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Paintings By Julio Rosado Del Valle

December 11, 2002
Copyright © 2002 PUERTORICOWOW. All rights reserved. 

It was number of years ago that I met him in his small home / workshop in Cataño, his place of birth. Multicolor droplets covered the floor while the walls were adorned with paper drawings, small scraps of painted cloths, and immense canvases rolled up as if hiding the magical color, composition, and passion for which the artist is capable.

Now, Julio Rosa del Valle shares a part of his passion in the exhibition "Pintura sobre papel 1999-2002," showing at Antiguo Arsenal de la Marina in Viejo San Juan’s La Puntilla sector.

Confronting the white canvas is his love and applying paint is what most consumes him because for don Julio (as he is known by many), painting is his life. It’s with the spatula--the tool he prefers over the brush--that he finds the correct route to apply what inhabits him, an expression that not only is proliferating but is genius and voracious.

For don Julio, the painting process is filled with eroticism. Moreover, according to art critic Mercedes Trelles Hernández, in this eroticism, "there is something of an encounter, trance, tension, and relaxation.

"There is something different in these paintings, a special intensity that stems from the color, the constant movement of the spatula, and the culmination of layers of paint. [It’s] a culmination so thick that it transforms the paper into cloth and alters the consistency and geography. These painting are resplendent with an intensity that impresses.

"Viewed jointly, all the works in this exhibition demonstrate that intensity. It [emanates] not only from the vibrant color, but the arrangement of all aspects that comprise Julio Rosado del Valle’s search. The intensity comes from his need for expression, his passion for the medium, as well as his confrontation with the subject--a confrontation that envelops the spectator," continued Trelles.

Considered one of the pioneers of the abstract art movement in Puerto Rico, Julio Rosado del Valle studied drawing at University of Puerto Rico under Spanish painter don Cristóbal Ruíz (1945). He then studied at the New School for Social Research in New York, which was followed by studies in Florence and Paris. Upon returning to Puerto Rico in 1949, del Valle worked for the Division of Community Education making posters and illustrating books.

In 1950, he founded along with Lorenzo Homar, Rafael Tufiño, and others, Centro de Arte Puertorriqueño and, years later, he returned to New York on a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work has given him a great deal of recognition both locally and internationally and can be found in both public and private collections within and out of Puerto Rico.

"Pintura sobre papel 1999-2002" is a one-of-a-kind exhibition by one of the great Puerto Rican masters of painting of the second half of the 20th century. It will remain on display through January 2003.

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