Roberto Gonzalez Biography

Roberto Gonzalez




Painter and printmaker Roberto "Cachete" Gonzalez was born February 9, 1928, in Gualeguay, Entre Rios, Argentina. His father abandoned the family when he was a baby and his mother earned enough wages to send him to primary school for a brief time. However, after remarrying, Gonzalez' stepfather took him out of school and put him to work as a milk delivery boy, shoe shine, and sweets vendor. Despite hardship, he was able to return for a time to the Hogar Escuela San Juan Bosco, where he was encouraged to pursue art by his teacher Roberto Epele. 

In 1950, having established a small reputation in his hometown of Gualeguay, Entre Rios, he traveled to Buenos Aires to try his luck in a larger city. Obtaining a scholarship from Entre Rios, he enrolled at the Juan Carlos Castagnino workshop, followed by internships with the painter Emilio Pettoruti and the sculptor Cecilia Marcovich. In 1955 he held his first exhibition at the Don Ernesto Hartkopf bookstore and gallery, a meeting place for left-wing luminaries of South America and beyond. Two years later he awarded the Mar del Plata salon's grand prize in art, and he began teaching workshops in Gualeguay.

In 1960 Entre Rios once again awarded him a traveling scholarship, this time to Europe, studying in Italy, Belgium, and France, where in 1963 he was invited to participate in the "Youth of the World" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. His work was noted by the esteemed Le Figaropublication, boosting his reputation. He exhibited in 1967 at the Maria Calderon de la Barca Salon where he was awarded the grand prize in art. At this time, in addition to his career in fine arts, he was commissioned by the literary publication The Mate to illustrate essays by such writers as Italo Calvino, Jose Hernandez, Marco Denevi, and Eugen Jebeleanu. In 1971 he was again awarded a grand prize, this time for the National Fund for the Arts. 

Gonzalez often honored Gualeguay and Entre Rios in his career, crediting the support of his birthplace for making his career in art possible. In 1993 he returned to organize the Argentine Painting Exhibition and three years later was appointed Godfather of the IV Congress of Plastic Artists of Entre Rios, held at the Social Club of Gualeguay. In January of 1996, after an extensive working and exhibitioning career, Gonzalez died in Buenos Aires. 

A full list of Gonzalez' exhibitions and awards can be found at