Oliver Debroise (1952-2008) PDF
Written by Miguel Angel Ceballos   



Art critic and historian Olivier Debroise passed away on May 6th, in his home in Mexico City's San Rafael Quarter. The announcement was made by friend and colleague Cuauhtémoc Medina. The cause of death was a sudden massive heart attack. The researcher did not suffer any illness. "He was a very intense, very active fellow and there were no signs that this could have happened. It has really taken us all by surprise ", Medina said.


Olivier Debroise was born in Jerusalem in 1952. He was a French citizen, but he worked and lived in Mexico since he was 17. He was a novelist, historian, art critic and curator of numerous exhibitions. Worthy of mention are Modernidad y modernización en el arte mexicano (Modernity and Modernization in Mexican Art) in Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico, 1991; El Corazón Sangrante (The Bleeding Heart), in the ICA, Boston, 1991; David Alfaro Siqueiros: Retrato de una década. (David Alfaro Siqueiros: Portrait of a Decade) in Museo Nacional de Arte, México City Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California and the Whitechapel Gallery in London, 1997.


Olivier Debroise



Some of his books are Diego de Montparnasse (1979); Figuras en el trópico, plástica mexicana: 1920-1940 (1983); Fuga Mexicana, un recorrido por la fotografía México (1991); Alfonso Michel, el desconocido (1991), Sobre la superficie bruñida de un espejo, in collaboration with Rosa Casanova (1989); and Diego Rivera, pintura de caballete (1985).

Debroise was the founder and first director of CURARE the Mexican Critic's Association. He had recently curated, along with Cuauhtemoc Medina and Alvaro Vazquez , the exhibition The Age of Discrepancy, Visual art and Culture in Mexico from 1968 to 1994, exhibited last year in UNAM's Museum of Sciences and Arts.

In 2004 he was in charge of Contemporary Art collections of the Visual Arts Department of UNAM and Mexican adviser for of the program "Recovering the Critical Sources of Latin America and Latin Art" of the International Center the Arts of the Americas (ICAA), a project of the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston.

During the last four years of his life he had devoted himself to the collection of UNAM's Contemporary Art Museum, which will be inaugurated shortly.


Miguel Angel Ceballos
El Universal, Mexico City
May 7th 2008


Olivier Debroise







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