Esteban Vicente

13 Jul - 22 Aug 2020

Tayloe Piggott Gallery is pleased to present the work of Spanish-American master Esteban Vicente. The exhibition is on view until August 8, 2020 at 62 South Glenwood Street in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Vicente’s typically vibrant oil paintings have revealed an ever-evolving inquiry into abstraction that took place over the course of his life. Vicente maintained a lifelong daily painting practice and always painted in the natural light of his studio. The New York School veteran who immigrated from Spain in 1936 created a vast body of work that is a satisfying amalgam pointing back to both origins.


Throughout his career Vicente’s work has been atmospheric and has frequently employed colors that hearken back to the sunny colors of Spain. The yellows and reds contrast with cool greens, and blend with earthy ochres, umbers, and languid pinks. The loose exploratory style is immediately recognizable as the Abstract Expressionism of the New York School. Within his compositions are familiar shapes, often fragmented by adumbrated edges. His abstract pieces are sometimes architectonic and sometimes geographic in nature but usually identifiable by their palettes.


The nuances of color are almost always the primary communicators in his work. Inspired by frequent childhood trips to the Prado, Vicente knew from an early age that he’d like to be an artist. He attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts San Fernando in Madrid in 1921 and his illustrious career lasted over six decades. He lived in Paris, Barcelona, and New York City, but was greatly influenced by the peace of his Bridgehampton farmhouse with his studio in the converted barn and his garden full of colorful flowers. Vicente found comradery and friendship in other great painters such as Jackson Pollack and Willem de Kooning and was sometimes spied with them at the legendary Cedar Bar, a Greenwich Village haunt of artists. He was a member of the New York School of painters and is the namesake for PS 107X: The Esteban Vicente Early Childhood School in the Bronx. He died in 2001, leaving us his visual legacy.


Esteban Vicente helped organize and participated in the famed 9th Street show, an historic invitational held in Greenwich Village in 1951 that solidified Abstract Expressionism in the U.S. art canon. He was the artist in residence at Princeton University, and the Honolulu Academy of Fine Arts. Vicente received the gold medal in Fine Arts from King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia at the Prado Museum. He taught master classes at New York Studio School and Parsons School of Design. His work is in major public and private collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Tate Modern, and the Reina Sofia in Madrid, to name a few.