Antonio de la Banda y Vargas, professor of Art at the University of Seville and President of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Santa Isabel in Hungary,exhibition catalogue of the Obra Cultural de la Caja de Ahorros de San Fernando, Seville, 1996

Almost three months after his death, the Caja de San Fernando of Seville and Jerez, continuing its model patronage of contemporary artistic creation, presented in the Imagen hall in Seville a somewhat anthological collection of the painter Eufemiano (1921-1995).

As an artist whose work lies somewhere between figuration and informalism, Eufemiano offers us therein, just as he did throughout his extensive professional career, a select production of varied subject matter that attests to the prestige he enjoyed in life and would continue to enjoy after his death in the pages of the pictorial history of our time.

Painter and engraver of careful trade and varied iconology, he offers, throughout his career, an intelligent evolution that goes from the realism of his initial years up to the very suggestive neo-realism of his later years, passing through an intermediate stage and informalist tangents that coincided with the first signs of renovation to be seen in painting in Seville in the fifties.

Having initially been trained in the School of Arts and Trades in Seville, where he enrolled at the age of only thirteen, he was lucky to find a meritorious staff of professors which included artists of the calibre of Gonzalo Bilbao, Manuel González Santos and Santiago Martínez, from whom he not only learned the tools of the trade, but also the desire for honesty and eagerness to improve upon himself that would accompany him throughout the rest of his life.

In line with his firm desire to move forward and strive for perfection, he entered into the recently created School of Fine Arts of Santa Isabel in Hungary when he was twenty one years of age and there, with masters of the calibre of Alfonso Grosso, Juan Miguel Sánchez, José Martínez del Cid and Sebastián García Vázquez, he obtained the qualification of professor of drawing and, above all, a solid education that allowed him to possess a modern and highly suggestive personal style.

Later, after a productive period of travel, exhibitions and even eleven years residing in Argentina, driven by his constant desire to learn he went back to school, this time registering in the San Fernando school in Madrid, in the specialised area of Chalcographic Engraving, which he studied with apparent success. After these meritorious centres went on to become university schools he even obtained a degree in Fine Arts at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. It is a pity that his numerous professional commitments kept him from having obtained his Doctorate, for which he was well qualified.

His professional life oscillated between creation and his private and public teaching work, which, as well as from his studios in both Spain and Buenos Aires, he also carried out in the Circle of Fine Arts and subsequently in his painting workshop in the Gran Peña up to the last days of his life, always with utmost dedication and intelligent professorial language.

Simultaneously, and independently of the numerous commissions he received from his select clientele, we should make reference to his important work as an exhibitor, both in collective exhibitions, which he attended on rare occasions –I shall highlight his presence at the San Paulo Biennial in 1975 as the most important milestone of this biographical section-, as well as in individual collections, which he did grow to appreciate, among which stand out that of 1948 at the Directorate General for Morocco and the Colonies, his 1961 exhibit at the Wildstein Gallery in Buenos Aires, the exhibit celebrated three years later with the patronage of the Institute of Hispanic Culture, another held in 1973 at the Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as the exhibit held seven years later at the Heller Gallery in Madrid.

In addition to those mentioned above were those of a more provincial nature -Valladolid, La Coruña, Salamanca, Granada, Malaga and Seville, to mention some of the more important ones- which he tended to accompany with talks and conferences on the content of his works, given with skill and amenity, and always well received by the public and by the press, as well as those of an official nature, having obtained awards such as the Gold Medal at the Florence Biennial in 1973.

As a complement to this all, and likewise as a logical consequence of his constant concerns of a humanistic nature, was his literary collaboration work in the press and magazines, serving to attest to the broad extent of his knowledge and eloquence as a writer.

As can be fully appreciated in the content of this collection, there is a mastery of trade in all of the works exhibited that is accompanied by a precise but by no means academic style of drawing, as well as a rich use of colour with varied tonalities.

One is likewise able to perceive his unique solutions to problems of perspective and his great capacity to adapt to the different situations into which he was lead as a result of his constant and sought after stylistic evolution.

Equally surprising is his skill when faced with a portrait or dealing with the simple figuration of types, as the accuracy of his treatment of still life, especially when this reflects underlying connotations through neorealist techniques: on the one hand reaffirming his unquestionable modernity and on the other highlighting his knowledge of and contact with classical aesthetics.

And hand in hand with his precise pictorial work are his no less prolific and attractive incursions into the world of engraving where, displaying his talent as a draftsman and his broad knowledge of the different techniques, he made important achievements that attract both experts and simple dilettantes the like with works that faithfully reflect his creative capacity and good taste.

In light of the foregoing and by way of conclusion, I may affirm, without fear of hyperbole, that we are faced here with an innate and extraordinarily sincere artist whose work is worthy of a monographic study that would make his work known on a broader scale.

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