Rafael Navarro

1940 · Spain

Artist biography

Rafael Navarro is seen as an established artist, who originates from Spain. Rafael Navarro was born in 1940. Artists Antoni Tapies, Eduardo Chillida and Eduardo Arroyo are of the same generation and same country as Rafael Navarro.

Rafael Navarro's Gallery representation

Rafael Navarro's work is available for viewing at Baudoin Lebon located in Paris, France.

Historical Context of Spain

The influence of Spain was significant in developing the art of the twentieth century. Initially with his Blue then Rose phases, although he would eventually settle in to Paris in 1904, Picasso revealed a truly expressive approach to figuration in the early 1900s, the era of post-Impressionism. Pablo Picasso is also considered as the most influential founding member of Cubism, a major art movement in which he would also be joined by Spanish artist Juan Gris. Though they were established in France for the most part of their respective artistic careers, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro were both highly influential figures in the Surrealist movement. The political and cultural landscape of Spain during the twentieth century was controlled by the totalitarian autocracy of General Franco, whose regime subjugated the country from 1939 to 1975. His passing prompted a restitution of the monarchy to Juan-Carlos I, who consequently reformed the State. The Franco dictatorship, characterised by an intense anti-communist position, led to the departure of major intellectual and cultural figures, determined to escape this oppressive regime. The artistic and cultural blossoming of the avant-garde were deeply stirred by this situation, as liberal artistic movements are frequently associated with leftist inclinations. Some critically acclaimed modern and contemporary Spanish artists include Antoni Tapíes, Eduardo Chillida, Eduardo Arroyo and Manolo Valdes.

Further Biographical Context for Rafael Navarro

Born in 1940, Rafael Navarro was primarily inspired by the 1960s growing up. The astronomical impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Illustrative of a time inspiring both faith and anger, the 1960s prompted an outburst of new ideologies and movements, truly exciting and ground-breaking. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly influential impact globally, largely defined by the Iron Curtain dividing Europe both physically and spiritually, and drastically marked by the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing expectations on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The incredible boom of mass consumerism also defined the era, engendering new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism established the crucial idea that art should exist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the real world. Born of a desire to erase all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism became a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key figures. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to explore further some of the most fundamental philosophies of Abstract Expressionism, while eliminating the emotional and highly personal aspect it would often associated with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply identifying with Minimalism. The iconic contemporary art movements that echoed through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own distinctions and scopes, particular to different regions or countries. Spatialism, for example, was established in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Throughout Europe, the ideologies of Existentialism deeply influenced artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who sought to depict the raw human emotions often connected to reflections on death and the haunting anxiety of the meaninglessness of life.

Rafael Navarro

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