In 1952 the (then named) Wright Art Center acquired two canvasses from an up-and-coming painter named Jose Guerrero. Museum documents indicate that each canvass was priced at $500; a considerable sum of money in those days. The paintings, Composition #1, and Composition #2, were both produced in 1951 during the height of Guerrero’s modern turn.
Guerrero, born in Granada and schooled in Madrid and then Spain, settled in New York in 1950 when he married an American journalist. It was during this period from 1950 to 1965 when Guerrero reached international acclaim, painting in the modern abstract expressionist style, and dividing his time between New York and Spain. In 2012 the Centro Jose Guerrero, a museum dedicated to Guerrero and housed in the Palace of Charles the fifth, contacted the Wright Museum about the loan of Guerrero’s works for an exhibition marking the centennial celebration of Guerrero’s birth (1914 to 2014). The works were packed, crated, and flown out late in the fall of 2014. Due to the popularity of the show, the Centro Jose Guerrero was awarded additional funding to send the exhibition to two other locations in Madrid and Barcelona. For the next 18 months, two paintings from Beloit College’s Wright Museum of Art had been touring through three internationally acclaimed museums in Spain. The canvasses have returned, freshly stretched and with a new coat varnish, accompanied by the hard-cover, 1,200 page encyclopedic catalog of the exhibition. Both works will grace the Hollensteiner Gallery and can be viewed after fall break.