Jose Maria Mijares

José María Mijares. Painter, engraver and draftsman, he is considered one of the most important plastic artists of his generation. José María Mijares Fernández was born in Havana on June 23, 1921. He studied at the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts from 1936 to 1942. A year later one of his works was included in the First Anti-Fascist Salon along with the painting La Silla by Wifredo Lam and other painters. Mijares exhibited his first personal exhibition at the Hubert de Blanck National Conservatory, in Havana, and was part of the Modern Cuban Painters exhibition, which was hosted by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His drawings illustrated Orígenes Magazine.
His main influences were Fidelio Ponce de León and Leopoldo Romañach Guillén, in addition to the painters Carlos Enríquez and René Portocarrero who also influenced his work. During the year 1958 and until 1961 he was a member of the group Ten Concrete Painters of Havana. As a member of the group he began to experiment from a formal point of view, which is why he is considered a pioneer of geometric abstraction in Latin America. His work covered many genres and techniques, but screen printing was always a constant in his work. Between 1968 and 1973 he was a member of Grupo Gala in Miami and in 1970 he was the Art Director of Alacrán Azul Magazine in Miami.
In 1959 and until 1960 he served as a professor at the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts. In 1965 he exhibited for the last time in Cuba at the Lyceum Lawn & Tennis Club. Since 1968 Mijares lived in Miami, there he returned to figurative painting and the constant use of the color blue.
In 1979 and 1971, the artist won the Cintas Scholarship, and in 1978, his paintings were exhibited at the Museum of Latin American Art of the Organization of American States in Washington. His work is part of the collections of the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Lowe Art Museum, the Marpad Art Gallery, the Museum of Modern Latin American Art in Washington and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. At 82 years old, Mijares died on March 30, 2004 in Miami, Florida.

Mijares obtained several awards and distinctions:
• Second prize in the III National Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Hall of the Lost Steps, National Capitol of Cuba.
• National Painting Award at the IV National Hall of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving of the Asturian Center of Havana in 1950 for his oil painting Life in an Interior.
• Mention in the Pittsburgh International Exhibition at the Carnegie Institute in
• In 1956 Mention in the VIII National Hall of Painting and Sculpture, Havana.
• In December 2001, he received the title of Honorary Doctor of Arts from Florida International University.


He held many in Cuba and abroad: his first personal exhibition took place at the Hubert de Blanck National Conservatory, in Havana. Later, in 1947, he presented the exhibition Mijares at the Lyceum. He participated in various group exhibitions such as the XXIV
Salon of Fine Arts in February 1942, at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Havana. In 1952 he was part of the guests at the XXVI Venice Biennale. In 1968 he was a member of Four Generations of Cuban Painters 1895-1940, at the Koubeck Memorial Center at the University of Miami. Among his exhibitions, in 1996, Mijares en grande stands out, at the Alfredo Martínez Gallery in Coral Gables, Miami.

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