1902 - 1978
Theme/Style Figurative art, portraits, landscapes
Media Oils, watercolors, pastels, graphite drawings
Artistic Focus Called by one critic “the nearest thing to Ingres that we have today,” Alexander Cañedo was an extraordinarily skilled draftsman who embraced tradition while at the same time maintaining his own intensely personal vision as an artist. This vision manifested itself most fully in his figurative work. Cañedo presented a fascinating paradox: his mastery of classical technique and the exquisite beauty of his work were undisputable, yet his renderings had a thoroughly modern quality – an underlying, almost subversive, sensuality.
• Alexander Cañedo was born in Mexico City in 1902 to a Spanish father and an American mother.
• At the age of 15 Cañedo went to Paris where he studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts. The noted sculptor Jean Magrou recognized his talent and became his teacher. In 1923 Cañedo went to Rome to further his studies.
• After a trip to Mexico in 1927, Cañedo was appointed attaché to the Mexican Embassy in Rome and the following year he held his first exhibition of pencil drawings at the Circolo Artistico, followed by other European exhibitions.
• In 1928 Cañedo came to the U.S. and soon began exhibiting in New York City and elsewhere as “Alejandro de Cañedo” or just “Cañedo.”
• Cañedo’s first New York exhibition, showcasing his meticulous pencil drawings, inaugurated Walter P. Chrysler Jr.’s Cheshire Gallery in the Chrysler Building in 1932.
• A member of the Art Students League, he participated in a show there in 1933, as well as having a solo show at New York’s Argent Galleries.
• By 1935 Cañedo was exhibiting his watercolors as well as his drawings, and had several solo shows at the Arthur U. Newton Galleries. In the early 1940s Cañedo’s work was shown in New York at the Schneider-Gabriel Galleries and in a solo show at the Petit Musee in 1948.
• In January of 1947 and again in 1949 Gump’s Gallery of San Francisco presented Cañedo’s work on the West Coast to appreciative critics.
• December 1949 marked the first annual Art League of California faculty show in San Francisco, among whose participants were Cañedo and Louis Siegriest.
• By the 1950s Cañedo was in Los Angeles, exhibiting as Alexander Cañedo with solo shows at the Arcade Gallery in the Beverly Hills Hotel; at James Pendleton’s with figure drawings and paintings of the Big Sur coast; at Raymond & Raymond in Beverly Hills; and in 1963 at the Galleria Gianni.
• Active in the Los Angeles art scene through the late 1960s, Alexander Cañedo passed away in 1978.
Additional biographical material and full bibliographic
references are available upon request.
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