Enrique Grau

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Enrique Grau (December 18, 1920 – April 1, 2004) was a Colombian artist, renowned for his depictions of Amerindian and Afro Colombian figures. He was a member of the triumvirate of key Colombian artists of the 20th century which included Fernando Botero and Alejandro Obregón.

Grau was born in Panama City, Panama, just like many of the children of his time with Colombian parents, and raised in Cartagena, Colombia. He was the son of Enrique Grau Velez and Carmen Araujo Jimenez. A self-made artist he was influenced by the Colombian Masters Ignacio Gomez Jaramillo, Santiago Martinez Delgado and Pedro Nel Gómez, he studied at the Art Students League in New York, USA, in the early 1940s. He later toured Italy, where he learned etching and fresco techniques before moving to the city of Cartagena.

He won the Salón de Artistas Colombianos in 1957 launching a well noted career in the arts. His associations of white, black and indigenous figures and objects such as masks, eggs, fruit or cages brought him international fame, with exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and the Paris Museum of Modern Art. Grau donated 1,300 works of art (including some by other artists) to the city of Cartagena; these will be used to establish a museum, due to open in late 2004.

Enrique Grau died in Bogotá, Colombia, at the age of 83.