Venezuelan painter. He studied at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in Caracas from 1949 to 1951. In 1951 he was awarded a scholarship and moved to Paris, where he remained for four years, employing bright colours in a series of stylistic experiments that culminated in the Cubist-influenced Fishing (1956; Caracas, priv. col., see Ashton, pl. 3). In 1957 this painting won a prize at the Biennale in São Paulo. This success provoked a crisis of content and direction in Borgess work, from which emerged his first figurative paintings in an expressionist style and with a strong element of social criticism. In 1963 he won the national prize for painting, for the Coronation of Napoleon (Caracas, Gal. A. N.). The work of the mid-1960s, using bright colour, strong brushwork and grotesque distortions of the figure, bears comparison with that of de Kooning and Bacon. A retrospective of his work was held in 1976 at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City, and his reputation spread further when in 1983 he had his first one-man show in the USA, at the CDS Gallery in New York. In 1985 Borges was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the following year he was invited to work and exhibit in West Berlin by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. By this stage his work had become more dramatic, with more realistic figures and a greater fluidity in the brushwork (e.g. Swimmers in the Landscape, 1986; New York, CDS Gal.).
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