Manuel Rendon Seminario Mural

July 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

Today is the 473rd anniversary of the founding of Guayaquil by Spanish conquistador Francisco de Orellana. Today also marks the unveiling of a
mural by Manuel Rendon Seminario that has been stored in boxes for 30 years. Rendon is considered a Master Latin American Painter and credited for bringing
the Constructivist Movement to Latin America.

Rendon was born in Paris in 1894 to wealthy Ecuadorian Parents. While in Paris he studied art at the free Academy of the ‘Grand Chaumiere’. Yet he
resisted formal training and preferred a more bohemian solidary form of expression. Though he struggled financially his early works were seen in many
of the galleries of Paris including the Cafe de la Rotonde, whose curator Henry Maisse was a friend.

During World War I the art world in Paris was in chaos, Rendon and friends joined a young pro-Communist group supporting the Bolshevik revolution
in Russia and hoping something similar would come to France. Yet it was after the war when his life made a dramatic change. He traveled with his family to
Ecuador where he encountered a new and exotic world. Through the 1930’s he spent time painting the strife of the ingenious of Ecuador.

It was in the 1940’s that his definitive style took form with characteristic abstract shapes. Like his political views his art like that of the Constructivism Movement had a social agenda.

Rendon’s mural 20.4 meters long by 277 meters high is made up of thousands of pieces of glass that Rendon completed in Mexico in 1980 after having been commissioned for a mural by the Banco Central in Guayaquil 7 years earlier.

The mural had been packed away in boxes and forgotten in his studio and forgotten about after his death in 1982.  The work was discovered by friend, Jorge Swett in 1994 who has been working at restoring the work and seeking funding for its installation.  The mural has been installed on the exterior of the Simon Bolivar Cultural Center in Guayaquil.


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