bronze sculpture, unique piece
31 x 9 x 7 inches
Roberto Estopiñán, a sculptor, draftsman, and printmaker, was born in Camaguey, Cuba on March 18, 1921. Estopiñán enrolled at the San Alejandro Academy when he was just 14 years old and became the protegé and studio assistant of the sculptor Juan José Sicre. Throughout the 1950s, Estopiñán received important prizes at various national exhibitions in Havana. In 1953 he was the only semi-finalist from Latin America at the Tate Gallery's international sculpture competition for a Monument to the Unknown Political Prisoner. In 1961, the artist moved to New York, where he resided until 2002.
Since the 1980s, he has been involved with the female torso as his favorite expressive form. As a printmaker and draftsman, his production was thematically parallel to his sculptures. The most complete collection of his prints (1959-96) is found in the Jersey City Museum in New Jersey, where an exhibition was hosted in the spring of 1996. Together with Juan Jose Sicre, Alfredo Lozano and Agustin Cardenas, Estopiñán is considered one of the pioneers of modern sculpture in Cuba and Latin America. The artist recently retired to Miami, FL.
“His work in the early 1950s was an evocation of Maillol and his resonant masses. During the same decade, Estopiñán produced totems and angular figures that reverberated with influences from Africa and Oceania…
Estopiñán has always been on a quest for a pure, essential form that he can load with content. He best demonstrates this quest with the obsessive use he has made of the female torso as his subject since 1978. This is an iconic subject found behind many manifestations of Western art, and of other arts as well. There are hundreds of variations on this theme in the hands of Estopiñán alone, but no two of them are alike. He revises, adds, subtracts, and transforms this essential female form in countless ways.”
Xenia Bas de Tamayo: Roberto Estopiñán: El escultor que insiste en buscar la forma más pura. Replica, Miami, FL 1992-1993. in Veigas, J., et al, eds. Memoria, Cuban Art of the Twentieth Century. 1st ed. Los Angeles, CA: California International Arts Foundation, 2002.
Anreus, Alejandro Ph.D., Associate Professor of Art History, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ. Retreived from http://www.askart.com, Sept 2006