Sergio Gonzalez-Tornero Biography

Sergio Gonzalez-Tornero





Sergio Carlo Higinio Gonzalez-Tornero, painter and printmaker, was born in Santiago, Chile on May 27, 1927. The son of diplomats, he studied in Chile, Brazil, and the United States. In 1958 he studied at the Slade School in London before moving to Paris, where he worked at Stanley William Hayter's Atelier 17 and met his wife, fellow printmaker Adrienne Cullom. They settled permanently in New York in 1962, where Sergio and Adrienne worked together at Bob Blackburn's Printmaking Workshop. After visiting the Canadian archipelago of Haida Gwaii, Sergio became fascinated with the work of the indigenous Haida peoples, finding it to be deeply spiritual: this became and remained a powerful influence in his work.

Principally a printmaker, Gonzalez-Tornero had more than forty solo exhibitions in Chile, Canada, Europe, and the United States. He discussed his printmaking techniques in an essay on page 325 of Fritz Eichenberg’s The Art of the Print.

Gonzalez-Tornero was awarded a fellowship by the New York State Foundation for the Arts in 1987 and a grant from the Adolph and Ester Gottlieb Foundation in 1990. He was a member of and exhibited with the Society of American Graphic Artists, the Boston Printmakers, and the Philadelphia Print Club. His work garnered numerous prestigious awards including the UNESCO Prize at the International Biennial of Prints in Cracow, Poland; first prize at the XII Biennale of Latin American Prints from Latin America and The Caribbean in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the Trustees Prize for Painting at the Art of the Northeast Exhibit at the Silvermine Guild in New Canaan, Connecticut. A retrospective exhibition of his prints was mounted in 1998 at the Antiguo Asilo de Beneficencia (Instituto de Cultura), in San Juan.

The work of Gonzalez-Tornero is included in museums in France, England, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Australia, and Mexico. In the United States, his work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, New York; the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Blanton Museum, University of Texas; Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University; and the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, Collegeville.

Sergio Gonzalez-Tornero died in Mahopac, New York on May 3, 2020.