Rendón, Manuel (1894–1980) By Tornatore-Loong, Maria C
The French-born Ecuadorian painter Manuel Rendón Seminario (also known as Manuel Rendón) is credited for introducing Geometric Abstraction to Ecuador together with compatriot Areceli Gilbert de Blomberg. As a member of the Post-Cubist L’École de Paris in the 1920s, Rendón’s early oeuvre synthesized avant-garde styles, notably Cubo-Futurism, Purism, and Surrealism, reminiscent of the techniques of modern masters such as Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, Amédée Ozenfant, and Giorgio de Chirico, artists whom he greatly admired. In 1911, Rendón exhibited at the Café de la Rotonde (whose curator was Henri Matisse), followed by the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1916, the Salon des Indépendants, Société du Salon d’Automne, Salon des Tuileries, and the Salon des Surindépendants. He also exhibited with the vanguard “La Horde de Montparnasse” and joined “Clarté,” the pro-Communist youth group commanded by the French novelist Henri Barbusse. Rendón’s indigenist works of the 1930s and 1940s, however, were painted in a Neo-realist figurative mode, depicting the exotic Ecuadorian landscape and the plight of the native population, while his mature practice of the 1950s to 1970s was characterized by geometric abstraction and pure linearity, culminating in kaleidoscopic color and rhythmical kinetic qualities, as in the manner of the Divisionists.