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The Madonna as Muse: The Paintings Of Rene Alvarado Coming to the San Angelo Museum

2008-08-13 09:37:00

    SAN ANGELO, Texas, Aug. 13 /EMWNews/ -- The San Angelo Museum of

Fine Arts will open The Madonna as Muse: An Exhibition of Paintings by Rene

Alvarado on September 11. This exhibition will present 24 contemporary and

iconic paintings that use the mystical image of the Madonna to express the

artist's inner life, as well as exonerate many of the influential women in

the artist's life -- his mother, grandmothers, sisters and his San Angelo

patron Eva Tucker. With richness of color and strong imagery, Rene uses

cultural identity to approach universal themes.

    Fueled by the sentiments of his roots, these autobiographical paintings

with literal and mysterious meaning represent the artist's most mature

paintings to date, spanning from 2003 to 2008. Some, like the large scale

portraits, Piedad and Soledad (2005), pay homage to his grandmothers.

Others, like the portrait Madonna with Crane and Fish (2008) -- surrounded

by images of a fish, calla lily and fruit -- remain strange, conceptual and


    "Heir to a tradition of figurative painting in Mexico, his art is

personal and idiosyncratic. Rene has put a contemporary stamp on the spirit

of narrative art that is all his own," said Jim Edwards, Curator.

    The complex symbolism and limited palette saturating Rene's work is a

creative mix of adopted and personal iconography. Borrowing images and

color symbolism from Mexican culture, the spiritualism of West Texas,

Catholicism, and Rene's past, the artist constructs visual metaphors to

express a magical and ethereal personal journal.

    "I have come to realize that my work is defined both by my familial

roots in northern Mexico and by the subtle, mystical environment of my

adopted home in West Texas. My creative process is immersed in this dual

identity; I paint what I feel, that which is me," said Rene Alvarado.

    Born in 1972 near Torreon, Coahuila, the artist Rene Alvarado came to

San Angelo, Texas at age 10 with his parents, five sisters and three

brothers. The young painter had a rich childhood in Mexico, and then

developed as an artist in his adopted West Texas home of San Angelo. Young

Rene's ability to draw and his interest in art helped foster an attachment

to his past life in Mexico and his new life in Texas. Later at the San

Antonio Fine Arts Institute, one professor impressed upon Rene the

importance of concept and theme, over technique. This idea grew to inspire

Rene to see painting as a metaphorical interpretation of mood and emotion.

Today, Rene paints in one of the most beautiful artist's studios

imaginable. Several years ago he purchased a former neo-gothic Lutheran

Church located in a tree-lined residential neighborhood in San Angelo,

Texas. This white-washed sanctuary studio only heightens one's sense that

as an artist, Rene is in the throngs of a spiritual quest that he will

pursue for many generations.

    San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts is recognized as one of the finest

smaller museums in the country in terms of its architecture, collections,

and programming. Since opening in 1985, the museum has since featured over

280 exhibits and remains a cultural highlight of West Texas. The museum

houses over 200 pieces of American and Asia ceramics and dozens of

paintings primarily by Texas artists in its permanent collection. In

conjunction with The Madonna as Muse, SAMFA will open Time of Remembrance

which draws on the museum's collection of Colonial Mexican religious

artifacts, santos, and retablos.

The Madonna as Muse: An Exhibition of Paintings (September 11 - November 9) Opening Reception Sept. 11, 5:30-8:00 P.M. The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts One Love Street San Angelo, Texas 76903 Phone: (325) 653 - 3333 Fax: (325) 658 - 6800 Email: [email protected]

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