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Pedro de Oraá


Pedro de Oraá (b. in Havana, Cuba, 1931) He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts “San Alejandro”. During the 1950s, when he worked in abstraction, he published El Instante Cernido (Sifting Instantly, 1952–53), his first book of poems. After de Oraá met Loló Soldevilla (1901–1971), they traveled to Venezuela for his first solo exhibition at Galería-Librería Sardio, Caracas (1957). That same year, the couple founded Galería de Arte Color-Luz in Havana, which became a meeting place for Diez Pintores Concretos (Ten Concrete Painters), a group of artists working in geometric abstraction (1958–61). De Oraá became the group’s archivist and documented the Cuban local art scene. He represented Cuba in various exhibitions abroad, and from 1961 onward played a vital role in national cultural organizations, including the National Union of Writers and Artists (Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba) and the National Council of Culture (Consejo Nacional de Cultura). From 1964 travels in Eastern Europe and is related to independent artists from the countries that comprise it. Oraá is well known for being one of the most prominent Cuban artist of experimental and abstract practice in 60’s and 70’s. He received the National Designer Award from the Cuban Book Institute (2011) and the Cuban National Visual Arts Award (2015).


“Pedro de Oraá early work seems to be seconded by the biomorphic abstraction where flowing forms cohabit in the vast pictorial space. Gradually, these sort of organic entities evolve, growing in size and structure, covering the canvas and the relationship between them becomes more cohesive. In his most recent paintings, de Oraá constricts the palette being almost monochrome. Focused on the black and white, the artist explores the different shades of each color in a kaleidoscopic vision where the geometric structure seems to be dynamited. This futuristic feature is directly associated with the artist’s interest on dynamic, evolution and velocity. In the midst of these always evolving faceted landscapes, the sphere -airy and spotless- embodies the cosmic time: the universe..”


Fragment retrieved from the essay written for the exhibition “Across Time” by Janet Batet.

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