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Enrique Grau, at 83; Colombian painter

BOGOTA -- Enrique Grau, an acclaimed painter and sculptor known for his depictions of Indian and Afro-Colombian figures, died Thursday. He was 83.

Mr. Grau died at a Bogota hospital from pulmonary complications, the Culture Ministry said.

He was part of the trio of key Colombian artists of the 20th century that included the hugely popular Fernando Botero and Alejandro Obregon.

Born in 1920, Mr. Grau studied at the Art Students League in New York in the early 1940s and later toured Italy, where he learned etching and fresco techniques before moving to the colonial city of Cartagena, on Colombia's Caribbean coast.

His seemingly arbitrary associations of white, black, and indigenous figures and objects such as masks, eggs, fruit, or cages brought him international fame.

His works have been exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.

Mr. Grau had recently donated 1,300 works of art, including some by other artists, to the city of Cartagena to set up a museum. The museum is to open later this year, said Mayor Alberto Barboza.

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