The Museum of Durango hosts the exhibition of the artist born in Bilbao Jose Manuel Rozas, on the 40th anniversary of his death.

Publicado el 23/03/2023

On the 40th anniversary of the death of the artist Jose Manuel Rozas, the Museum of Art and History of Durango, exhibits a small collection of his works, in homage to this great and unknown artist. In order to expose it to the public, the Museum will launch the ‘Renaissance’ exhibition from March 23 to May 21.

Jose Manuel Rozas (Bilbao, 1944-1983), painter and sculptor, maintained a long and short artistic career. He was born into a humble family, retaliated by the dictatorship. He spent his early years between Bilbao, Madrid and Irún. He was a self-taught artist and his artistic

career began in adolescence. Thus, he carried out liturgical works and imagery at the Irún Seminary for the Order of La Salle.

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 yearning for freedom.

Jose Manuel Rozas received great appreciation from the local artistic community and art critics during his lifetime, 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.

So, now that it is 40 years since his death, the Museum of Art and History of Durango has assembled 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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