that reflected his interest in the themes of maternity and community. Usually executed in stone or bronze, his massive sculptures of female figures celebrated indigenous Central American peoples and traditions.
Zúñiga’s work with printmaking began relatively late in his career. In 1972, he created his first series of lithographs. Two of these prints were included in The Mexican Masters Suite (1973), a portfolio that also featured the work of David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, and others. Soon after this, he created a portfolio of 20 lithographs titled 20 Dibujos (1974). Zúñiga continued to make lithographs for the rest of his career, developing an impressive body of graphic work. His art has been the subject of multiple monographs, the first of which was published by Galería de Arte Misrachi as Zúñiga (1969).
In 1992, Zúñiga received the National Award for the Arts in Mexico. His work can be found in collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.
Books by Francisco Zúñiga available from Boreas Fine Art:
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