Artist Emilio Sanchez (1921-1999) was born in the rural countryside of Camagüey, Cuba. He left his native country in 1932 to study in America, whose citizenship he would adopt in 1968. Inspired by mid-century New York realists, Sanchez was drawn to landscapes, both urban and rural, as well as genre scenes.
Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Sanchez established himself as one of the premier painters of daily life in the Caribbean, including his native Cuba. After the Cuban Revolution, Sanchez shifted his focus to other islands in the Caribbean as well as countries in Latin America and even Morocco. Through it all, New York—where he had permanently settled in 1952—remained a constant source of inspiration for him.
Emilio Sanchez in South Florida Collections brings together stellar examples of this under-appreciated artist’s remarkable oeuvre, which have never before been shown together. Collectively they represent nearly six decades of the artist’s professional career and shed new light on this enormously prolific Cuban-American artist, whose work was last highlighted in a monographic show in Miami more than a decade ago.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether you go or not, Hard Light: The Work of Emilio Sanchez, published in 2011, collects Sanchez's acclaimed paintings, watercolors, and drawings, which are celebrated for their architectural forms, brilliant palettes, hard lines, and striking use of light and shadow. Sanchez's paintings reflect a dialogue with North American post War abstraction, as well as Latin American geometric abstraction. In addition to Cuban street scenes, Sanchez painted the architecture of New York, the Caribbean and North Africa, still lifes, and land- and seascapes. Offering diverse perspectives on this multifaceted painter, three compelling essays discuss Sanchez's work--from its relevance to aspects of modernism in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the U.S., to a glimpse into his private world and art through the lens of queer theory and aesthetics. This prismatic presentation gives readers a fresh look at this unique artist's vision while firmly positioning Sanchez within the discourse on twentieth-century art history.
This much anticipated and beautifully compiled monograph is the first to bring to light the prolific career and life of Emilio Sanchez, an imaginative and spirited twentieth-century Cuban American artist. Although barely acknowledged in his native country in the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution, Emilio Sanchez dedicated much of his career to recreating the effects of Cuba's sunsoaked colors onto canvas in his New York City studios.