Exactly one week ago (on January 28, 2021), the Bolivian painter and muralist Gil Imaná passed away. This great plastic artist was born 88 years ago (in 1933), in Sucre, Chuquisaca, Bolivia.
He studied at the Zacarías Benavides School of Arts in Sucre and continued at the Rimsa Workshop in the same city. He installed his first exhibition in his hometown (Sucre) at the age of 16 and one years later he founded the Anteo Group, together with Wálter Solón, Lorgio Vaca, and his brother, Jorge Imaná, and since then, he has not stopped showing his work, mounting more than 300 exhibitions around the world. One of the most important was in the Hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia (1971), being the first Latin American to exhibit in this space.
He was also a teacher at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes in La Paz, and the Escuela de Artes Plásticas at the Universidad de los Andes in the Republic of Venezuela, and director of the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Sucre.
In 2014, he was awarded the National Order of the Condor de Los Andes, in the Degree of Knight, for his career and his contribution to the development of painting. Together with his wife, Inés Córdova, they have created important murals that have been declared a historical heritage of Bolivia. Likewise, in 2017, he has donated all his artistic heritage to the Cultural Foundation of the Central Bank of Bolivia (FCBCB), plus a large house in the heart of Sopocachi.
The stylized figures of indigenous people that emerge in highland landscapes, painted with the oil on canvas technique, predominate in his work. Red tones stand out among the opaque colors of his paintings.
Indigenism was very present within the work of the “pictures Sociales del 52’’ generation, which Imaná was part of, and they have now lost one of its most valuable members.