Durango exhibits the works of José Manuel Rozas on the 40th anniversary of his death

Publicado el 23/03/2023

From March 24 to May 21, the Museum of Durango will offer a compilation of his works under the title ‘Renaissance’.

DURANGO | On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the death of the artist José Manuel Rozas, the Museum of Art and History of Durango has received a small collection of his works. With the aim of showing it to the public, the Museum will launch the exhibition ‘Renaissance’ from March 24 to May 21.

The Bilbao painter and sculptor José Manuel Rozas (1944-1983) had an artistic career that was as short as it was prolific. He was born into a humble family persecuted by the dictatorship. His early years were spent in Bilbao, Madrid and Irun. Self-taught by training, this artist began his artistic career in adolescence. Thus, he made liturgical works and images in the Seminary of Irun for the order of La Salle throughout his years of stay there.

In 1967 he began to participate in exhibitions, biennials and competitions, both at the local and state level. Thus, he opened a path in the poor cultural panorama that existed in the Basque Country during the late Franco regime. In 1969, after completing his compulsory military service, he moved to Santurtzi. There he launched his new studio. At that time he met Mari José Abasolo Dueñas, who from then on would be his tireless companion, model and collaborator.

In the chronological framework of the democratic transition, Rozas used a formal language that was close to surrealism, with strong hyperrealist and political overtones. His canvases, sculptures, drawings and engravings show the imaginative capacity of the author. Examples of this are the hopes, fears, dreams and desires of a youth full of desire for freedom, which the world portrayed starring.

During his lifetime, José Manuel Rozas received great appreciation from the local artistic community and art critics, which allowed him to carry out, among others, eighteen individual exhibitions and more than eighty collective ones. However, after his dramatic death in 1983, there have been few exhibitions dedicated to this artist.

Thus, now that it is 40 years since his death, the Museum of Art and History of Durango has united a small collection of his works under the title Renaissance. These works have been placed chronologically so that visitors can learn about the artist’s career piece by piece. Thus, we will be able to see Rozas’ fight, as the protagonist of his canvases, against oblivion and the past of time from anonymity.


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