Eduardo Arroyo

Biographical data

Born in Madrid in 1937. He lives and works in Spain and Paris. Eduardo Arroyo starts painting as an autodidact in 1949, he studies journalism in Madrid (1956-1957). Once he starts working as a columnist, he is forced to go into exile due to his open position against the Spanish fascist regime, leaded by General Franco. His first individual exhibition takes place in 1961. In 1965 he works together with Gilles Aillaud and Antonio Recalcati, and participates in the Figuration Narrative movement. He takes part in the events of May 1968 and later, while carrying on an activist action against the “caudillo” politics, he is arrested in Spain and expelled from the country in 1974. In France he obtains the political refugee status. After Franco’s death, he renews his relationship with Spain and is officially honoured by his home country.

Brief Chronology

Since the very beginnings, The art of Eduardo Arroyo is politically committed; he uses it critic politics and society. In 1963 he paints the portraits of the world’s dictators Franco and Hitler, Mussolini or Salazar. His work is banned in Spain. In 1965, in collaboration with Aillaud and Recalcati, he paints a polyptych that raises scandal: Vivre ou laisser mourir ou la fin tragique de Marcel Duchamp. In 1966, Arroyo caricatures Miró with the series Miró refait ou les malheurs de la coexistence. He rejects the aesthetic quality of art and defends art as something exemplary, as the power of an image. He wants his paint to reach the greatest possible amount of people. The series-manifestoes he creates in the 80’s are painted with lively and solid colors. He also creates sculptures using “terracotta, iron, stone, chalk” and bronze (Les Ramoneurs series). Since the end of the 80’s he has painted large canvases representing stories such as La Guerra de los mundos (2002), in which he symbolically opposes Europe and the United States. Arroyo also designs the stage and wardrobe for some of Klaus Michaël Gruber’s productions (Othello, 1996). He is the author of two short stories Panama Al Brown (1982) and Sardines à l’huile (1990) and says that his creations are “in some ways literary (…). There is a beginning, an end, characters and the distinctive ambiguity of novels. It is like a story, as if I had written fifteen novels or so…”




Saint Bernard Tonnelet, 1965, Oil on canvas, 95 x 79 cm / 37,4 x 31,1 in