Seoane, Luis – Argentina

1910-1979 | Latin American Art

Luis Seoane´s biography

He was born in Buenos Aires in 1910, the son of Galician emigrants. When he was 6 years old, they travelled to Spain to settle in A Coruña. Later Luis Seoane moved to Santiago de Compostela to finish high school and study Law at the University, finishing his studies in 1932. During that time he got to know rural Galicia thanks to his summer vacations spent in the small village of Arca, and thanks to his cousin María Elvira Fernández, better known as Maruja Seoane, who he married many years later while in exile.

Involved in intellectual and political movements since his youth, he transferred these concerns onto his artistic side working as a draftsman and illustrator while living in Santiago.

In 1936, due to the Spanish Civil War, Seoane went into exile in his hometown, Buenos Aires. He continued to participate in intellectual circles, in political and social movements, and promoting all kinds of cultural activities, be it founding magazines, publishers, or by exhibitions and radio programmes. Seoane was a crucial part of the circle of Galician exiles in Argentina, coinciding with visual artists such as Castelao, Maruja Mallo and Manuel Colmeiro, along with other intellectuals, poets and writers, such as Lorenzo Varela.

Outstanding and recognized in the publishing field, both for his role as an illustrator and for that of writer and editor, Seoane continues to experiment and work, further developing his plasticity. His paintings, both his mural work and his oil paintings, as well as his technical experimentation with engraving, place him as one of the greatest innovators in terms of aesthetic proposals from one continent and the other.


Luis Seoane´s work

As for his paintings, Seoane did not start working on an easel until 1944, with the visit he made to the workshop of Joaquín Torres García, one of his greatest influences in visual art, being decisive in this change. Other great names such as Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Paul Klee also had a big influence on him, as did the rest of the avant-garde and artistic proposals that he encountered on his return trip to Europe, specifically in France and England, in 1949. Fauvism, cubism, expressionism, are styles that can be glimpsed in his work, more in relation to the essence of these movements than their actual shapes. This trip was a turning point in terms of the formal aspects of his work, from which colour and line become autonomous elements.

Galicia is the epicentre of his work, despite the fact that his artistic development takes place thousands of kilometres away. Alongside it, the human figure, especially the female figure, takes centre stage.

Throughout his artistic career, the repetition of feminine motifs serves to capture his own experimental, visual and linguistic development to which we referred earlier. And thanks to this repetition, we can see the variety of languages developed by the artist.


Silvia Sánchez Ruiz

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DEVOTO, Fernando; VILLARES, Ramón (eds.). Luís Seoane entre Galicia y la Argentina. Buenos Aires, Editorial Biblos, 2012. ISBN: 978-950-786-963-1

DE CRISTÓFORIS, Nadia Andrea. “El exilio gallego en Buenos Aires: Luis Seoane entre el combate y el desencanto (1936-1955)”. En: Revista Electrónica da ANPHLAC, Nº. 19, p. 43-71, 2015. ISSN 1679-1061. Disponible en:

Dolinko, Silvia, 2017. “Imágenes de Galicia, grabados de Luís Seoane en Buenos Aires”. Madrygal. Revista de Estudios Gallegos [en línea]. Madrid. Vol. 20 (Núm. especial). Págs.: 73-86. ISSN: 1138-9664. Disponible en:

GUTIÉRREZ VIÑUALES, Rodrigo. “Seoane en el centro. Algunos itinerarios por el arte en Buenos Aires (1936-1963)”. En: GUTIÉRREZ VIÑUALES, Rodrigo y SEIXAS SEOANE, Miguel Anxo. Buenos Aires. Escenarios de Luis Seoane. La Coruña. Fundación Luis Seoane, 2007, pp. 59-153. ISBN: 978-84-611-9457-5

Sitio web de la Fundación Luis Seoane:

[Date consulted for all links: 12/03/2024]