El cuatrista (1960)

El cuatrista (1960)

Artist from Santurce who worked with paintings, drawings, engravings and murals and was part of the artistic generation of the 1950s, a populist visual arts movement whose goal was to create images that affirmed Puerto Rican identity.

One of the first steps in his career was to earn a scholarship to study drawing under the tutelage of Alejandro Sánchez Felipe, a Spanish painter living on the island. Later, he moved to the United States, where he studied at the Art Students League of New York and the Otis Institute of Art in Los Angeles, California, where he specialized in murals. Upon returning to San Juan, the studied stained glass techniques at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture’s School of Visual Arts with Arnaldo Maas, a professor from Holland. Later, he completed his studies in Holland.

Later, he completed further studies at the Graduate School of Fine Arts at Notre Dame University in Indiana, where he studied techniques of lithograph on stone. Upon returning to Puerto Rico, he worked as a professor of painting and design at the School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League, both in San Juan. From 1975 to 1987, he was a professor of drawing, design and art appreciation at the Carolina Regional College of the University of Puerto Rico.

His work, expressionist in nature, begins with the surrounding reality, and thus presents an air of social criticism. Most notable among his works were his lithographs, paintings and murals. Among his most famous paintings are the oil paintings El nido (1961) and El cuatrista (1960). Both present a cubist style with clear influences from Spanish painter Pablo Picasso and Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo. His murals can be seen on various public and private buildings in Puerto Rico, such as the Fine Arts Center, the Bar Association, the Carolina Regional College of the University of Puerto Rico, the Department of Housing and the Department of the Treasury. He is also known for his lithographs, such as Primavera (2003), and silk screens such as Vieques amado (2004), a special edition to support the United Way.

His art has been exhibited not only in Puerto Rico, but also in the United States, Mexico, Germany and Monaco. He has won numerous national and international awards for his work, including the Puerto Rican Athenaeum’s Prize for Painting (1961), the design contest for creating a mural for the Fine Arts Center (1979) and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company Poster Contest (1984), among others.


Rodríguez, Jorge. “Augusto Marín íntimo y pasional.” El Vocero, 17 de noviembre de 2001: E6-E7 il.

Gran Enciclopedia de Puerto Rico

Portal Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico

Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: September 03, 2014.

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