Much like his friends and contemporaries Diego Rivera and Miguel Covarrubias, Jaime Colson (1901-1975) was a world traveler who helped bring diverse modernist innovations to Latin America.
Colson was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. In 1918, when he was 17 years old, he moved to Spain to study art in Madrid and Barcelona. There he met Salvador Dali, Rafael Barradas and other Spanish avant-garde artists.
After developing a surrealist style in Spain, Colson moved to Paris in 1924 and landed in the middle of the cubist movement. For ten years, he worked alongside Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris and Fernand Leger. The Colson painting in our collection is from this period, and features trompe-l’œil collage elements inspired by Picasso’s early mixed media collages.
A brief trip to Cuba introduced Colson to a lifelong friend, artist Mario Carreno Morales. After that, he returned to Europe for another decade and finally settled in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1950.
In his homeland, Colson blended his European influences with Dominican subject matter, creating images of the rich central American culture the likes of which had never been seen before. He became known as one of the founders of the modernist school of Dominican painting, along with Yoryi Morel and Dario Suro. He is now considered one of the great Latin American masters of the 20th century. Colson died in Santo Domingo in 1975.