Artists & Designers

Jesús Guerrero Galván (1910-1973)

Mexican painter Jesús Guerrero Galván was born on June 1, 1910 in Tonila, Jalisco, Mexico, to a farming family of Tarascan (Purépecha) origin. As a child he studied drawing in Guadalajara, and began his education as a painter in the Fine Arts School (School of Plastic Arts) in San Antonio, Texas, after moving to the United States with his mother and sister around 1925.

Upon returning to Mexico City, he trained in the workshop of painter José Vizcarra in Guadalajara from 1923 to 1924, where Guerrero Galván excelled in drawing. He finished his studies at Guadalajara's Escuela Libre de Pintura (Free Painting School). Around 1930, he settled in Mexico City and joined the Banderas de Provincia (Flags of the Province) in Jalisco, a group of poets, writers, and painters, such as Raúl Anguiano, José Guadalupe Zuno, Enrique Martínez Ulloa, and Agustín Yañez. He also came into contact with painters of the nationalist revolutionary school and became involved with the muralist movement. Guerrero Galván later founded T.A.P (Alliance of Fine Arts Workers) with Anguiano and joined the Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (League of Revolutionary Writers and Artists) and the Cultural Missions of President Lazaro Cárdenas.

He taught at the Escuela Nocturna de Arte para Trabajadores (Art Night School for Workers) in 1936, the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Academy of Fine Arts) in 1938, and the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas (Faculty of Arts and Design) in 1939, and continued to teach there for twenty five years. He also designed costumes and stage sets for the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM). Guerrero Galván was also accepted as a member of the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana (Hall of Mexican Fine Art).

In 1941, the well-known Galería de Arte Mexicana (Gallery of Mexican Art) in Mexico City held the artist's first individual exhibition, and he was invited as a resident artist to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in 1942. Considered a master of the Mexican school of painting, Guerrero Galván often focuses on themes of poetic metaphor and symbolism and images of women and children, rather than the usual historical, socio-political, and folkloric subjects associated with the muralist movement. He died on May 11, 1973 in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.

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