Artist (Visual Artist)
Born in Quito, Ecuador, 1958
In 1974 he initiated art classes with Ecuadorian artists Oswaldo Moreno. In 1976 and 1977 he attended an artistic workshop in the Milwaukee Art Museum, USA. Upon his return, he enrolled in the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE) to study Pedagogy and Literature until 1982, while continuing to develop his artistic career. In 1988 he was invited by the State Department of the United States to a cultural tour. In the same year, he received a scholarship from the British Council for a graduate degree at the Slade School of Fine Art (University College of London), where he befriended artist John Hoyland. In 1992 he held a traveling exhibition through Europe.
Among the various cultural representations of Ecuador, his participation in the XLV Venice Biennale in 1993 was one of his major highlights. In the last decade, he was part of various individual and collective exhibitions around the world. In 2000, he exhibited a show at the Museum of Canberra, Australia. Between 2001 and 2003 Betancourt organized a traveling exhibition around Central America. In 2004 he was part of the show Visual Tendencies of Contemporary Ecuador in the CAF, Caracas; and, in 2007 he was invited as a guest of honor to the V International Biennial SIART in La Paz. In 2009 he participated in an Argentinian cultural event called The Museum Night that was sponsored by the Government of Buenos Aires. At the beginning of 2011, Betancourt participated in the Exhibition of Latin American and Caribbean Artists in the Tokyo City Hall, organized by the embassies of the Americas. In July of 2012, he was part of the collective exhibition Ecuador Beyond Concepts at the gallery of the Cervantes Institute in Rome. In September 2013, the Gallery Bandi-Trazos invited him to be part of the Latin-American Pavilion in the International Art Fair, in the Beijing Exhibition Center. In 2014, he participated in Ecuador in Focus (3 Ecuadorian artists), at the OFID headquarters in Vienna, and later in 2015, he was selected to participate in the VI Beijing International Art Biennial. In 2016 he participated in ARTE15 as part of the artistic events to celebrate the conference Habitat III which took place in Quito. Since 2017 his itinerant one-man show has been presented in various cities in Asia: Beijing, Nanjing, Seoul and Tokyo. Finally, since 2008 his artwork has been part of a traveling group show, Imago Mundi, sponsored by the Benetton Foundation and shown in several countries around the world.
Betancourt has received recognition, including the Pollock-Krasner Award in 1993 conferred by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York. Additionally, two of his paintings are part of the United Nations art collections in Vienna and Geneva (UNIDO and UNAIDS, respectively). Additionally, his artwork can be found in private collections like: Inter-American Development Bank (Tokio), Diners Club del Ecuador, Istituto Italo-Latino Americano (Rome), Art Museum of the Americas, OEA (Washington D.C.), OFID (the OPEC Fund for International Development), Viena, or Slade School of Fine Art (London). Founding member of the Art Résilience movement, Bateau-Lavoir, Paris, 2014.
His work can be found in publications such as: Ecuador: Light of Time, Contemporary Artists from Ecuador, Imago Mundi, Antiga Edizioni (Treviso, 2017); The Passing of Dreams, poetry and paintings, Editorial del Trauco, Quito 2016; Translucent Imagery, Editorial Casa de la Cultura (Quito, 2014); The Public Catalogue Foundation: Oil Paintings in Public Ownwership, UCL (London, 2005); Nuevos Cien Artistas, World Diners (Quito, 2001); 200 Años de pintura quiteña, Citymarket (Quito, 2007), and Betancourt, Paradiso Editores (Quito, 1996). Recently, articles about Betancourt´s work have appeared in magazines such as Americas (OAS, Washington DC), Gatopardo (Mexico), Infinite Ecuador (Quito) and Dolce Vita (Quito), among others.