- Myrtille Rambion

The famous Spanish painter created the Roland Garros poster in 1981.

©Eduardo Arroyo/Galerie Lelong-FFT

Eduardo Arroyo passed away on Sunday 14th October, at the age of 81. The Spanish painter, who was born in Madrid in 1937 and was a key figure in the figurative art movement, created the Roland Garros poster in 1981.

His poster went down in history: it depicts the back of a tennis player’s head, clearly inspired by Björn Borg, whose famous headband and blonde hair are easily recognisable by all.

Having fled to Paris at the end of the 1950s to escape Franco’s regime, Eduardo Arroyo first dreamt of becoming a journalist then a writer, but his desire to paint quickly eclipsed everything else. His early work was greatly influenced by Modigliani, but throughout his life his artwork was socially-engaged and infused with the love-hate relationship he maintained with his native country.

Study for a Roland-Garros poster. ©Eduardo Arroyo/Galerie Lelong-FFT

He often painted political subjects, sometimes suffused with derision. His canvases, characterised by blocks of bright colour, bear the signs of his careful consideration of how image is represented. “I’ve never believed in messages,” he said. “Rather the exemplary nature of the piece and the painter.”

In 1982, Eduardo Arroyo also created the poster for the Davis Cup final between France and the United States, in which he depicted the famous silver trophy.