Jose Guerrero Biography

Jose Guerrero




Painter and printmaker, Jose Guerrero was born in Granada, Spain on October 14, 1914. Guerrero began his studies at the age of sixteen, attending evening classes at the Arts and Crafts School between 1931 and 1934. The military uprising of 1936 found him stationed in Ceuta, where he spent much of the war capturing the battlefront in drawings that he would refer to later in his artistic career. From 1942 to 1946 he lived in the Casa Velázquez of Free France (then on Calle Serrano), studied at the Escuela Superior Bellas Artes San Fernando in Madrid and then spent two years enrolled in Paris at the École des Beaux Arts. He soon met the artist Karl Bucholz, who would be the first gallery owner to promote Guerrero's work.

Upon graduation, Guerrero began traveling throughout Europe to study and exhibit. Marrying journalist Roxane Pollak in 1949, they left for the United States to visit Roxane’s family, and soon decided to move to New York, a move that would greatly expand the artist’s audience and influence. In 1954 he studied at Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17 and began exhibiting at galleries throughout Manhattan. Betty Parsons eventually offered Guerrero his first one-man show. His career would span nearly sixty years and his friends, many of whom he met through Betty Parsons, were fellow Abstract Expressionists Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Ad Reinhart and Franz Kline.

Among his exhibition venues were the Whitney Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Guggenheim Museum, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  He continued to divide his time between the United States and Spain. He died in Granada, Spain on December 23, 1992.