The unpublished drawings of Zarzuela and
Crux Sancta, photographs of Alvaro Mier
ERASMO ZARZUELA CHAMBI
Oruro, November 25th, 1943
Besides painting, drawing has always been a constant in the creative life of the artist Erasmo Zarzuela, native of Oruro. He has enjoyed a very long, prolific and successful career as a painter: he has worked in the field for fifty years. However, during this time, he has accumulated a vast collection of drawings, most of which have never been seen before, excepting a few that were only published in newspapers and magazines.
Zarzuela has decided to show these drawings for the first time in a public exhibit. Manzana 1 Espacio de Arte and its visitors will now have the privilege of enjoying these previously unpublished works.
The show is a retrospective of works on paper and drawings in graphite, pencil, ink or pastel. These drawings were rendered when some event, concept or idea moved him or fascinated him and, thus, led him to capture his feelings on paper.
Upon selecting the works for the exhibit, Zarzuela admitted even he was surprised at the amount of drawings he has produced, a chapter of his artistic life that he never showed publicly.
In these works, he touches on topics as diverse as his surroundings: his city, the carnival festivities, people going about their everyday business, poets, children, women from all eras, animals, all of these were scenes that caught his attention and drove him to express himself through drawing.
A significant part of his collection was published on the cover of the most important cultural newspaper in Oruro, El Duende, founded over 25 years ago and which Erasmo Zarzuela continues to provide illustrations for.
Manzana 1 Espacio de Arte will proudly display Zarzuela’s works, with the firm conviction that he is among the most important artists currently working in Bolivia.
Zarzuela studied Economics at Technical University of Oruro (UTO in its acronym in Spanish). He is a self-taught artist, though he did participate in painting workshops. He participated in over 60 collective and individual exhibits. His work is in national museums as well as private collections in Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, United States, France, Japan, Peru and Venezuela.
Erasmo Zarzuela was part of the art group known as Circulo 70, which also included Benedicto Aiza, Edgar Arandia Quiroga, Gildaro Antezana, Ricardo Perez Alcala, Silvia Peñaloza, among others. This generation drew its inspiration from native indigenous traditions and culture and was created as a national response towards strong external influences. The group’s main concern was to reflect and think on current historical, social and political issues through their artistic production.
Zarzuela’s first show took place in 1969 in Galeria Arca, La Paz. He dedicated fifty out of his 75 years to art.
Among the many national publications documenting his production we find two books focused specifically on his work: The Paintings of Erasmo Zarzuela (La pintura de Erasmo Zarzuela), special edition of
Revista Boliviana, printed with the newspaper Última Hora, La Paz (1977), and The Graphic works of Erasmo Zarzuela (Erasmo Zarzuela, obra gráfica) printed by Plural Editores, La Paz (2009).
1967. Prize For the Best Painter in Oruro, Technical University of Oruro (UTO).
1971. Second National Painting Award, Sunniva Gallery.
1971. First Place, National Painting Contest, Pedro Domingo Murillo Award, La Paz.
1971. First Place, Prize for Painting, National Fine Arts Contest, Cochabamba.
1971. First Place, National Painting Contest, Naira Gallery, La Paz.
1972. First Place, Prize for Painting, National Fine Arts Contest, Cochabamba.
1974. First place, National Painting Contest for Painting, VI National Fine Arts Award, National Technical University of Oruro.
1976. First Place, Prize for Painting, National Fine Arts Contest, Cochabamba.
1977. Third Place, IV Cecilio Guzmán de Rojas Award National Painting Contest, Potosi.
1977. First Place, National Painting and Fine Arts Contest, National Technical University of Oruro.
1979. First Place, National Painting Contest, Extraordinary Award.
1979. First Place, José Carrasco National Painting and Visual Arts Award, La Paz.
1980. First Place, Cecilio Guzmán de Rojas Award National Painting Contest, Potosí.
1982. Grand Prize for Painting, National Fine Arts Contest, Cochabamba.
1984. Second Place, XXXII Pedro Domingo Murillo Fine Arts Contest, La Paz.
1986. First Place, National Painting Contest organized by the Municipal City Hall of La Paz. XXXIV Pedro Domingo Murillo Contest.
ALVARO MIER BARZÓN
Yacuiba, Tarija, April 14, 1965
Alvaro Mier Barzon is an architect. He began his studies in the Architecture Faculty of Cochabamba State University, San Simon and graduated from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Goiás, in Brazil. He obtained his postgraduate degree at NUR University, majoring in Management and Finance for Construction and also studied Quality Management Systems, Environment and Information Technologies. He’s an expert in industrial security for construction.
He is currently coursing studies for professional and personal development. He developed architecture projects and consultancies for urban and real estate development. He has been working in the private sector since 1991 and labored for nine years in construction and architecture, as well as three years in information technology applied to oil and gas industries.
He practices architectural photography. His project, Crux Sancta, is the first one in his career in photography, a field in which he has worked professionally for the past ten years.
According to the artist, “The cross… the crucifix is considered as one of humanity’s most powerful symbols, even before the Christian era. Its most common meaning is religious, but that is not its only dimension: it also means divinity, suffering, deliverance, love. It can also represent oppression, pain, submission. I was always drawn to this symbol. I began taking pictures of crosses and crucifixes during my travels for the sheer fun of finding the proper angle or playing with composition, without being aware that it might be a thematic source for my work. I came up with my idea to exhibit this photo-essay after doing photography for almost 10 years.”