MEXICO CITY – Renowned painter, muralist and engraver Gilberto Aceves Navarro, who was a “key” figure on Mexico’s art scene in the second half of the 20th century, has died, the National Fine Arts and Literature Institute (INBAL) said Monday. He was 88.
The Culture Secretariat, for its part, said in a statement released by the INBAL that Aceves’s work was “key to the development of art in our country in the second half of the 20th century and his work as a teacher influenced many generations of outstanding Mexican artists.”
Aceves, who was born in Mexico City in 1931, studied at the INBAL’s La Esmeralda National Painting, Sculpture and Engraving School under Enrique Assad, Ignacio Aguirre and Carlos Orozco Romero.
In 1952, he worked as an assistant to David Alfaro Siqueiros, helping paint the murals at the main administration building of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Aceves made important contributions to Mexican art as an instructor at the National Plastic Arts School, now known as the School of the Arts and Design at the UNAM, where he taught from 1971 until 2012.
Since 1998, Aceves had also taught drawing classes at his studio in Roma, a district in Mexico City.
Aceves showcased his work in more than 300 exhibitions in Mexico and abroad, the INBAL said.
In 2011, the artist received the Fine Arts Medal, the highest honor awarded by the INBAL.
Aceves was given the UNAM medal for his 40 years of service as an academic to Latin America’s largest university.
One of Aceves’s most celebrated works was “Poema floral,” a mural he painted for the Mexico Pavilion at HemisFair ‘68, the official 1968 World’s Fair, in San Antonio, Texas.
Another of his well-known works was “Yo canto a Vietnam,” an acrylic mural created for the Mexico Pavilion at Expo ‘70 in Osaka, Japan.
“His work is included in important public collections in this country, including the Museum of Modern Art, which recently exhibited three works as part of the ‘Coleccion Abierta: Galaxias’ show; at the National Stamp Museum; and at the Carrillo Gil Art Museum, all units of the INBAL,” the fine arts agency said.
In 2009, Aceves offered a wide-ranging retrospective at the Palace of Fine Arts Museum.