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Esteban Vicente

American, 1903-2001


Curating Works


Esteban Vicente was born in Turégano, Spain in 1903. His father served in the Civil Guard, a police force in the Castile region and was an amateur painter who took Vicente as a youth with him on visits to the Prado Museum. In 1918, Vicente entered military school, but left after three months. At fifteen years old, Vicente began taking classed at the School of Fine Arts of the Real Academia de San Fernando in Madrid. Vicente lived in Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris as a young man, he developed friendships with an array of artists and writers. In 1928, he had his first exhibition with Juan Bonafé at the Ateneo de Madrid. Vicente left Europe for New York City in 1936. Vicente became friends with other abstract artists such as Willem de Kooning, Elaine de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Barnett Newman, and Ad Reinhardt. He showed at the Kootz Gallery, Peridot Gallery, Stable Gallery, and Leo Castelli Gallery in the 1950s. Esteban Vicente wasan important leading member of the New York School. His unique abstract style combined color, light and form. Vicente spent a good portion of his career teaching. Vicente taught at Black Mountain College, NYU, University of California at Berkeley, Princeton, and Yale. His works can be found in the collections of MoMA, Metropolitan, Guggenheim, Whitney, Smithsonian, and in many other renowned international collections.