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Zumeta was born in Usúrbil, Spain, in 1939. An innate ability to draw secured him a job in the advertising industry, drawing letters, at an early age. Soon to become a full-time artist became a necessity, and in 1959 he moved to Paris to embrace the artistic vanguards. The painter returned to the Basque Country, his homeland, in 1963, to take a predominant role in the main Basque cultural events of the next forty years. In 1965, still under the grip of Franquism, Zumeta and a group of young artists that include Chillida, Oteiza, Mendiburu, Balerdi, Basterrechea, Arias and Sistiaga, founded the GAUR group. GAUR, which means today, sought to create a purely Basque aesthetic language. In the severe, conservative Spanish society of those years, Zumeta's abstract, brightly colored paintings of interlocking horizontal lines, resulted scandalous. The GAUR group, though short lived, marked a place of resistance against Fascism and served to introduce contemporary art currents to the Basque region. Throughout his career, Zumeta has remained an active contributor to the formation of a modern Basque identity.

 

Zumeta has exhibited in renowned institutions and participated in major art events worldwide, among them the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City (1970), the Ateneo de Madrid (1971), the Fundación Joan Miró, Barcelona (1975, 1980), Art Centrum, Prague (1978), the Palacio Velázquez, Madrid (1979), the Museo de Bellas Artes, Oviedo (1985), the Musée Bonnat, Bayonne (1985), two retrospectives in 1989 at the Museo de Bellas Artes, Álava and at the Museo de San Telmo Donostia-San Sebastian, and ARCO 1997,Madrid. He has executed several mural commissions in Spain, and his work can be found at the Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, the Museo de Bellas Artes, Álava, the Museo de San Telmo Donostia-San Sebastian, the Museo de la Solidaridad de Santiago de Chile, and in the Testimonies Collection of la Caixa de Catalunya, among others. 

 

 

Haim Chanin Fine Arts All Rights Reserved (C) 2003