Francisco Zuñiga

San Jose, Costa Rica, 1912 - Mexico City, 1998

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I do not sculpt nature, but a sculpture of human nature, insisting on this adjectival dimension of building a form of the human figure.

Maybe my world is that of the feminine indigenous representation, and of poses which are related to the old cultures of Middle America, that is an emotional and prevailing motive from which I reaffirm precisely a certain irrational aspect, psychological values; the heritage. I relate all that symbolically to the geological, the terrestrial of origin, even more, to the erotic. Hence, the exaggeration of breasts, the stomachs, the hips. In that sense, nature is in exhaustible, since life grows and dies.

The squatting figures are a spherical mass sustained by two supporting points: the inflecting legs. Such is the subject of the daily task, and even the fact of engendering. The reclining figures, drowsy or relaxed with a stressed sensuality of a lying animal. The seated figures like pyramids or absent prayers. I try to capture that entire world out of the time, that resistance which makes of Mexico one of the greatest countries of the world. The standing figures, the verticality, characteristics of man, differentiating him fro other species. It is important the case of the hips, sort of shell supported by the columns of the legs, which also support the spine and terminates in that central axis, the head. The shawls or clothes have also a function: to vail part of the figure, to emphasize a form or a salient, to balance or to continue a rhythm within the composition. In the groups, the hips mark a horizontal supporting axis of the whole, the spaces like negative volumes, which in cinematography is called out of frame, the hollows or firm salient, all this construction is thought, calculated. Light is of essential importance; it illuminates or outlines the forms, by defining the hollows and the salient surfaces, the rough or polished textures according to the material.(Extract of Francisco Zuñiga’s admittance speech to the Academy of Arts of Mexico, August 6, 1987, Mexico City. Source: Francisco Zuñiga, Catalogue Raisonne, Volume I, by Albedrio in association with Fundacion Zuñiga Laborde, A.C.)


Francisco Zuñiga Main Solo Exhibitions


1954 Museo Nacional de San Jose, Costa Rica

1965 Bernard Lewin Gallery, California

1969 "Francisco Zuñiga Retrospectiva", Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City

1970 Galeria Tasende, Acapulco

1971 San Diego Museum of Art, California

1972 University of Santa Clara, California

1973 Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California

1973 Weintraub Gallery, New York

1973 Galeria Arte de Coleccionistas, Mexico City

1974 Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona

1977 Oakland Museum, California

1977 De Cordoba y Dana Museum, Massachusetts

1977 Everson Museum, Syracuse

1978 La Jolla Museum, California

1978 Brewster Gallery, New York

1978 Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California

1978 Tucson Museum of Art, Arizona

1979 Salt Lake City Art Center, Utah

1979 Galerie Bel Art, Stockholm, Sweden

1980 Galerie D’Endt, Amsterdam, Netherlands

1980 Galerie Carpentier, Paris

1981 Galeria de Arte Misrachi, Mexico

1981 Theo Waddington Gallery, London

1981 Levy Gallery, Hamburg, Germany

1982 Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii

1983 Sindin Gallery, New York

1985 Contemporary Sculpture Center, Tokio, Japan

1985 "Francisco Zuñiga: Obra de 1923 a 1935", Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Costa Rica

1986 Jardin de las Tullerias, Orangerie, Paris

1986 Braux-Ste-Cohiere, Ardennes, France

1987 Museo Regional de Guadalajara, Jalisco

1987 Museo Biblioteca Pape, Monclova, Coahuila

1990 Mexican Museum, San Francisco, California

1990 Brewster Gallery, New York

1990 Sindin Gallery, New York

1994 "Francisco Zuñiga: Exposicion Retrospectiva", Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes, Mexico City

1994 "Francisco Zuñiga: Homenaje Nacional", Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City

1994 Galeria del Aeropuerto, Mexico City

1995 Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca, Oaxaca

1997 "Francisco Zuñiga: Del Dibujo a la Escultura", Museo del Arzobispado, Mexico City

1999 Centro Costarricense de la Ciencia y la Cultura, Costa Rica

2001 Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles, California

2001 Galeria Enrique Guerrero, Mexico City