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Best Solo Exhibition Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2009 - "Of Rage and Redemption: The Art of Oswaldo Guayasamín," Schmidt Center Gallery, University Galleries, Florida Atlantic University

The thing about Oswaldo Guayasamín, an Ecuadorian artist who died in 1999 at age 79, is that he takes you off guard. First he hits you viscerally with full force — painting human flesh, for instance, with such rawness and immediacy that you want to recoil. Then, once you've had a chance to learn a little about the origins and context of his imagery, he engages you intellectually, stirring up your sense of moral outrage over such things as poverty and torture and the coolly bureaucratic machinations of war. His work is not for the fainthearted, and not surprisingly, it went largely unshown in the United States for more than half a century. That's why it was such a coup for FAU's little Schmidt Center Gallery to snag this small but significant retrospective of Guayasamín's paintings, drawings, and prints, which are just as relevant today as ever.

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