Valencia, Venezuela (1939)

A student of Braulio Salazar and Claudio Mimo, Manuel Mérida studies painting and sculpture at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas Arturo Michelena, in his hometown. Between 1968 and 1973 he travels to Europe, residing alternately in Rome, Paris, London and Barcelona.

In Paris he becomes friends with Cruz-Diez and works in his studio for two years. Back in Venezuela, in 1973, he begins to integrate concepts of space and movement into his work, gradually distancing from the informalist and gestural trend that marks his work of the late 60s. His personal artistic activity runs parallel to his work as a decorator and set designer for film and television, working with Luis Armando Roche, Néstor Rodríguez Lamelas and Max Douy. In 1983 he settles back in Paris.

His works are included in the permanent collections of the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas; Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas; Museo de Arte Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolívar; Museo de Arte, Maracay; Banco Central de Venezuela, Caracas; Galerie Vitry, Paris; Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, Austin University, Austin.

Among his individual and collective exhibitions, the following stand out: Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas (1965); “5 Proposiciones Polémicas del Salón”, Galería 22, Caracas (1968); Cercle Culturel Noroit, Arras (1969); Sala Mendoza, Caracas (1973); Embajada de Venezuela, Paris (1984); “Arte en Movimiento”, Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas (1998); “Maîtres vénézuéliens: Soto, Cruz-Diez, Ugarte Mérida, Debourg”, Espace Meyer-Zafra, Paris (2003); “Manuel Mérida. Arteractivo”, Galerie Lavignes-Bastille, Paris (2007).

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