Esteban Vicente

1903 - 2001


Turégano, Segovia, 1903 – Bridgehampton, Long Island, 2001

A member of the first generation of Abstract Expressionists, Esteban Vicente was part of the most influential circles of his generation.
Esteban Vicente was born in 1903 in Turégano (Segovia). In 1921 he enrolled in the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid with the intention of becoming a sculptor, but he soon decided to devote himself to painting.
His Madrid period is marked by his contact and friendship with writers and artists such as García Lorca, Alberti, Luis Buñuel, Juan Bonafé and Bores. His esthetic proposals mark him as a member of the group later classified as the “painter-poets”.
In 1929 he moved to Paris where he met, among others, Picasso, Dufy and Max Ernst. In 1936 he travelled to New York and in 1940 he became an American citizen. He began a period of creative crisis that would lead to his encounter with Abstract Expressionism. In his dialogue with it over period of two decades, Esteban Vicente gradually consolidated his own uniquely personal style, based on vibrant chromatic harmonies on top of vaguely geometric structures, sometimes evocative of inner landscapes.
He was chosen to participate in the most significant exhibitions of the period, “Talent 1950” and “Ninth Street”, which earned him a prominent place within the first generation of American Abstract Expressionism.
Throughout his life Esteban Vicente devoted an important part of his career to teaching at the most prestigious institutions in the United States.
Esteban Vicente died in 2001 at his home in Bridgehampton (Long Island).