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Ricardo Pau-Llosa

(b Matanzas, April 10, 1927).

Cuban sculptor, active in France. He studied under Juan José Sicre, and at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes ‘San Alejandro’ in Havana (1943–9). He settled in Paris in 1955 and became involved with the Surrealists. He also started to consider his African heritage and to incorporate Dogon totems in his work (e.g. Sanedrac, 1957; bronze cast, 1974; see exh. cat., p. 5). Brancusi and Arp were significant influences, and affinities can also be traced between Cárdenas’s use of line to evoke magical transformations and the works of two other Cubans based in Paris, Wifredo Lam and Jorge Camacho. Working in marble, bronze and stone, he often used familiar images such as birds, flowers or the female nude as the bases for his lyrical abstractions (e.g. Engraved Torso, marble, 1976; see exh. cat., p. 22). The combination of these images of life with patterns suggesting infinite repetition became a central element in his work and constitute a synthesis of abstraction and reference. He undertook monumental commissions in France, Israel, Austria, Japan and Canada, and his works are housed in collections worldwide, including the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas, the Musée d’Ixelles, Bruxelles, and the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, St Etienne, France....

Article

Jorge Alberto Manrique

(b Clayten Green, nr Chorley, Lancashire, April 6, 1917; d Mexico City, May 25, 2011).

Mexican painter, sculptor and writer of English birth. In 1936 she travelled to London, where she studied under Amédée Ozenfant and in 1937 met Max(imilian) Ernst, with whom she became involved artistically and romantically, leading to her association with Surrealism. They moved to Paris together in 1937. At the outbreak of World War II, Ernst was interned as an enemy alien, and Carrington escaped to Spain, where she was admitted to a private clinic after having a nervous breakdown; she later recounted the experience in her book En bas (1943). After marrying the Mexican poet Renato Leduc in 1941 (a marriage of convenience), she spent time in New York before settling in Mexico in 1942, devoting herself to painting. There she and Remedios Varo developed an illusionistic Surrealism combining autobiographical and occult symbolism. Having divorced Leduc in 1942, in 1946 she married the Hungarian photographer Imre Weisz.

Carrington remained committed to Surrealism throughout her career, filling her pictures with strange or fantastic creatures in surprising situations, notably horses, which appear in ...

Article

Ronald Alley

(b Sagua la Grande, Dec 8, 1902; d Paris, Sept 11, 1982).

Cuban painter, draughtsman, and sculptor. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic but was also introduced at an early age to African superstitions and witchcraft. In 1916 he moved to Havana, where he began to make studies of the tropical plants in the Botanical Gardens while studying law at the insistence of his family. He studied painting at the Escuela de Bellas Artes from 1918 to 1923 but disliked the academic teaching and preferred to paint out of doors, in the streets. He left for Spain in autumn 1923, remaining there until 1938. In the mornings he attended the studio of the reactionary painter Fernando Alvarez de Sotomayor, curator of the Prado, who was also the teacher of Salvador Dalí, but in the evenings he worked in the studio where the young non-conformist painters gathered. He was fascinated by the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel I in the Prado and by the Museo Arqueológico Nacional; it was during this period that he also became aware of the work of Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin. His early pictures were in the modern Spanish realist tradition (e.g. ...

Article

Ana Tapias

(b Valencia, Carabobo, Aug 4, 1926; d Caracas, April 22, 2014).

Venezuelan painter, ceramicist and sculptor. He started painting around 1942. His work was initially abstract but it became figurative with surrealistic elements, as in The Tetragramist (1943) and Composition (1943–4; both artist’s col.). He attended the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas in Caracas irregularly from 1948 to 1951. In 1949 he joined the Taller Libre de Arte, an avant-garde group active between 1948 and 1952, which sought to explore Venezuelan historical and cultural roots. His interest in Pre-Columbian Venezuelan cultures influenced his subsequent work. From 1952 to 1964 he lived in Paris, where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and frequented the studio of Marcel Joudon. Later Vigas produced both pottery and sculpture, in addition to paintings.

G. Diehl: Oswaldo Vigas (Caracas, 1990)Vigas Oswaldo (exh. cat., Caracas, Grupo Li Cent. A., 1997)

Venezuela, §IV, 3: Painting, graphic arts and sculpture, after c 1900...