Eduardo Kingman Riofrio (1913–1998) is undoubtedly one of Ecuador’s most notable artists. Kingman first attracted the attention of the art world in 1939 when he assisted Camilo Egas with the paintings and decorations for the Ecuadorian Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. He served as the principal professor at Quito’s Escuela de Belles Artes (School of Fine Arts), as well as Director of the Museo de Arte Colonial de Quito before establishing his own gallery in 1940. Towards the end of his life, Kingman was honored with a one-man exhibition of his art at the United Nations, New York. There is also a museum dedicated to the artist in his home country of Ecuador.
The unifying theme throughout Kingman’s art is the expression of the social realities of Ecuador’s indigenous people. Painted in 1941, “Hermanas” exemplifies this theme, as a young girl comforts her little sister in her lap, her expression empty and hopeless. Their emotions are echoed by the cold and desolate room, with one window far behind them providing a view into an unknown world.
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