Jesus Fuertes (14 April 1938 – 18 June 2006) was a Cubist painter nicknamed "The Painter of Blue". He was initiated into the world of art by Salvador Dalí and was described as a true genius by Pablo Picasso.
Jesus Fuertes' works have been exhibited in museums across the world. His paintings have been acquired by various museums, including the Queen Sofia of Spain's Museum in Madrid, the Beaux Arts Museum in Brussels, the Contemporary Art Museum in Vienna and the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art in Brazil, and by various noted figures and institutions such as Juan Carlos I and Sofia of Greece and Denmark (the king and queen of Spain), Princess Christina of the Netherlands, the king and queen of Belgium, Prince Albert II of Belgium, Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, the Spanish Ambassador Miguel de Aldasoro, Jacqueline Onassis, Paloma Picasso, Yves Saint Laurent, Paco Rabanne, Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski, Sylvester Stallone, Julio Iglesias, Mireille Mathieu, Sara Montiel, Charles Aznavour, Sacha Distel, Capital Bank Founder and President Abel Holtz, Deutsche Bank, Phillips, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer, and Sabena Airlines.
War and political uncertainty in Spain at the time forced the Fuertes family to seek political asylum in France. While in France his father met Pablo Picasso who, at that time, was involved with a group that helped Spanish artists and intellectuals adjust to life in exile. Fuertes' father began to frequent symposiums attended by Picasso and they quickly formed a friendship which would last for life.
In the years that followed, young Fuertes benefited from the creativity that surrounded him. He created forms like those he was accustomed to seeing in the studios of the Spanish painters in Paris. At the age of 15 he participated in an art exhibition for the first time - an exposition of Young European Painters held in Berlin. Having been awarded a second place prize, Fuertes became one of the emerging avant-garde painters of the time.
His first contact with the Surrealist world was made through Salvador Dalí, who introduced him to André Breton, the father of the Surrealist movement. However, the restless spirit of Fuertes made him receptive to other trends, movements and quests, attracting the enthusiasm of Pablo Picasso. An assiduous contact between the great master and Fuertes quickly developed, thus permitting Fuertes to research the roots of Cubism. This led him to paint his first Neocubist canvas.
In 1963, Fuertes left for Rome to take the first place prize for his painting "Torneo Medieval," awarded by the Grand Prix de Rome for Painting and Sculpture. It was in Italy that he developed a friendship with Giorgio de Chirico, the renowned master painter of metaphysical art, with whom he later exhibited his work alongside notable constructivists and surrealists Balthus, Umberto Boccioni and Carlo Carra in 1965.
Upon his return to Paris, Fuertes met Alechinsky, a member of the CoBrA group (considered[who?] the last great avant-garde movement of the century). They met regularly with Apel and other artists at the "La Coupole Café" on Boulevard du Montparnasse. It was at these meetings that Fuertes began his friendship with the abstract painter, Viola.
In 1967, Dalí presented a Fuertes´ exhibition at the Grévin Museum in Paris and, in the two years that followed, Fuertes exhibited along with Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Francis Picabia, Paul Delvaux, Félix Labisse, Man Ray, Max Ernst, and others. After that, his paintings were extensively exhibited around Europe and in the United States.
In 1979, Fuertes moved to São Paulo, Brazil where he developed some audacious coloring expressions — a true representation of one of the first forms of "Tropical Neo-Cubism". There, he gained the respect and admiration of local, modern art collectors, museums and the general public. Pietro Maria Bardi, director of the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), stated:
Surprisingly, Jesus Fuertes uses geometric structures not to decompose his compositions but to reorganize his world with order, to recompose remarkable figures, in which the appeal to cubist treatment expresses irony.
Fuertes often chose women and cats as his subject matter. Several of his well-known works involve the use of shades of blue, which earned him the moniker, "Painter of Blue".
Jean-Paul Sartre once stated:
To contemplate one of Fuertes' pieces of art is to contemplate beautiful creations of life. The glorious fruits of his labor are not a miracle, but rather the result of the systematic development of his natural talents.
- 1953 Second place prize at the Young European Painters Exposition in Berlin
- 1963 Grand Prix de Rome for Painting and Sculpture. First place prize for his painting "Torneo Medieval"
- 1953 - Young European Painters International Show, Berlin, Germany
- 1954 - Saya Gallery, Lille, France
- 1955 - Brachot Gallery, Bruxelles, Belgium
- 1956 - New Tendencies, Le Petite Gallery, Paris, France
- 1957 - Bateauivre Gallerie, Paris, France, with Bernard Buffet
- 1958 - Bruxelles International Expo, Spanish Pavilion, Exhibited with Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies and Pablo Picasso
- 1959 - Gallery at the Hotel Saint Regis, New York
- 1960 - Magnus Gallery, Perpignan, France
- 1961 - Escrigit Gallery, Amberes, Belgium
- 1962 - Euroart Gallery, Paris, France
- 1964 - Simon Swartz Gallery, Switzerland
- 1965 - Circo Gallery, Rome, Italy, with notable constructivists and Italian surrealists Baltazar Baltrus, Umberto Boccioni, De Chirico and Carlo Carra
- 1966 - Luigi Amasso Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts
- 1967 - Grévin Museum, Paris, France, exhibition presented by Salvador Dalí
- 1968 - Massey Museum, Tarbes, France with Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Francis Picabia and others
- 1968 – San Antonio International Art Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas
- 1969 - Knokke Casino, Belgium, group exhibition with surrealists Magritte, Del Vaux, Labisse, Man Ray, Max Ernst and others
- 1972 - Katya Granoff Gallery, Paris, France
- 1974 - Naharro Gallery, Zaragoza, Spain
- 1976 - Sala Galderes, Barcelona, Spain
- 1977 - Luigi Amasso Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts
- 1980 – São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo, Brazil
- 1981 - Museum of Belo Horizonte, Brazil
- 1984 - Spanish Embassy in Brasília, Brazil
- 1985 - Embassy Gallery, Miami, Florida
- 1987 - Halos Gallery, Marseille, France
- 1988 - Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 1989 - Clicler Gallery, Toronto, Canada
- 1990 - Gallery of the Hotel El Camino Real, Mexico City, Mexico
- 1991 - Art Miami, Miami, Florida
- 1992 - South Western Gallery, Miami, Florida
- 1993 - Osaka Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
- 1994 - Vanidades Gallery, Miami, Florida
- 1995 - Art Miami, Miami, Florida
- 2000 – Artelenium Gallery: Barcelona, Spain, with Miró and Picasso
- 2000 - New York, exhibition sponsored by Plácido Domingo and Mayor Giuliani
- 2003 – Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, Spain, "Quijote in Miami" painting
- "Jesus Fuertes, 68; Spanish Cubist Painter Was Picasso Protege", Los Angeles Times, 26 June 2006, retrieved 6 October 2010