Roberto Duarte was born in 1935 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Throughout his childhood, he showed promising talent in the arts. In 1955, he began formal studies at the National School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, and later attended free workshops conducted by Ideal Sanchez. In 1958, he received a scholarship from the Fondo National de las Artes to continue his learning abroad in Madrid and Paris.
When Duarte returned to Buenos Aires in 1960, he held his first solo exhibition at the Gallery Veltri; his paintings and drawings reflected the influence Europe had had on him, particularly Picasso’s cubism. Later that same year, Duarte received a scholarship from the French Embassy to study in Paris under Hungarian painter Victor Vasarely. Under Vasarley’s tutelage, Duarte traveled across Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, immersing himself in the works of Monet, Delacroix, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and other innovators of modernity.
Duarte returned to Buenos Aires in 1961, and in 1962 he displayed his work and newfound perspective with solo exhibitions at the Gallery Estimar and Gallery Van Riel. Duarte’s shows excited many of Argentina’s most prominent art critics, solidifying his status as one of Argentina’s influential artists.
Duarte took part in numerous critical solo and group exhibitions over the years. In 1965, he showed a group of oil paintings, ink and tempera landscapes and figures of northwestern Argentina in the Hogarth Galleria in Buenos Aires. In 1970, he held an exhibition of works inspired by the poetry of Bertold Brecht, and in 1987, his engravings were selected to participate in the International Biennial in Poland. In 1990, Duarte was given a retrospective at the Palais de Glace in Buenos Aires.
Throughout his lifetime, Duarte was an innovator of Latin American culture, and received many awards for this. He accepted a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to perfect the technique of metal engraving at the National University of Tucumen in 1964. During his residence in the north of the country, he made individual samples of oils and tempera in the provinces of La Rioja and Tucuman, promoting important values of northern culture. In 1966, Duarte received an invitation from the National Academy of Fine Arts to participate in the Prize Calderon de la Barca. In 1967, he received the Grand Prix d’Honneur diploma and gold medal in the category of national engraving, and in 1986 he received theGrand Prix d’Honneur and gold medal in the drawing category. The following year he received second prize in the painting category.
Roberto Duarte passed away in Buenos Aires in 2006.