Adolfo Estrada Estrada Biography


The second son of spanish emigrants, Adolfo Estrada was born on December 27, 1927 in San Jose, California; but his infancy and youth passed in Santander, where he was formed artistically. Friend of the celebrities that animated then the cultural life in Santander, the deepest influence came from the painter Pancho Cossío and from the poet José Hierro who will remain one of his best friends till the death of the poet in December, 2002. In these first years of formation in Santander he does his first illustrations for the newspaper Alerta and is interested in the work of the great American illustrators, Alex Raymond y Burne Hogarth. Estrada attends the meetings of the Escuela de Altamira in whose polemics and discussions took part Angel Ferrant, José Hierro, Pancho Cossío and Llorenç Artigas, Cuixart, Tápies and Joan Miró among others. In 1952 Estrada moves to Madrid. Shortly after follows José Hierro and they happen to spend the first months in a pension where the poet writes part of his book “All That I know Of Me”. Cossío's influence becomes clear in Estrada’s first works of the beginning of the fifties. Intimism and an interest in the social subject are alternated in the works of these years. At the same time, Estrada begins his work in the world of advertising, His pictures start being constructed with the language of sincerity, becoming a plastic materialization of all that the artist feels in the deepest of his heart. In the external form, Estrada receives the influence of Neocubism and of the first Informal Art from where new techniques, forms and plastic matter will be found and introduced in the works. His work starts being framed inside the so called New Figurative Painting. In 1963 he travels to New York to studie aesthetics of the image with Alexei Brodovitch and graphic design and advertising art in Kenyon and Eckhardt. He gets interested in the realistic American painters, Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth. Back in Spain, Estrada will leave the social subject behind and begins the development of his personal Intimism. The seventies are prolific for Estrada, exhibiting almost every year in different Spanish cities. The nude and the still life turn into the topics most favoured by the painter. The feminine nude allows him to spread in the technical and sensual delight. His nudes of the seventies unveil the woman up to turning her into an appearance, an archetype of the human sensuality Obsessed for achiving an excellent quality in his painting, Estrada has never stopped at looking at the classic masters: Velázquez especially, but also Bellini and Tiziano. He goes with assiduity to the Prado Museum and always dedicates a few minutes to contemplate Roger van der Weyden's "Descent". Estradas’ work has been exhibited in galleries in Madrid and Norte Spain, New York and Europe. More than two thousand works are in private and public collections. Amongst the public: Museo de Ponce, Puerto Rico. Museo Iconográfico del Quijote, México. Fundación Santillana y Consejería de Cultura del Gobierno de Cantabria. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. Fundación Rumasa, Madrid. Palacio de Liria, Madrid. Palacio de Monterrey, Salamanca. Museo Municipal, Sabadell. Museo Municipal, Santander. Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Toledo. Museum of Contemporary Art, Lausana, Suiza. Ford Foundation, Nueva York. Robinson Collection, Nueva York. Awards: 1996 Penagos de Dibujo, Fundación Mapfre. 1985 Premio Durán. 1981 Premio Condesa de Barcelona.