Born in Buenos Aires on February 20, 1939, Jorge Gamarra attended a technical secondary school where he specialized in industrial mold-making, acquiring skills in design and several different trades. He taught himself sculpture.
In 1964 he married Norma Nardini, and their first child, Verónica, was born the following year. From 1963 to 1973, as well as developing his career as a sculptor, he also worked in a number of companies from the insurance sector.
He was awarded the first prize for Sculpture at the ADYSIC Salon, organized by the Association of Insurance Companies.
Gamarra took part in the “Manuel Belgrano” Visual Arts Municipal Salon as well as collective exhibitions in the Ismos gallery, with other artists such as Noé Nojechowicz and Roberto Aizenberg.
The Victorica Art Hall was where he held his first individual exhibition of wood sculptures. In the space of five months, he was awarded a special mention at the 13th Fall Salon of San Fernando, short-listed by the Manuel Belgrano Visual Arts Municipal Salon and awarded the first prize for Sculpture in the 15th Annual Stimulus Competition for Young Visual Artists organized by the Argentine Hebraic Society.
At an individual exhibition held at the Gradiva gallery, he showed his series Los petálos y las flores (Petals and flowers) in acrylic, the material with which he was to work in parallel with wood from then on. Gamarra took part in two collective exhibitions in the Lirolay gallery: De todos un poco (A little of everything), organized by Enio Iommi, and, together with Armando Donnini and Rodolfo Medina, Murales, bocetos y fragmentos (Murals, sketches and fragments). Gamarra was the only young artist invited to participate in the former, alongside the more renowned artists of the time.
He was short-listed for the Braque Prize at the Modern Art Museum and also at the 5th Avellaneda Municipal Visual Arts Salon. He also took part in the exhibition 17 jóvenes escultores (17 young sculptors) organized by the Esteban Echeverría Popular Atheneum of San Fernando and also in Argenplas 69, held at the Argentine Rural Society.
He was awarded a prize at the 17th Visual Arts Salon in Córdoba, which was held at the Provincial Fine Arts Museum “Emilio A. Caraffa”.
Together with the other artists selected by the “Italia-Francesco Romero” scholarship award to encourage artistic production, Gamarra exhibited his works at the Integra Art Center. He also took part in the exhibition Objetos útiles e inútiles con Acrilicopaolini (Useful and useless objects in Acrilicopaolini), held at the Modern Art Museum in Buenos Aires. In the section of useful objects, he presented his work Puerta (Door) and in the useless objects section, Los pétalos y las flores and Transparencia orgánica (Organic transparency). He was awarded second prize. That same year his second child, Santiago, was born.
Gamarra was awarded the first prize at the Artists with Acrilicopaolini Award at the Modern Art Museum. Subsequently, at the “Manuel Belgrano” Visual Arts Municipal Salon, he received the Lucio Correa Morales Prize for a work carved in acrylic. He also showed works made in acrylic in two collective exhibitions held in the Art gallery.
He took part in the exhibition Panorama de experiencias visuales argentinas (Panorama of Argentine visual experiences), organized by the Lorenzutti Foundation in the Modern Art Museum, with the acrylic sculptures Los pétalos y las flores, Agua viva (Jellyfish) and Los espejos (The mirrors). At this exhibition, Víctor Grippo presented a kinetic work and Gyula Kosice his Ciudad hidroespacial (Hydrospace city).
The Segunda Exposición de Esculturas al Aire Libre (Second Open-Air Exhibition of Sculptures) was held in the Capitán General J.J. de Urquiza square by the National Fine Arts Museum. Together with Guillermo Roux, he presented the work called Homenaje al ombú (Homage to the ombu tree), from wood, pipes and iron. He also took part in the collective exhibitions Cajas y cajitas (Large and small boxes) in the General San Martín Cultural Center; Espacio real, movimiento y luz real (Real space, movement and real light) held at the Lirolay gallery, as well as Originalidad y diseño (Originality and design) at the Argentine Hebraic Society, and at the inauguration of the art space La Casa del Insecto (The House of the Insect). As a member of the Decenter group he exhibited at the Grimau Auditorium, and, a few months later, at the central headquarters of the Racing Club football team in Avellaneda.
At the Manuel Belgrano Visual Arts Municipal Salon, he was awarded the third prize in the Sculpture category. He also won the second prize for Handcrafting Wood awarded by the National Arts Fund, at the National Exhibition for Art and Craftwork in Wood, held at the Modern Art Museum and the Argentine Rural Society, on the occasion of the Seventh World Forestry Congress.
Together with Víctor Grippo, he presented the work Horno popular para hacer pan (Community bread oven) at the CAYC al aire libre (Open-air CAYC) exhibition in the Robert Arlt square. The police closed down the exhibition and destroyed many of the works with the excuse that one of them referred to the Massacre of Trelew, which had occurred the previous month.
Gamarra took part in the exhibition Identikit de Pablo. Homenaje a Picasso (Identikit of Pablo. A Homage to Picasso) and in Tercera Exposición de la Danza, Danza Confrontación. Génesis (Third Exhibition of Dance, Dance Confrontation. Genesis), both held at the General San Martín Cultural Center.
He also showed his works at the Third Salon Prize for Artists with Acrilicopaolini at the Modern Art Museum and at the Third Coltejer Art Biennial in Medellín, Colombia.
Gamarra took part in the Fourth Salon Prize for Artists with Acrilicopaolini held at the Modern Art Museum in Buenos Aires. This was a particularly polemic edition, as many works among those presented alluded to violence and the contemporary political situation. The participants suggested that prizes not be awarded and that the prize-money be divided equally among them all. Although the members of the jury were in favor, the organizers nonetheless decided to award the prizes as they saw fit. Gamarra received the second prize.
He presented a major individual exhibition at the Arte Aplicada gallery in São Paulo and took part in the collective exhibition Abstracción mágica (Magical abstraction) at the Art gallery in Buenos Aires.
He showed acrylic sculptures at the Art gallery alongside paintings by Manuel Espinosa and took part in the Fifth Salon Prize for Artists with Acrilicopaolini held at the Bonino gallery. He also participated in a collective exhibition with works by Ocampo, Espinosa and MacEntyre held at the Nueva Visión gallery in Mar del Plata. One of his works was purchased by the art collector Ignacio Pirovano.
At the 64th National Visual Arts Salon he was awarded third prize and was subsequently invited to participate in the Dr Augusto Palanza National Arts Foundation Prize organized by the National Fine Arts Museum. There he exhibited three acrylic sculptures. He took part in the Última Exposición Internacional de Arte Correo75 (Last International Exhibition of Arte Correo ’75) held at the Arte Nuevo gallery, organized by Edgardo Vigo and Horacio Zabala, as well as in the Sixth Salon Prize for Artists with Acrilicopaolini at the Bonino gallery.
He received two important distinctions this year: the Agustín Riganelli Prize at the Agustín Riganelli Sculpture Biennial held at the Palatina gallery, as well as the “Italia-Francesco Romero” scholarship award to encourage artistic production, given by the Italian Embassy and the National Arts Fund. This grant afforded him the opportunity to live in Italy for a year. He held an individual exhibition at Knoll International - Interieur Forma, where Aldo Sessa was showing his paintings at the same time.
He participated in the collective exhibition of design objects Arte Aplicada no MASP. 30 artistas arte aplicada (Applied Art in the MASP. 30 artists applied art) held at the Art Museum of São Paulo.
Gamarra held two individual exhibitions in Rome, one in the Casa Argentina and the other at the Amerigraphic International gallery.
Back in Buenos Aires, he was invited to show his works independently of the competition organized by the Eighth Salon Prize for Designers with Acrilicopaolini, held at the Bonino gallery, in which he showed works from his design studio.
At the Praxis gallery, he exhibited objects designed in acrylic created together with Ricardo Blanco.
Gamarra was awarded the first prize in the Rómulo Rufini Tableware Competition, presented at the Buenos Aires Design Center. He also took part in the Perel Salon Steel Sculptures exhibition held at the Modern Art Museum.
He was awarded the Dr Augusto Palanza Prize by the National Arts Foundation, one of the most coveted awards in the art world. Held at the National Fine Arts Museum, the other participants that year included Juan Carlos Distéfano, María Juana Heras Velasco, Naum Knop and Ferruccio Polacco. Gamarra, who by this stage had abandoned acrylic, showed three pieces in wood and two drawings.
He received a special mention at the National Sculpture Salon in Mar del Plata.
Gamarra held an individual show at the Arte Nuevo gallery, for which Samuel Oliver wrote the foreword to the catalogue. He also showed his works individually at the ‘Dámaso Arce’ Municipal Visual Arts Museum in Olavarría, in the province of Buenos Aires.
That year he took part in the Alfredo y Amalita Fortabat Foundation Prize held at the National Fine Arts Museum and also showed works at the Meetings for Critics at the Galería Ruth Benzacar.
He held two individual exhibitions, one at Union Carbide Argentine, at the same time as Ricardo Roux was showing his own paintings, and the second at VEA gallery, coinciding with a showing of Luis Wells’ works.
He took part in the collective exhibitions Abstracción siglo XX (Abstraction in the 20th century), held at the Modern Art Museum, and Dibujos de escultores (Drawings by sculptors) at the Eduardo Sívori Museum.
At international level he sent works to the 2ª Mostra Internazionale della Piccola Scultura. 1ª Mostra Internazionale di Scultura all’Aperto (Second International Exhibition of Small Sculptures. International Exhibition of Open-Air Sculpture), held at the Palazzo Brambilla in Castellanza, Italy.
He received a special mention for Sculpture at the Fortabat Prize for Painting and Sculpture presented at the Fortabat House in Buenos Aires.
He participated in the exhibition Arte argentina dalla Independenza ad oggi (Argentine art from Independence to Today) organized by the Argentine Chancery and presented in major cities in Italy. He also presented an individual exhibition at the Hoy en el Arte gallery in Pinamar.
He held an individual exhibition at the Galería Miró in Asunción, Paraguay.
He was awarded the Jury Prize and the Prize for Sculptors by the Argentine Credit Bank Foundation Prize for Young Artists. The particular conditions of the award were that the work had to be created on-site in full view of the public. The location was a square in Barrancas de Belgrano, where he sculpted La huella del cáñamo (The mark of hemp).
He won first prize at the Second Wood Sculpture Contest held in 25 de Mayo square in the city of Resistencia, province of Chaco. He also took part in the Spirit of Greece Sculpture Prize held at the Praxis gallery.
In Quebec, Canada, Gamarra took part in the 18e Concours International de Sculpture sur Neige(18th International Snow Sculpting Competition), where
he was awarded the third jury prize with Fabriciano and Gómez Lollo and the first prize by the artists’ vote. At the same time he also held exhibitions at the Galerie Art and Galerie Art Inc. in Montreal. He was invited to be the guest of honor at the Third International Competition of Wood Sculptures in Chaco and took part in the Fifth Annual U.S. International Snow Sculpting Competition in Milwaukee, U.S.A. His work was also included in the exhibition Abstracción S. XX (Abstraction in the 20th Century), presented at the Palais de Glace in Buenos Aires.
In this year he received two important distinctions: the first prize in the Fourth National Competition and First International Triennial of Wood Sculptures, carried out in 25 de Mayo square in Resistencia, province of Chaco, and the first prize in the Second International Wood Sculpture Competition, held at the Modern Art Museum in Toluca, Mexico.
With Fabriciano and Goméz Lollo, Gamarra took part in the 19e Concours National et International de Sculpture sur Neige du Carnaval de Québec(19th National and International Snow Sculpting Competition at the carnival held in Quebec, Canada). They presented the work Le chasseur de colombes (The dove hunter) and also presented an exhibition called Trois sculpteurs argentins à Québec (Three Argentine Sculptors in Quebec), held at the Madeleine Lacerte gallery. The group also took part in the International Contest on Snow Sculpture in Milwaukee, U.S.A., and held an exhibition in the Lynd gallery in the same city. Back in Argentina, Gamarra took part in the First International Symposium of Contemporary Sculpture, organized in Taller Puertos in Río Gallegos, in the province of Santa Cruz.
The Konex Foundation awarded him the Diploma for Merit in Sculpture for the five year-period 1987-1991. With Fabriciano and Gómez Lollo, he won the Artists’ Jury first prize at the Concours International de Sculpture sur Neige du Festival Olympique des Arts(International Snow Sculpting Competition of the Olympic Arts Festival) in Valloire, France, and the second prize in the Concorso Internazionale di Scultura in Neve (International Snow Sculpting Competition) in San Candido, Italy. In Buenos Aires he held an individual exhibition at The Universe Diploserv at the same time as Ary Brizzy, and also took part in Esculturas en el jardín (Sculptures in the Garden) at the “Enrique Larreta” Spanish Art Museum in Buenos Aires. His sculpture Homenaje al productor (Homage to the producer) was placed in the Central Market in the city of Buenos Aires, where it can still be seen.
He received the second Sculpture prize in the 82nd National Painting and Sculpture Salon inaugurated at the Italian Society and the Ministry of Social Welfare in San Salvador de Jujuy. For his work Tensión asimétrica (Asymetric tension), carved out of soap, he was awarded first prize in the Llauró Soap Sculpture Prize exhibited at the Palais de Glace in Buenos Aires. He held an individual exhibition in the Zurbarán gallery and took part in Argentine Now, a collective exhibition presented at the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C., U.S.A.
He exhibited his work Desgarramiento (Detachment) in Esculturas en el jardín II at the “Enrique Larreta” Spanish Art Museum in Buenos Aires.
Gamarra was awarded the acquisition prize by the Subsecretariat of Culture of the Province at the 71st Annual Salon in Santa Fe, presented at the “Rosa Galisteo de Rodríguez” Provincial Fine Arts Museum.
He took part in the First International Steel Sculpture Competition organized in the Paseo de la Ciudad in the city of Culiacán, Sinaola, Mexico. The work entered, Inflexión (Inflection), is still on show in a public space in the city.
He gave an individual show at the Zurbarán gallery in Buenos Aires, and the exhibition Argentine Now, including four of his works, went on tour to the U.S. cities of Santa Monica, Dallas, Houston, Boston and Coral Gables.
As the guest of honor, Gamarra was invited to take part in the First Panamerican Stone Sculpture Triennial in the Municipal Art Museum “Juan Carlos Castagnino” in Mar del Plata. He also participated in the collective exhibitions Esculturas en el jardín IV at the “Enrique Larreta” Spanish Art Museum in Buenos Aires and in Telecom en el arte. Esculturas 1995 (Telecom in the arts. Sculptures 1995), in the Telecommunications Museum in Buenos Aires.
He was awarded the much-coveted Grand Acquisition Prize President of the Argentine Nation at the 85th National Visual Arts Salon, presented at the “Juan B. Castagnino” Municipal Fine Arts Museum in Rosario, in the province of Santa Fe. This is the highest accolade an artist may receive from the Argentine art world. He was invited to participate in the Hugo del Carril Salon for the prize awarded by Banco de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, held at the Modern Art Museum, and he also took part in the exhibition 102 Artistas plásticos con la ciencia (102 Visual artists with science) in the Atomic Center of the Members of the National Atomic Energy Commission. He presented a piece at the Esculturas en el jardín V (Sculptures in the Garden VI) exhibition, which was first held at the “Enrique Larreta” Spanish Art Museum in Buenos Aires and then taken to the Parque de las Naciones in Córdoba.
At international level, he took part in the exhibition Arte argentino de hoy (Argentine art of today) in the “Joaquin Torres García” Argentine Cultural Center in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, as well as in the First International Sculpture Symposium held in Valdivia, Chile. The work he contributed to the latter was later erected in one of the city’s public spaces.
He received the National Arts Foundation Prize in the Second International World Sculpture Competition held in 25 de Mayo square in Resistencia, in the province of Chaco, where only former prize winners in this competition were invited to participate. The winning work, Cincel (Chisel), is now part of the city’s cultural heritage.
In the First Meeting of Sculptors on the Beach, organized in Villa Gesell, in the province of Buenos Aires, he was awarded the first prize.
He took part in the collective exhibition Panorama de la escultura argentina contemporánea (Panorama of contemporary Argentine sculpture), held at the Borges Cultural Center, and in Esculturas en el jardín VI, at the “Enrique Larreta” Spanish Art Museum in Buenos Aires and in the Park of the Nations in Córdoba. His work Homenaje al trabajador (Homage to the laborer), from the same series as Cincel, can be seen in the Puerto Madero district in the city of Buenos Aires.
He won the acquisition prize given by the Government of the Province of Santa Fe at the 75th Annual Salon in Santa Fe, presented at the “Rosa Galisteo de Rodríguez” Provincial Fine Arts Museum in this city.
He took part in the “Henry Moore” Oncological Institute Awards. The works selected were first shown in the Institute’s central offices and subsequently at the National Fine Arts Museum.
He contributed works to the collective exhibitions 12 escultores (12 sculptors) in the General San Martín Municipal Exhibition Center and Vertientes contemporáneas de la escultura argentina (Contemporary movements of Argentine sculpture) at the “Eduardo Sívori” Museum.
He was invited to be present at the International Symposium of Contemporary Sculpture, held at Taller Puertos in Río Gallegos and was also invited to take part in the Osaka Triennale Sculpture 1998. 9th International Contemporary Art Competition in Mydome, Osaka. The Ministry of Foreign Relations acquired two of his works for its private collection, on show in its new office buildings on Esmeralda street.
He held two individual exhibitions, one in the ‘Luis Perlotti’ Sculpture Museum and the other in the Galería Rubbers. Together with Alberto Díaz, Lydia Galego, Raúl “Pájaro” Gómez and Rodolfo Nardo, he showed works at the Recoleta Cultural Center. He also participated in the exhibition Esculturas en el jardín VIII at the “Enrique Larreta” Spanish Art Museum in Buenos Aires. He was awarded the first prize by the Andreani Foundation at the 1er Simposio Internacional de Esculturas en Madera (First International Wood Sculptures Symposium) in San Martín de los Andes, in the province of Neuquén. The Pettoruti Foundation awarded Gamarra the Arlequín Prize for artist of the year.
Awarded the first acquisition prize in the 65th Manuel Belgrano Visual Arts Municipal Salon, held in the “Eduardo Sívori” Museum, he was also invited to exhibit works in the First International Biennial of Buenos Aires, held at the National Fine Arts Museum. He also took part in different collective exhibitions: Plástica por plásticos (Plastic visual arts by plastic visual artists) organized in the new Exhibition Grounds of Palermo; Esculturas en el Jardín IX at the “Enrique Larreta” Spanish Art Museum in Buenos Aires, and in the Sculpture Space at arteBA 2000. He took part in the Arte argentino contemporáneo (Contemporary Argentine Art) exhibition in the Modern Art Museum in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
He gave an individual exhibition in the School of Architecture, Design and Urban Planning of the University of Buenos Aires and took part in the collective exhibitions Esculturas en el jardín X at the “Enrique Larreta” Spanish Art Museum in Buenos Aires; Reconstrucción de la AMIA por escultores (Reconstruction of the AMIA by sculptors) at the Recoleta Cultural Center, ExpoJudaica at the Borges Cultural Center, and Mujeres que invitan a hombres (Women who invite men) at the Lagard gallery.
Gamarra participated in the International Word Carving Symposium in Dongyang, Zegyang, China, and in the Meeting held at the Cultural Center “El bodegón”, in Los Vilos, province of Choapa, in Chile. His works were included in the collective exhibition Imágenes y cultura del S. XX (Images and culture of the 20th century) in the National Fine Arts Museum of Neuquén.
He took part in the Second International Symposium of the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, and in the Third International Symposium of “Arte Espacio”, in Empresarial City in Chile. The sculpture he made on this occasion was subsequently exhibited in the city.
Gamarra held an individual exhibition in the Rubbers gallery.
He held an individual exhibition in the National Fine Arts Museum of sculptures made between 1966 and 2005 in wood and stone. He received the OSDE Foundation Sculpture Prize.
He took part in the exhibition Convivencia y desarme (Cohabitation and disarmament) in the Palais de Glace in Buenos Aires, presenting a work made of firearms which had been surrendered in the framework of a national disarmament program. The Salentein winery in Mendoza created the “Killka” Museum and included in its collection the sculpted mural Herramientas (Tools), which it exhibited in its main courtyard. The work Fósil II (Fossil II) was included in the National Fine Arts Museum permanent collection.
As part of the “Sculptors and Painters 2007” program, the company Danubio made sheets designed from the work Atolón (2004). These sheets were exhibited together with those designed from works by Hernán Dompé and Bastón Díaz at the Recoleta Cultural Center. Gamarra was invited to the Meeting of Sculptors “Mother of Cities” in Santiago del Estero and presented a sculpture called Línea discontinua III (Discontinued line III), which was included in the “Ramon Gómez Cornet” Provincial Fine Arts Museum permanent collection.
Gamarra has been active since the late 1960s as a member of national and municipal juries, as well as of the Federal Investment Council and corporate awards.
This year the artist took part in the International Wood Symposium in Cipolletti, Río Negro. The Argentine Government commit him to make an sculpture to be located in Quito, Equator. Made a monumental sculpture to Club de Campo “Aranzazu”, Garín, Buenos Aires Province. He took part in the exhibition Journey into the Italian Art. Farnesina Collection and Ministero or Foreign Affaires of Argentina, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. He bécame member of the Fine Arts Academy.