Roberto Gonzalez Goyri (1924 – 2007)
The sculptures of Roberto Goyri teem with life. And we are dropped into the action. The owl about to take flight. The bird hunter in mid-leap. A dancing couple defying gravity. A wounded warrior reaching for the sky.
At 14, Goyri began nine years of study under Yela Gunther at the National Fine Arts Academy. From 1945 - 1946 he worked in the National Archeology Museum. It was there that he developed a visual vocabulary steeped in Mayan forms. In 1948, he had his first show. Soon thereafter, he received a government grant to study in New York. He stayed there until 1952.
A sculptor and a muralist, Goyri was influenced by Mérida. He also stenciled and worked with stained glass. In later years, he moved toward painting.
Controversial and unique, Goyri created some of Guatemala’s most influential public art. This includes huge reliefs of exposed cast concrete that he did in the 50’s. The Social Security and Mortgage Credit buildings in Guatemala City have excellent examples. With Vasquéz, Recinos and Rosa Mena Valenzuela, he also helped to create the daring and iconic Civic Center. In 1958, Goyri received his country’s highest honor, the Order of the Quetzal.