Edgar Negret (1920-)
Edgar Negret was born in Popayán, Colombia, in 1920. By age eighteen he was attending the School of Fine Arts in Cali, in the southwestern part of the country. In those formative years, he met the Spanish sculptor Jorge de Oteiza. His sculptural play with scale, bold, modernist forms, and negative space was highly influential on his work, prompting a shift from working in stone – in the more primitivist tradition of Constantin Brâncuși and Jean Arp – to metal.
In 1955 his acclaim was on the rise, with his work being acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, where it was put on display in the exhibition “New Acquisitions.” He won the Salón de Artistas Colombianos in 1963, becoming one of the most prominent Colombian sculptors of the 20th century, and in 1968 he was awarded the David E. Bright Sculpture Prize at the 34th Venice Biennale.
Codifying the importance of Negret to South America, the Museo Negret opened in 1985 in his home city as a permanent exhibition space for his work. Negret died on his 92nd birthday in Bogotá, Colombia.