Monday, June 28, 2010

(Social) Realism: Costa Rica

Francisco Amighetti (1907 - 1998)

Francisco Amighetti was born June 1, 1907, in San Jose, Costa Rica. He attended the main high school for boys in San Jose called the Liceo de Coasta Rica. Here, his artistic talent became apparent, and his art teachers encouraged him to enroll in the Academia de Bella Artes. At the institute, directed by Spanish painter Tomas Povedano, he studied drawing and painting, and soon began to gain recognition through his cartoons published in “Repertorio Americano”.

In the 1930s he and other artists sucb as Zuniga, de la Cruz, Zeledon and Chacon all rebelled against their traditional artistic training, abandoning classical European schools for revolutionary ones such as Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. They began exploring the printmaking techniques of leading artists in these fields and produced a portfolio of xylographs by Costa Rican artists, the first of its kind, in 1934.

Though artistic opportunities were scarce in Costa Rica, Amighetti chose to remain there, unlike many of his contemporaries. He continued to perfect his technique in painting, drawing, and printmaking, eventually traveling throughout Europe, Asia, and America to show his work, which by the 1950s had gained international attention. Amighetti continued to work until his death in 1998.

Jorge Gallardo (1924 - 2002)
Jorge Gallardo (December 12, 1924 - April 4, 2002) was a Costa Rican painter and poet. Gallardo's works are among the most important art collections of the Government of Costa Rica as well as many individuals, both domestic and foreign. His art is an irreverent mix in which he uses an impeccable use of color, which many have considered flat and without complexities. He painted many colorful pictures displaying topics such as agriculture in Costa Rica and the working people on landscapes.

World (Social) Realist Art (Index of Countries)
This blog page is part of an ongoing project by artist and part-time lecturer Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin ( to explore Realist / Social Realist art from around the world. The term Realism is used in its broadest sense to include 19th century Realism and Naturalism as well as 20th century Impressionism (which after all was following in the path of Courbet and Millet). Social Realism covers art that seeks to examine the living and working conditions of ordinary people (examples include German Expressionism, American Ashcan School and the Mexican Muralists).

Click here for (Social) Realist Art Definitions, World (Social) Realism and Global Solidarity, Art and Politics, Social Realism in history and Country Index.

Suggestions for appropriate artists from around the world welcome to

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