Omar Rayo  (Colombian, 1928-2010) 

Omar Rayo (Colombian, January 20, 1928–June 7, 2010) was an artist involved in various types of artwork, such as painting, sculpture, plastic, and caricature. He was best known for using Abstract Geometry as his style. Rayo was one of the foremost pioneers of Op Art. He studied drawing at Academie Zier of Buenos Aires. He was the winner of the 1970 Salon de Artistas Colombianos. His particular focus was Op Art, also known as Optical Art, a style which employs optical illusions that interact with viewers. Op Art is considered Abstract, with many pieces made only of black-and-white. Rayo was also known to use red and other colors.

Many of the artist’s paintings, engravings, and other artworks are placed in the Museum of Rayo de Dibujo y Grabado Latinamericano, which was founded on January 20, 1981, in Colombia. The museum featured more than 2,000 of Rayo's works as well as 500 works by other Latin artists. For most of his career, Rayo supported and tried to publicize Latin artists, with his campaigns culminating in the museum. Along with artwork, the museum features a library, theater, and graphic arts workshop. Rayo funded most of the museum himself, with the help of the Colombian government. Some of his more famous works include Sin Titula, Xumux, and Gohei V. His work is a mix of color and illusion. His images force people to look beyond the image and into deeper meaning.

Besides the Museum de Rayo de Dibujo y Grabado Latinamericano, the artist’s work has been featured in the National Room of the Museum of the Palace of Fine Arts of Mexico, and many other galleries and museums throughout the world. Rayo spent his life educating people about art. He collapsed while eating breakfast at his home on June 7, 2010, and died on the way to the hospital after suffering from a heart attack. Without Rayo at its helm, the museum couldn't have endured the difficult times it was in, although a foundation was developed to help support the museum and promote Latin American Art.

Find Omar Rayo artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
envelope Get email alerts about this artist!  
Artworks for sale (8)
In Art Galleries (7)
Dealers selling (2)
In Upcoming Auctions (1)

Sold Artworks
In Past Auctions (148)

Auctions (1)

More Information
artnet Analytics Reports
Market Reports
* paid service

Artworks for sale (8)

Omar Rayo, Bosbanza


Omar Rayo

Auction: Apr 23, 2014
Fine Art Auctions Miami
View Details | entire auction
Omar Rayo, Untitled


Omar Rayo

Galería Odalys
Omar Rayo, O.V.N.I.


Omar Rayo
Omar Rayo, Gohei V


Omar Rayo
Gohei V
circa 1970
Omar Rayo, untitled (Mountains)


Omar Rayo
untitled (Mountains)
Omar Rayo, Tibacuy


Omar Rayo
Omar Rayo, My Size


Omar Rayo
My Size
circa 1970
Omar Rayo, Sierra


Omar Rayo
Past auction results (148)  View All
Omar Rayo, Erotico IX


Omar Rayo
Erotico IX, 1970


View Details
Omar Rayo, Untitled (Mountains)


Omar Rayo
Untitled (Mountains), 1955
acrylic on paper


View Details
Omar Rayo, Untitled 1


Omar Rayo
Untitled 1, 1970
intaglio etching w/collage


View Details

1928   Born in Roldanillo Valle del Cauca, Colombia
1947   Worked as a newspaper and magazine illustrator, Santafe de Bogotá, Colombia
1959   Recipient, scholarship to work in Mexico City, Mexico
1970   Graduated from the Academia Zier de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Recipient, Second Prize in Drawing, XI Salon of Colombian Artists, Colombia
1972   Recipient, São Paulo Biennial International Prize, São Paulo, Brazil
1977   Recipient, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Fine Arts
1981   Founded the Museum of Rayo in Roldanillo, Colombia
1983   Inaugurated the project Arte Vial with international artists
1959 - 1986   Lived and worked in Mexico and New York, NY
1994   Participated in the Order of Boyacá as Gran Oficial, Colombia
2010   Died in Roldanillo Valle del Cauca, Colombia
2009   Mateo's Toy, Fundación Mythos Art Gallery, Roldanillo Valle del Cauca, Colombia (solo)
2007   La Presencia: The Presence of Latin American Art in California Collections, Molaa Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA
Grabado Extranjero, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile
2005   Transeuntes: América Latina, Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Still Life Perspectives from the Collection, Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC
2002   Surface and Subtext: Latin American Geometric Abstraction, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX
Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (solo)
2001   Bienal 50 Anos: Núcleo histórico, Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
1971   São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil
1948 - 1954   Exhibited his work several times in Santafé de Bogotá and other Colombian cities
  Museo Nacional, Santa Fe De Bogotá, Colombia
  Museo de Arte Moderno, Santa Fe De Bogotá, Colombia
  Museo Rufino Tamayo, D.F., México
  Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile
  Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
  Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
  Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
  New York Public Library, New York, NY
  Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC
  Library of Congress, Washington, DC
  Boston Public Library, Boston, MA
  Museum of Contemporary Art, Nagaoka, Japan
  National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
2007    Ospina, William. Omar Rayo Homenaje. Bogotá: Villegas Editores, 2007