José Caballero

José Caballero (Huelva, 1915 - † Madrid, 1991) was a Spanish painter of the twentieth century.

After studying at the school of the Augustinian Fathers and the baccalaureate at the Institute of Huelva, where he gives undoubted samples of his ability for drawing, he met the poet Adriano del Valle at the end of the 20s. In 1924 his father died, leaving the family in a difficult economic situation.

In 1930 he moved to Madrid to study Industrial Engineering, which he left two years later to enter the School of Fine Arts of San Fernando and continue with his classes in the studio of Daniel Vázquez Díaz, whom he had met in Huelva, painting the murals of Monasterio de la Rábida. Through his teacher he comes into contact with the most outstanding artists and intellectuals of that time. A short time later, along with other artists such as Federico García Lorca, he collaborates at the Ateneo de Huelva in an exhibition so controversial that it was closed at the time of its inauguration.

In 1933 he frequently visited the Uruguayan constructivist painter Joaquín Torres García, and a year later the sculptor Alberto Sánchez, from whom he received important teachings.

In 1934 Federico García Lorca incorporated him into the University Theater "La Barraca", where he would contribute different drawings for the works of the company, he also designed in the Student Residence the sets of the work "Historia de un soldado", and began his friendship with Pablo Neruda, Rafael Alberti, Miguel Hernández, Maruja Mallo, or Luis Buñuel.

The year 1935 represents for the artist a creative stage closely linked to Spanish surrealism. Thus he made three posters together with Adriano del Valle at the Ateneo de Sevilla and illustrated poems for Federico García Lorca and Pablo Neruda. He also contributes to avant-garde magazines such as Cruz y Raya, Noreste, Línea and Caballo Verde for poetry or to the First Drawing Fair of the Iberian Society of Artists.

With the arrival of the Civil War several of these artists will go into exile or disappear. Not so Caballero, who the war catches him in Huelva and who when called to the ranks will be dedicated to making maps. After the war, he did numerous jobs as a decorator for film and theater. He collaborates with great Spanish stage directors and his work is reflected in the numerous photographs on theater made by the photographer Juan Gyenes in the 40s and 50s.

In 1949 he made a painting for the Spanish Tourist Office and illustrated several books of poetry. His success was remarkable, until in 1950 he was invited to the XXV Edition of the Venice Biennale and made his first major solo show in Madrid, at the Clan gallery. From there he became interested in expressionism and in 1953 he exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Madrid. In 1957 he met Pablo Picasso in Paris. From there his work expands in time with various contributions fruit of trips to different countries such as Turkey that lead him to try geometrism in his works. The exhibitions on his work will be numerous in these years.

In 1972 he organized an anthological exhibition in Huelva, a city in which years before he had done various works for the Provincial Council or a Savings Bank. The following year an exhibition of his was vetoed by the Ministry of the Interior.

He died in Madrid on May 26, 1991, and was buried in the city of Alcalá de Henares.


  • National Prize of Plastic Arts in 1984.
  • Favorite Son of Andalusia in 1989.
  • Medal of Artistic Merit by the Madrid City Council.
  • Adopted Son and Gold Medal of Alcalá de Henares.
  • Gold medal of the city of Huelva.
  • Street in his name in Alcalá de Henares and Secondary School in Huelva.
  • Adopted Son of Punta Umbría.
  • Streets in his name in Punta Umbría, San Pedro de Alcántara and Aljaraque
List of institutions with works by José Caballero



  • Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid
  • Calcografía Nacional, Madrid
  • Colección Agencia EFE, Madrid
  • Colección de Arte Contemporáneo AENA, Madrid
  • Colección Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales, Madrid
  • Fundación BBVA, Madrid
  • Casa-Museo Federico García Lorca, Fuente Vaqueros, Granada
  • Centro Andaluz del Teatro, Sevilla
  • Colección Caja de Ahorros, CAI, Zaragoza
  • Colección Félix Adelantado, Zaragoza
  • Colección Massaveu, Oviedo
  • Fundación Bartolomé March, Palma de Mallorca
  • Fundación Caixa Galicia, La Coruña
  • Fundación Cultural Mapfre, Madrid
  • Fundación Cajasol, Sevilla y Huelva
  • Fundación García Lorca, Madrid
  • Fundación Juan March, Madrid
  • Fundación Pilar y Joan Miró, Palma de Mallorca
  • Fundación Rafael Alberti, El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz
  • Fundación Santander Central Hispano, Madrid
  • Fundación Telefónica, Madrid
  • Museo Camón Aznar, Zaragoza
  • Museo de Arte Contemporáneo ACA, Tenerife
  • Museo de Arte Contemporáneo del Alto Aragón, Huesca
  • Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Español, Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid
  • Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla
  • Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao
  • Museo de Bellas Artes, Vitoria
  • Museo de Huelva
  • Museo del Dibujo Castillo de Larrés, Sabiñánigo, Huesca
  • Museo del Grabado Contemporáneo Español, Marbella, Málaga
  • Museo del Teatro, Spoleto
  • Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid
  • Museo Municipal, Madrid
  • Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
  • Museo Nacional del Teatro, Almagro, Ciudad Real
  • Museo Popular de Arte Contemporáneo, Villafamés, Castellón
  • Museo Taurino, Madrid
  • Palacio de la Diputación, Huelva
  • Palacio de la Merced (sede de la Diputación Provincial), Córdoba
  • Palacio Municipal de Huelva
  • Colección Pedro Gil Mazo, Punta Umbría.
  • Colección Marc Ribas, Barcelona


  • Academia de Bellas Artes Nicolai Paulovich, Sofía (Bulgaria)
  • Galería Nacional de Arte Extranjero, Sofía (Bulgaria)
  • Museo del Centro de Investigaciones Estéticas, Turín


  • Colección Chase Manhattan Bank, Nueva York
  • Fundación Carnegie Institute Pittsburgh, Pensilvania
  • Texas Memorial Museum, Austin, Texas
  • Fundación Pablo Neruda, Santiago de Chile
  • Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Managua
  • Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende, Santiago de Chile
  • Museo Rufino Tamayo, México D. F.
  • Museo Nacional de Colombia


  • Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Guinea Ecuatorial