Elba Alvarez

  • Elba Alvarez

  • Alvarez was born in Pedernales, Venezuela in 1944. At the age of 18, she went to Europe and studied in Paris. She came to the United States in 1968 carrying the ideas and visions which would fill her canvases with bold, striking colours. The paintings that Alvarez created caused gallery after gallery to lavish high praise for her innovative and provocative abstracts. She was encouraged to set up a studio in New York City. Through years of study and experimentation, her talents have evolved into a highly unique and engrossing style of painting.

    Her work has been shown successfully from New York to Honolulu, Anchorage to London. Gallery shows featuring Alvarez paintings have taken place on five continents, most recently premiering in Africa. In addition, corporate sponsors have collected her work from the early days of her career - IBM, TRW, Gulf Oil, General Motors, Citicorp and Xerox, to name a few.

    In contrast to the woman, Alvarez's canvases are large and the energy that flows from her use of colours evokes powerful feelings in those viewing her work. After seeing an Alvarez exhibition, one reporter noted, “Anyone looking at an Alvarez painting gets a strong message and then it’s the viewer’s eyes which are made to dance by the myriad of forces”. Many other publications have covered Alvarez as well, from the New York Times to Art Business News to Forbes. The acclaim for Alvarez’s work has consistently been high, the honours vast.

    In 1984, and again in 1986, Alvarez was asked to create the official poster commemorating the International Art Exposition, the world’s largest art fair held annually in New York. In 1986, another honour was bestowed upon her. The national organization for disabled youngsters, the Easter Seal Society, requested that Alvarez create a special painting which would become the organization’s benefit poster.

    Through her art, Alvarez has explored new dimensions in texture, colour and depth. Determination and a certainty of her new talent are expressed not only through original paintings, but in limited editions as well. Her serigraphy is clearly an art unto itself.
    Using a silkscreen process, each print is hand pulled in Alvarez’s studio with the help of a master printer, and the meticulous attention to detail of her brother and husband. Only the finest museum quality inks and paper are used. Alvarez supervises the entire process including hand painting each piece while applying the unique blend of texture that makes each print an “Alvarez”. The average edition size is quite small, making an Alvarez print truly - a limited edition.

    Alvarez to date is the only American artist that has had a major exhibition in Japan upon the Japanese government's approval. The show began November 2, 1988 in Tokyo, and from there toured eleven cities throughout Japan. A major portion of the show pre-sold prior to commencing.

    The Venezuelan government will be devoting a part of their museum “Gallery de Nacional” to Alvarez as a permanent exhibition. They have received substantial corporate sponsorship that will enable a show of her work to tour South America.