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Morocho, Coronel and Palma: agents of a new visual art generation
A collective exhibition of Ecuadorian contemporary paintings in Geneva
1 Sep 2023

Over the last 20 years a new and significant generation of artists has emerged in Guayaquil, Ecuador, a dynamic and progressive city. With the creation of art study centers such as the High Technology Art Institute from Ecuador (ITAE) and the Art University Uartes, Guayaquil has become the epicenter of a diversity of practices that, from contemporary perspectives, give rise to a revitalization of painting. Guayaquil has been crucial in developing the significance and prominence that local art has taken in the region and around the world.

Jorge Morocho, Xavier Coronel and Francesca Palma are three Ecuadorian painters who have emerged as key agents of this new visual art generation, strengthening the importance of the contemporary wave towards painting. Beyond just an art exhibition, this project reflects the dynamics of modern society and its environment through the works of contemporary artists, showcased for their innovation in painting.

Jorge Morocho and Xavier Coronel are pursuing a master’s degree in fine arts at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts – FHNW in Basel. Francesca Palma lives and works between Guayaquil and Italy. The three painters were awarded the Salón de Julio award in their home city. The Salón de Julio is an outstanding painting exhibition that celebrates the founding of Guayaquil. Since its first edition in 1959, it has been organized by the Mayor’s Office of the City of Guayaquil through the Municipal Museum with the purpose of gathering and exhibiting national artistic production. Over the years, this event has contributed to the creation of a valuable public collection of modern and contemporary paintings and to the artistic rebirth of visual arts in Ecuador.

Jorge Morocho’s work explores painting, video, installation and sculpture. His interest ranges from the media image, representation models such as the wind screens or the religious polyptych, to the cinematographic imaginary. Time is a fundamental aspect in the relation we have with the world and its images. When a certain amount of time passes, every creation loses its urgency and its images become objects to reject, look after, forget or reclaim. Jorge Morocho draws images from his imagination to subject them to mechanisms of time and affection. The creation of these mechanisms is at the epicenter of his practice. 

Coronel’s main works range from painting and drawing to video; inquiring about cultural schizophrenia, terror and memory. His short fiction films were part of the official selection of the festivals FESAALP (2008) and BAFICI (2009) in Argentina and Cine/B (2010) in Chile. His work has been exhibited in several exhibitions, in alternative cultural spaces and galleries, as well as in prominent museums in the country, such as the MAAC (Museo Antropológico y de Arte Contemporáneo) in Guayaquil and the CAC (Centro de Arte Contemporáneo) in Quito.

Francesca Palma Terán, winner of the first prize at the Salón de la Mujer de la Casa de la Cultura Núcleo del Guayas in 2019 and third prize at the Salón de Julio de 2022, is a renowned artist in the international contemporary painting scene. She graduated at the School of Visual Arts of the Universidad de las Artes, Guayaquil, where she currently lives and works. Her conceptual proposals reflect on the problems of the present and the diversity of the pictorial technique. She has exhibited in numerous galleries in Ecuador and Europe. Working predominately in acrylic, Palma uses graphite on canvas, embossing, and using her experience to take a fresh look at the landscape as a pictorial form. Her paintings reflect her imagination combined with her sense of the real.

The Geneva exhibition will not only constitute a platform for the Ecuadorian artists to embody their work in an international context, but it will also offer an opportunity to enrich the cultural relationship between Ecuador and Switzerland. The artists believe that we build ourselves by the distance or closeness we have with each other. With this in mind, the best way to enrich cultural scenery is to subject it to a contrast process. They believe that a fresh and moving perspective of Ecuadorian art can lead to a rich feedback dynamic between the Swiss and Ecuadorian cultural environments. 

The exhibition will allow both the public and the artists to test themselves, visualizing the similarities and differences, the proximity and distances of the working dynamics, research methodologies and interests. The goal, through this interaction, is to build a hybrid knowledge which will be crucial between these two cultures and places.

The event will be under the supervision and thoughtful eye of Ana María Castillo, former UN Staff, with the support of the Association of Spanish International Civil Servants (AFIE) and the Embassy and Chancellery of Ecuador, aiming to support creativity among local and international artists.

The exhibition will be featured at MABE Art Gallery (, 25 Grand-Rue in Geneva’s Old Town, from 11 to 17 December 2023 with the objective to promote Ecuadorian contemporary art in an international context. More information at AFIE ( or via email to Ana María Castillo ( 

* Gemma Capellas Espuny is Head of Linguistic Production at the World Meteorological Organization and UN Today Editorial Adviser.
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