Esteban Vicente Spanish/American, 1903-2001


Vicente’s unerring sense of abstract compositions, based on his own unique style, is carefully balanced, and reflects an innate elegance on a bold scale. Absent is any trace of anxiety or aggression. One is reminded of the potential influence from Helen Frankenthaler’s landscapes laid out on stained canvases from the 1950s. Yet Vicente adds his own sense of ease and the serenity of an artist who has given his all over the years and now can slowly and deliberately create stylistically independent and continuously evolving work. Vicente left behind a lifetime body of work that may be seen as part of a sequenced series of canvases that persisted in exploring the effects of light and the subtle differences of applied structure. 


Esteban Vicente, Abstract Expressionist and Color Field painter, was an integral part of the inner circle of artists who comprised the electrifying Post War art scene in New York City. Sharing a studio with Willem de Kooning, Vicente could number his friendships with such trailblazing artists as Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman.  A voting member of The Club, Vicente exhibited in 1950 at the Kootz Gallery in New York in their historic exhibition, Talent 1950 and the following year at the then radical avant-garde Ninth Street Art Exhibition as well as at such influential galleries as Leo Castelli, Andre Emmerich, Charles Egan Gallery, and Sidney Janis. In 1991 Vicente received a Gold Medal for Fine Arts from King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain. At the end of his life, a museum was opened in his honor-- the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente. Vicente was present for its opening in Segovia by the Spanish government in 1998. He even had a street named after him near his birthplace in Turegano. Vicente lived out his days in Bridgehampton, New York.


Ateneo de Madrid, 1928 (solo)

Kleeman Galleries, New York

Bonestell Gallery, New York

Kootz Gallery, New York, Talent 1950, 1950

Ninth Street Art Exhibition, New York, 1951\Stable Gallery, New York, 1954-1957

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

Leo Castelli Gallery, New York

Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York

Charles Egan Gallery, New York

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York

Berry Hill Galleries, New York

Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY, Esteban Vicente: Portrait of the Artist, Feb. 6,-April 10, 2011

Museums and Public Collections

Art Institute of Chicago

Ball State Museum of Art, Indiana

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, Spain

Caixa Galicia Foundation, Vigo, Spain

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Currier Gallery of Art, New Hampshire

Dallas Art Museum, Texas

Fundacion Telefonica, Chile

Grey Art Gallery, New York University

Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Institut Valencia D’Art Moderne, Valencia, Spain

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Museo Nacional Centro de arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain

Museo Patio Herreriano de Valladolid, Spain

Museum de Arte Contemporaneo Esteban Vicente, Segovia

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Museum of the National Academy of Design, New York City, New York

Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Solomon Guggenheim Museum

Telfair Museums, Savannah, Georgia

University of Iowa Museum of Art

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

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