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Bruno Andrade The Spirituality of Nature

Who is Bruno Andrade?

Andrade was a widely recognized and distinguished American artist. While firmly grounded in his Chicanx heritage, Andrade's art is most recognized by its profound sense of place. Inspired by nature, he painted from memory of his nature studies and from his own interior vision. He was a self prescribed, abstract-colorist, a sophisticated painter who studied art history as much as the nature around him.

He was also a teacher to other artists! During his time at Texas A&M Corpus Christi he was a dedicated, thoughtful, and supportive teacher, working with students to achieve their full potential in the arts. Many of his students received full scholarships to receive their Masters of Fine Arts degrees at major institutions under his guidance.

He owned a gallery in New York City and sold his art to many galleries and collectors and has had many solo and group exhibits across the United States.

Bruno was proud to be Mexican American; influenced both by his contemporaries in the Chicano Movement and the American Modern Art Movement. Although he was driven by a sense of entrepreneurship with his art, he did not like the fast pace, urban life of New York City, where he had a successful art gallery. He always longed for the nature he left behind in South Texas.

Throughout his 30 years of teaching in Corpus Christi he was able to do his 3 favorite things: paint, teach, and golf.

“I feel that I must come to nature, and not let my art get in the way…. Nature is a living force that projects so many feelings in me.... My interaction with the Corpus Christi environment provokes a dialogue with nature that allows its spirit to pass through to the art.”

Did you know?

"Aztec Eagle" Bruno Andrade

The Chicano Movement is the Mexican American artistic and literary renaissance that occurred during the 1960’s and 70’s in the United States. “El Movimiento”, or “The Movement” was driven by social and political unrest within the working class, mostly immigrant Mexican American communities demanding human rights through organizing and education mostly through art and protest.

"All I Need" Bruno Andrade

Bruno Andrade's Influences

March 21, 1880–February 17, 1966
Josef Albers

German-born American artist and educator. His work in Europe and the United States was highly influential and far-reaching. His ideas formed the basis of many art education programs in the 20th century. He was highly interested and influenced by mesoamerican Mexican art history.

January 29, 1914—March 27, 2004
Gerome Kamrowski

American artist and pioneer in the Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist Movements in the United States.

March 21, 1880—February 17, 1966
Hans Hofmann

German-born American painter, renowned as both an artist and teacher. His career spanned two generations and two continents, and is considered to have both preceded and influenced Abstract Expressionism.

Other chicanx artists of his time

"Serie Project" Santa Barraza
“Nopalitos" Carmen Lomas Garza
“Artesanos de Valle” Amado Maurillo Peña Jr

Inspiration

SOUTH TEXAS COAST
"Sunny Monday" Bruno Andrade

Andrade was aware that Corpus Christi is the heart of the natural environment, dominating South Texas, which flourishes as a large expanse of untamed wilderness.

For many residents, Corpus Christi truly is paradise. It supports a wide variety of plants, such as the palm tree, live oak, black willow, orange, lemon, yaupon holly, blue bonnets, roses, and birds of paradise that grow wild throughout the region. Butterflies, like monarchs, and bees are attracted to the array of flowering plants.

“I discovered the coastal light of Corpus Christi. The light creates colors that excite my emotions. This landscape places me in a realm of tranquil beauty. My mind is poetically and spiritually opened.” - Bruno Andrade
FLOWERS
"Passion to Stay" Bruno Andrade

Andrade’s still lifes appear to be simple pictures of flowers in a vase, but he is using color theory to evoke a contemplative mood or feeling. Flowers especially symbolize the eternal regenerative power of nature. His paintings reflect the psychology and spirituality of the artist: happy and content with his creative life in the coast of South Texas.

Different flowers have different meanings, and Bruno’s favorite- the rose he usually portrayed in pink or red tones. He painted a painting with a black rose, when his mother passed away.

GOLF
"Part of the Plan" Bruno Andrade

Bruno would often relate similarities between painting and golfing in terms of practice, patience, practice, and patience.

"Mother of the Americas" Bruno Andrade
"Contemporary Chican@ Art: Color and Culture for a New America" by Dr. George Vargas

Available at the Mexic-Arte Museum Store, Contemporary Chican@ Art is a general introduction and guide to one of the most exciting and meaningful expressions in contemporary American art. Intended for the casual reader as well as for art history scholars and students, the book provides an overview of work created from the 1960s to the present. George Vargas follows the dramatic evolution of Chicano art within the broader context of American cultural history. He shows that while identity politics was and still is a prevailing force in Chicano expression, Chicano art has undergone a remarkable transformation, shifting from a strict Chicano perspective to a more universal one, while still remaining a people's art. In the concluding chapter, Vargas takes an in-depth look at selected Chicano artists who share their thoughts about the Chicano artistic enterprise and their own work.

Education LEssons

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This lesson was produced in conjunction with the exhibit, “Bruno Andrade Retrospective: a Native of South Texas” presented by the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas. The text supplied is from the exhibit, by Dr. George Vargas, PhD Curator for Mexic-Arte Museum and a friend and cohort of Bruno Andrade. Email finished project pictures to education@mexic-artemuseum.org or Instagram DM to @mexic_artedu to be featured in an interactive component of the exhibit open to the public!