- Also known as
Fernando Zóbel de Ayala
primary name: Zóbel de Ayala, Fernando
- individual; printmaker; collector; Spanish; Male
- Life dates
- Painter, printmaker, photographer and art patron; born in Manila, Philippines, from a wealthy Spanish family; studied at Harvard University, majoring in philosophy and literature between in 1946 and 1950; at this time he also began painting and printmaking on his own; in 1951 he showed in his first collective exhibition in Boston, and returned to the Philippines that year; he had his first solo exhibit in the Philippines in 1952; he met Gerardo Rueda in Spain and he and Rueda took part in the II Bienal Hispano Americana in 1953; in 1955 he travelled to Italy, France, Spain and the US, where he studied printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design and participated in his first museum exhibition in the Providence Museum of Art; he wrote a text on Gerardo Rueda in 1956, beginning his career of writing and promoting artists of his generation; that year he also began his teaching career at the Ateneo University in Manila and was the cultural attaché of the Spanish Embassy in Manila; he moved to Madrid in 1958 where he established a studio which he shared with Rueda; that year he began collecting artworks that would be the basis for the museum of abstract art in Cuenca (see below); in 1959 he exhibited with Rueda, his well known `black` paintings, called `Negro y blanco` in the Sala Darro in Madrid; after living all over Europe and returning for a while to the Philippines he moves permanently to Madrid in 1961; exhibited with Torner in the Spanish Pavilion at the XX-XI Venice Biennale; participated in the important exhibition at the Tate Gallery, `Modern Spanish Painting` in 1962; he exhibited at the Bertha Schaeffer Gallery in NY in 1965; his work in the 1960s was heavily inspired by the landscape of Cuenca, which was reflected in his drawings of that time; he opened, together with a group of avant-garde Spanish artists, the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español in Cuenca in 1966; he was awarded the Gold Medal for merit in the Fine Arts by the Spanish government in 1983; he died in Rome.
- Soriano, Peter. Creative Transformations: Drawings and Paintings by Fernando Zóbel. Cambridge, Mass: Fogg Art Musuem, Harvard University, 1987.
El grupo de Cuenca: Gerardo Rueda, Gustavo Torner, Fernando Zóbel,[ et al] Madrid: Fundación Caja de Madrid, c. 1997.