Opazo, Rodolfo – Chile

1935 | Latin American Art


Chilean-born painter, born in Santiago de Chile in 1935. Having completed only one year at the Santiago School of Fine Arts in 1953, he received his artistic training at Taller 99, where he learned the technique of hand engraving with the master Nemesio Antúnez.

In 1961 he was awarded the Pan-American Union scholarship, thanks to which he continued his training at New York’s Pratt Graphic Art Center.

Back in Chile, in 1963, he taught at the School of Applied Arts. He was also a tenured professor of the painting workshops of the University of Chile Faculty of Arts between 1969 and 1993.

In 2008 he suffered a stroke that forced him to retire permanently from painting.


Influenced by Amadeo Modigliani, Roberto Matta, Enrique Zañartu and Nemesio Antúnez, he produces works with an abstract language and high symbolic content. At times, his aesthetic deliberately seeks to allude to these artists.

In his paintings, the artist shows his unique vision of life and art. This vision was to evolve throughout his career, as did the themes represented.

In the first stage, he starts with abstraction, later heading towards figurative art with indefinite anthropomorphic forms, seeking to reflect the mysticism of man.

His introspective and reflective attitude formally translates into a complex and changing style of painting, in which several dimensions and scenes seem to coexist simultaneously, which together with the mystical themes and the interior of the human ascribe it to surrealism.

From the 1980s, he started to create work that reflects the condition of contemporary man, continuously faced with his pain and loneliness, with colour becoming more intense and forms that start to decay once again into the landscape.

The creator of a body of work that is rich in styles and themes, and at the forefront of his country’s pictorial avant-garde since the 1950s, he is also one of the most internationally recognised contemporary Chilean artists.

In his work, he also makes reference to contemporary literature, as we see in this artwork “The Other, the Same”, an allusion to the collection of texts and poems that Jorge Luis Borges himself wrote and which was published in 1964.