"May something as beautiful as becoming a line happen to you."
Born in 1931 in Mexico City, Gilberto Aceves Navarro’s career in the arts spanned over seven decades and two centuries.
Aceves-Navarro began his studies in 1950 at The National School for Painting, Sculpture and Etching at "La Esmeralda" under the tutelage of Enrique Assad, Ignacio Aguirre y Carlos Orozco Romero. In 1952 he worked as an assistant to David Alfaro Siqueiros, an influential Mexican muralist, on the murals at the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) - now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
During the years of 1957-1961, Aceves-Navarro was a professor of art at The Instituto de Intercambio Cultural Mexicano Norteamericano in Los Angeles, California.
In 1971, he began his career as a professor at one of the most important art schools in Mexico: La Academia de San Carlos and later at Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas - both part of UNAM (The Autonomous University of Mexico). During this time, he also opened his own studio and began a mentorship program which later became the basis of his school that began in the 1980s.
A highly lauded artist, Aceves-Navarro received the National Award for Arts and Sciences in the field of Fine Arts in 2003. The same year, he became a member of the distinguished Academia de Artes (Academy of the Arts). In 1989 he received honorable mention at the Biennial of Cannes Sur Mer in France - the same year he received the Premio de la Universidad Nacional (National University Award). In 2011 he received the Gold Medal of Fine Arts from Bellas Artes, and The Carlos Monsaváis Medal of Cultural Merit from the Governor of Mexico City. In 2014 his over forty years of service teaching at UNAM were also awarded with The Medal of UNAM.
His fifty year retrospective “A Look at Five Decades of Gilberto Aceves Navarro,” occupied the entire Museo de Bellas Artes in 2009. In addition, his outdoor sculpture exhibit “Las Bicicletas” displayed 120 bicycle sculptures in La Alameda park and in front of the Bellas Artes museum.
His life's works have been exhibited in over 300 collective exhibits within Mexico and around the world. At the same time, he exhibited at over 155 individual shows worldwide from Japan, Germany and Colombia to New York, Washington DC, Georgia and beyond.
Since 2014 his outdoor sculpture exhibit “Las Bicicletas” has been exhibited in the streets of New York City, Washington DC, Virginia, Ohio, Monterrey and UNAM in Mexico City.
In 2018 the exposition “Cabezas Olmecas” was inaugurated at the Seminario de Cultura Mexicano and in the Galería Lourdes Sosa in Polanco.
In 2018 the interactive program “Arte desde pequeños” was initiated whereby children from Mexico City exhibit their drawings and paintings on electronic billboards in strategic locations around the city.
In 2019 Galería Hilario Galguera took on representation where many of his works can be seen today.
2003 - Recipient of the Premio Nacional de Ciencias y Artes in the fine arts field. Simultaneously, the exhibit: Ahora que Estoy Viejo Te Mando Cartas Mamá at the Instituto de México en España, Madrid.
2005 - A 55 year retrospective of works painted from 1950 in 2005 at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca.
2008 - Retrospectivo de Gilberto Aceves Navarro at the Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts) in which the entire museum was dedicated to his artwork - an honor given to only a handful of the top artists of Mexico.
2014 - Las Bicicletas - Outdoor public sculpture exhibit in ten different sites around Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York, USA.
2015 - Las Bicicletas - Outdoor public sculpture exhibit in five different sites in Washington DC, USA.
2018 - Arte Desde Pequeños - Outdoor art exhibit presented via electronic billboards around Mexico City that included a call for submissions by all children in Mexico City between the ages of 3-10 to submit paintings. All were later displayed on the billboards.
2019 - Hoy - exhibited at Museo de la Ciudad, “Hoy” was Gilberto Aceves Navarro’s last exhibit in life that was comprised of over 40 large format pieces painted between 2018 and 2019 along with a room dedicated to some of his most important pieces painted between 1950-1990.
1973 - Historia Zoologico at Museo de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.
1978 - La decapitación de Juan Bautista in El Museo de Arte Moderno, México City.
1981 - Antología de Aceves Navarro en Promoción de las Artes Monterrey, México.
1989 - Cantos por Georgia. Outdoor mural dedicated to the 1989 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
1994 - An anthological exhibition (1973-1993) at the Casa-taller José Clemente Orozco in the Instituto Cultural Cabañas, Guadalajara, Jalisco.
1994 - Historias y sueños del Unicornio at the Museo De la Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, Antiguo Palacio del Arzobispado, Mexico City.
2000 - The inauguration of his gallery opened with the exhibit Don Felipe II y la Armada Invencible which was also exhibited at the San Antonio, Washington D.C. and Montreal consulates.
2001- A tribute including exhibitions at the Museo Universitario del Chopo, the Galería Metropolitana, UAM, and the Galería del Aeropuerto Internacional was Organized for his 70th birthday. That year he was awarded the Creador Emérito grant by the Fonca and is named Académico de Número of the Academia de las Artes.
Amongst some of the most important of his exhibits were:
A few of his international exhibits have been:
The Museo del Rayo de Roldanillo, Colombia, during the celebration of its 13th anniversary, in 1994.
Gilberto Aceves Navarro at the Sagacho Exhibit Space, Tokyo, in 1992.
De las 7000 Formas de Atrapar un Unicornio was displayed in the Norddeutsche Landesbank, In Hannover and Hamburg in 1996.
His outstanding mural work can be seen in various places, such Canto triste por Biafra part of the permanent collection of El Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City; Una canción para Atlanta, painted for the Olympic games held In Georgia in 1993; Agredida por los Zancudos painted for the Museo Rayo de Roldanillo in 1994; and La Guerra y la Paz, In Mexico City, 1996.