Measures: 50×40 inches oil on canvas
Signed: lower right dated 1969
Titled: The bird man
Farhat Art Museum Collection
Gilberto Aceves Navarro (b. 1931) is one of Mexico’s best-known and most colorful painters. His work is flamboyant, reconciling homegrown Mexican influences, a serious dedication to craft and an eclectic and wide-ranging visual vocabulary with wit, warmth and humor. He is an unusually versatile and productive artist whose lengthy career and extensive teaching have influenced generations of younger painters.
Navarro has produced a large corpus of work in both watercolors and oils and he draws compulsively, not only in the studio but in social environments as well. Once you have seen him sketching his dinner companions while eating, laughing and maintaining an animated conversation, the occasion is never forgotten. In addition to his extensive oeuvre of easel paintings, Navarro has also completed a number of significant public mural and sculpture commissions.
Navarro’s work has been exhibited all over the world. He has had more than thirty solo exhibitions in his native Mexico and in Panama, Los Angeles, New York and recently, he has become popular in Germany. His work has been chosen to represent Mexico in major exhibitions including the Paris Bienale in 1963 and 1965, Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada, Hemisfair 68 in San Antonio, Texas, Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan, and the Cannes Biennial in 1989. His work is held by a number of Mexican and foreign museums. He spent two significant periods in Los Angeles, first in 1967 and 1968 and then again in the mid-1970s, when he worked with the art dealer and gallery owner Howard Morseburg.
Navarro’s personality is as vibrant and colorful as his paintings. He has a quick wit and a ready laugh and his sense of whimsy is on display in many of his paintings and drawings. While his sociable personality has been a great aid to his career, he is an indefatigable worker who loves the life of the painter in the atelier.
Navarro has applied the same dedication to his role as teacher and mentor at la Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas de la UNAM (the National Academy at San Carlos) where he has been since 1971 as well as at his own studio. After meeting him and experiencing his personal warmth and magnetic personality one understands the high esteem that generations of students have have for him. In his spare time Navarro pursues his great passion for classical opera.
At sixty-eight Maestro Navarro’s passion for art and life continue unabated.