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Eduardo Arroyo

Madrid 1937


The Spanish painter Eduardo Arroyo, born in 1937, is today regarded as one of the most important exponents of politically committed realism. Arroyo trained as a journalist. At the age of twenty-one, he emigrated to Paris where he worked as an author and journalist. Not very convinced of his own writing skills and his political judgement, Arroyo decided to devote his time to painting. Arroyo taught himself. He began to "tell stories in pictures" and thus occupied a special position in the Paris of the 1950s, where at that time, abstract and not representational narrative painting prevailed. Simple to read references to historic events and characters prevail in his representational and figurative compositions. Eduardo Arroyo composed stereotypical figures, which represent characters from certain social classes. He often included defamiliarized quotations from famous pictures with a touch of irony.
The artist's first exhibition took place at the Claude Lavain gallery at Place Vendôme. At that time the audience was still in love with his cheeky provocations. However, his works came to be increasingly considered scandalous and were censored. Arroyo dared to caricature established artists such as Mirò or Duchamp. This provoked further enmity and heavy criticism.
After Franco's death in 1976 Eduardo Arroyo returned to Spain. Officially, his home country honored him with a major retrospective. In 1983 Eduardo Arroyo received the Great National Prize for Painting in Spain. From 1969 Arroyo occassionaly also worked as stage designer for important European productions. He designed the stage for "Off Limits" by A. Adamov for the "Piccolo Teatro" in Milan and created the stage design for the opera "Wozzeck" by A. Berg for the Bremen Opera House. In Frankfurt am Main he developed the stage for B. Brecht's "Im Dickicht der Städte". In 1986 Arroyo's piece "Bantam" had its world premiere at the Munich Residenztheater. Since 1969 he has frequently been working with producer Klaus Michael Grüber, with whom he designed the stage for Guiseppe Verdi's "Othello" in 1996 in Amsterdam. Eduardo Arroyo has participated in numerous international exhibitions and has taken part in biennales.


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