Gina Pellón

 

Gina Pellón (b. Cumanayagua, Cuba, 1926 – d. Paris, 2014). At the beginning, she attended the San Alejandro Academy in Havana, Cuba where she received a solid-six-year formative training which later on helped her become a knowledgeable and confident artist. Her resolute spirit to stay on the pulse and a no-fear personality takes her to France. Reborn in 1959 (the definitive year when Gina left the island with another group of Cuban artists and arrived in Paris), she immediately fell in love with the city and decided to stay permanently. Paris offered the young artist, a vibrant atmosphere, a bountiful cultural life and a different group of friends. From this moment on, and despite the obvious difficulties of adaptation while living in exile, she worked hard and pursued her long-standing desire to become a professional artist.  She expanded her horizons, mingled with personalities such as Breton, Matta, Lam, Asger Jorn, and learned about the popular art movements of the times. Throughout her career, she received several awards such as, the Medal of the City of Cholet (France, 1961), Order of Arts and Letters (France, 1978), and the Cintas Foundation Fellowship (New York, 1978), among others. Her work has been exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions at galleries and museums in Venice, Miami, Silkeborg (Denmark), Paris, Copenhagen, Nantes, Amsterdam, Toulouse, Trodheim (Norway), Caracas, and Lausanne (Switzerland), among other cities. 

 

“Although color is the major protagonist in this artist’s work, we must not forget the presence of her characters: fairies, dolls, butterflies, birds ... always winged characters in search of transparency, as Juan Ramon Jimenez requested in his best poems in Background Animal. Gina Pellon’s encounter with the group Cobra, as well as with the lyrical rapture of Chagall or the magic of Aloyse, was the catalyst for work that was already acquiring a maturity of expression shaped in Havana. Paris was, however, the decisive encounter as for so many other artists. Matta, for example, provided her with dynamic color within space, while the Cobra artists granted spontaneity and boldness, constant elements in her work. Armed with an extensive and intense gamut of color, the world of Gina Pellon bursts into light, conveying a strange message for our times: the joy of being.”

 

Fragment retrieved from the essay “10 Cuban Artists in Paris” by Carlos M. Luis.

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