Painter died at the age of 78; He was National Prize of Visual Arts in 2018

April 18, 2023
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The artists, and especially one as prolific as the painter and poet Iván Tovar, when starting from this earthly plane, leave fragments of their soul in their works that make them immortal. It is with great sadness that the national and international artistic community dismisses one of its most outstanding sons, one who with his work managed to reach the most important auction houses and exhibition halls in the world. Born in 1942, in San Francisco de Macorís. He was trained at the National School of Fine Arts in Santo Domingo. He arrived in Paris in 1963, the city in which he lived for about 20 years. There he discovered that he was a surrealist, not because he pursued that current, but because this was the one that suited the way he saw the world. The critic and poet José Pierre was one of the rst to recognize surreal signs in Tovar's work, while also perceiving the originality of his language. On his canvases, José Pierre said that they condense a multitude of moments in a second. 

The Spanish art journalist, Pilar Corredoira describes that little by little colors were added to her work. “In the beginning, his work was developed around the existence of two colors: black and white, jealously guarded by the powerful lines of the drawing. Slowly, the artist includes other shades: grays, blues, reds, greens, ocher, yellows and purples, stand out in that light-generating black cosmos; the characters that inhabit it have their own role, well differentiated and of exquisite technical neatness, they seem to be born out of chaos; even so, Tovar's painting is, in short, intuitive and emotional; a silent order reigns in it ”, he armed. 

Considered the most internationally renowned Dominican painter, not only for his long stay in Paris, but for his daring surrealist theme, which made him a possessor of rened techniques. 

In October 2018, he was selected as the 2018 National Visual Arts Award. On that occasion, the great international inuence of his works was highlighted, which are found in important museums, cultural institutions and private collections in the Dominican Republic, Europe, Asia, and the United States. United States and Latin America. As well as in exclusive private collections.  

Dominican College of Plastic Artists  

The visual artist Miguel Gómez, president of the Dominican College of Plastic Artists (CODPA), expressed sadness that the union and the country lost a great exponent of Dominican plastic arts. 

“Iván Tovar is a figure whose work transcended. A highly prestigious surrealist, whose work achieved great impact not only in the country but abroad. An architect of lights, however, his performance as a visual artist was extraordinary. I think it was a fatal blow ”, commented Miguel Gómez.

When analyzing the work of Iván Tovar, he recalled that he was one of the most sought-after internationally. His career in Europe has been highly appreciated. "He was among the ten highest quality Surealists and he became the first Dominican of his style to achieve that transcendence."

It was in 2019 when what would be one of the last major exhibitions in honor of the artist was held. With the sponsorship of Banco de Reservas, 15 works that made up the exhibition "The Surreal Universe of Iván Tovar", at the David Bardía art gallery in Madrid.

The exhibition was described by its curators as an opportunity for “each observer to experience unique and different sensations. Tovar's creative power establishes a bond, a bond that captures the perception of those who stop for a while before each work.

Tovar is survived by his children Daniela Tovar Castillo Jorge Durán and his granddaughter Valentina Ivanna, today the owners of an invaluable legacy.

Culture Ministry

The Minister of Culture, architect Eduardo Selman, expressed his dismay at the death of the laureate Dominican painter Iván Tovar, which occurred this Monday, April 13, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. "An illustrious Dominican has died, probably our artist with the most international projection." The official said he had a special admiration for the artist.