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W. Iain Mackay

revised by Veronica Sesana Grajales

(b Barranco, Lima, Jul 5, 1925; d Lima, Oct 9, 2017).

Peruvian painter and teacher. He was born to a Polish father and a Peruvian mother. He studied architecture before transferring in 1944 to the Escuela de Artes Plásticas at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima, where he was taught by Adolf Winternitz (1906–1993), under whom he developed a vigorous and poetic abstract style. During this time he developed a style that combined international abstraction with Pre-Columbian themes. In 1947 he participated in his first solo exhibition at the Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano (ICPNA) where he exhibited a total of twenty-six largely cubist works and established the magazine Las Moradas with poet Emilio Adolfo Westphalem (1911–2001). The following year he moved to Paris, where he met André Breton and fellow Latin American artists Jesús Rafael Soto and Alejandro Obregón and poet Octavio Paz (1914–1998), among others, and engaged in discussions about the rise of international modern movements in Latin America alongside the desire to maintain a specific cultural identity. By the mid-1950s he had gained global recognition through his inclusion in numerous exhibitions ranging from Latin America to the United States and Europe such as the Salon de Mai (Paris, 1951); ...