One of the few positive things that Trujillo’s regime did for his country was to open La Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (The National School of Fine Arts) in 1942 in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo . Trujillo invited important and talented Spanish artists like José Gausaches (painter), Jose Vela Zanetti (painter and muralist), Eugenio Fernández Granell, and Manolo Pascual to create works for the presidential palace and teach students. Their presence had an impact on the generations of artists in the mid-20th century, and they left their mark on many public buildings and churches.
From the 1960s to the 1970s, the Trujillo assassination, the short Bosch presidency, and the Civil War gave way to a decade of artists with political art in mind and brought about a movement combining poetry with painting. During this time, the poetry and paintings were equally as valuable, often being a part of (if not embedded in) the same piece. Some artists who came to the stage during that time were Ramón Oviedo and Cándido Bído, Elsa Núñez, and José Cestero. Many of their works depicted peasants, street people, and topics of everyday politics and alienation.
In the 1970s and 1980s there was an energetic rocking back and forth between neorealism and abstract. Expressionism, surrealism, sculptures that were also paintings, multimedia, installations, and performance art were all explored. Dominican artists living abroad came home to create during this decade. Some of these artists were: Alberto Bass (the first to produce photorealism in the Dominican Republic ), Dionisio Blanco, Joaquín Ciprián (metal sculptor), Jose García Cordero (gets his inspiration from dreams and relies on the viewer’s ability to respond to symbolic metaphor), Alonso Guadalupe, José Miura, Manuel Montilla, José Perdomo, Alberto Ulloa, and Fernando Ureña Rib.
From the 1990s to current day, many artists have been competing in regular biennial competitions and have highly individual styles. A few notable names are Belkis Ramírez, Tony Capellán (mixed media), José García Cordero, Martin Lopez, Marcos Lora Read, Jorge Pineda, Raul Recio, Freddy Rodríguez, Bismark Victoria, and Amaya Salazar.