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ARTIST

JOSE MIJARES

 

 

BIOGRAPHY

Jose Maria Mijares (1921-2004)

Havana, Cuba

Listed Master artist Jose Maria Mijares Fernandez began his artistic studies in 1936 at the (San Alejandro National School of Fine Art) in Havana, Cuba, is the oldest, and most prestigious fine arts school in Cuba. It is located in Marianao, a suburb of Havana. It was founded in 1818 at the Convent of San Alejandro by the French artist and painter Jean Baptist Vermay, who was its first director. It is located today in a monumental building built in the early 1940s. 

 

At the San Alejandro National School of Fine Art, Mijares professors included: artist Romanach, Menocal, Valderrama, Ramon Loy and Caravia, among others. Jose Mijares credits one of his most influential professors, artist Ponce with helping him develop his own style of expression. Jose Mijares left Cuba but Cuba never left Mijares. "In my subconscious there is an inner landscape that is Cuba. Since I was exiled at an older age that landscape cannot be erased." Mijares stated in an interview in 2001 "Indeed, the images of my native country, blossomed frequently, on my canvases".

 

Jose Mijares is world renowned for his mastery of oil painting and his pioneering exploration of geometric abstraction in Cuban art of the 1950's; which let to his neo-baroque compositions developed during his exile period out of Cuba. Mijares influential career placed him in the group of Master artist like Carlos Enríquez, René Portocarrero and Cundo Bermúdez.

BACKGROUND

His first major showing was in 1944, at a national exhibition in Havana's Capital building. There, he won second prize with a painting titled La Alameda, English translation: The Boulevard. His style at the time was figurative but in the 1950's changed to his signature style, which he referenced as "concrete forms." The arts scene during the 50's was grim, he recalled in an interview, "There were no galleries, they all went broke. The only places where one could exhibit were the Fine Arts Circle and the Lyceum Lawn Tennis Club."
Despite these hindrances, Mijares continued to procure a reputation that would lead to world-wide recognition.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

 

Jose Maria Mijares Fernandez taught for 2 years in San Alejandro after his win at the national exhibition. He resigned when Fidel Castro came to power and ultimately left Cuba in 1968, establishing himself in Miami, Florida. His geometric style then changed in its new surroundings. "I went back to figurative painting: people and landscapes." he's stated. A prolific painter, even during his waning years, Jose Maria Mijares Fernandez worked six hours a day beginning at sunrise daily. He resided in Miami since 1968, until his death in 2004. 

 

Jose Maria Mijares Fernandez is listed artist in the renown published book of influential Cuban artist "Memoria Cuban Art of The 20th Century" (2001). Located in the Library of Congress # 2001135668 (Washington, D.C.) 

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY

1958-1961

Member, Grupo Diez Pintores Concretos, Havana, CUBA                                 

1959‑1960

Professor, Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro, Havana, CUBA.   

1968‑1973

Member, Grupo Gala, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.                                                              

1970

Art Director, Magazine Alacrán Azul, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

 

SOLO EXHIBITS

1944

Conservatorio Nacional Hubert de Blanck, Havana, CUBA.

1947

Mijares [August 8‑14]. Lyceum, Havana, CUBA.*

1952

Mijares [June 4‑24]. Asociación de Reporteros, Havana, CUBA.*

1965

Mijares [June 22‑?]. Lyceum, Havana, CUBA.*

1979

Palimpsestos de las tintas [September]. Galería Durban, Caracas, Venezuela/Meeting Point Art Center, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.

1980

Mirajes de Mijares. Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.

1984

Mijares [September 14‑30]. Edificio de los Arquitectos Bellón Pérez y Pérez, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.

1987

Mijares. Exposición retrospectiva. Asociación de Médicos (P.A.C.H.A.), Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

1989

Recordando el grito de Yara. Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

1992

El mundo de José Mijares. Marpad Art Gallery, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.*

1994

Celebrando a Mijares. 50 Años de creación [April 29‑July 24]. Museo Cubano de Arte y Cultura, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

1996

Mijares en grande [September 6-October 1]. Alfredo Martínez Gallery, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.

2017

Cernuda Arte, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A. 

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITS

1942

XXIV Salón de Bellas Artes [February]. Círculo de Bellas Artes, Havana, CUBA.

1943

III Exposición Municipal de Pintura y Escultura [December 29/1943‑January 20/1944]. Palacio Municipal, Havana, CUBA.*

1945

XXVII Salón de Bellas Artes [February‑March]. Círculo de Bellas Artes, Havana, CUBA.*

1946

III Exposición Nacional de Pintura y Escultura [March 2‑17]. Salón de los Pasos Perdidos, Capitolio Nacional, Havana, CUBA.*

1948

Pintura y escultura [May 24-June 2]. Lyceum, Havana, CUBA.

1949

Exposición de pintura de artistas contemporáneos [March 23‑29]. Palacio Municipal, Havana, CUBA.*

1949

Exposición de cuadros de pintores cubanos [May 20-?]. Salones del Ateneo de Cienfuegos, Cienfuegos, CUBA.*

1950

An Exhibition of Cuban Paintings [January 28‑February 2]. The Woman’s Club of Havana, Havana, CUBA.*

1950

Exposición de pintura de artistas cubanos contemporáneos [March 23‑29]. Asociación de la Prensa, Havana, CUBA.*

1950

IV Exposición Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado [July 4‑20]. Centro Asturiano, Havana, CUBA.*

1950

24 Artistas Cubanos ante la UNESCO [December 10‑23]. Lyceum, Havana, CUBA.*

1950

Galería de Artes Plásticas. Inauguración [December 12-?]. Sociedad Nuestro Tiempo, Havana, CUBA.*

1951

Art Cubain Contemporain [February 28‑March]. Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, FRANCE.*

1951

Exposición de dibujos [May 8‑31]. [Plastic Arts Gallery], Nuestro Tiempo, Havana, CUBA.*

1951

V Salón Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado [July‑August]. Centro Asturiano de Havana, Havana, CUBA.*

1952

XXVI Biennale di Venezia [June 14-October 19]. Venice, ITALY.*

1952

[Cuban Painting. Héctor de Ayala Collection]. Deauville, FRANCE.

1953

VI Salón Nacional de Pintura y Escultura [January 10‑25]. Salones del Capitolio Nacional, Havana, CUBA.*

1953

Pintura, escultura, cerámica [July 18‑August 2]. Retiro Odontológico, Havana, CUBA.*

1953

II Bienal do Museu de Arte Moderna de Sâo Paulo [December 8/1953-February/1954]. Parque Ibirapuera, Sâo Paulo, BRAZIL.*

1954

Plástica cubana contemporánea. Homenaje a José Martí [January 28‑February 14]. Lyceum, Havana, CUBA.*

1954

Primer Festival Universitario de Arte [May 20-June 4]. Universidad de La Habana, Havana, CUBA.

1955

II Festival Universitario de Arte. Exposición plástica cubana contemporánea [July 7‑23]. Escuela de Derecho, Universidad de La Habana, Havana, CUBA.*

1955

Sala Permanente de Artes Plásticas en Cuba [July 22-?]. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, CUBA.*

1956

Exposición Homenaje en Memoria de Guy Pérez de Cisneros [January 12‑29]. Lyceum, Havana, CUBA.*

1956

El paisaje en la pintura moderna cubana [July 27‑August 14]. Lyceum, Havana, CUBA.*

1956

Recent Paintings from Cuba [October 5-25]. Roland de Aenlle Gallery, New York, U.S.A.*

1956

VIII Salón Nacional de Pintura y Escultura [November 28‑December 28]. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, CUBA.*

1957

IV Bienal do Museu de Arte Moderna de Sâo Paulo [September-December]. Parque Ibirapuera, Sâo Paulo, BRAZIL.

1957

Exposición inaugural. Pintura y escultura cubana [October 31-?]. Galería de Arte Color-Luz, Havana, CUBA.*

1958

Exposición Aniversario. Pintura y Escultura 1958 [December 12/1958‑ January 12/1959]. Galería de Arte Color-Luz, Havana, CUBA.*

1959

Exposición pintura contemporánea cubana [September 12‑22]. Universidad de Santo Tomás de Villanueva, Havana, CUBA.*

1959

5a. Bienal de Sâo Paulo [September-December]. Parque Ibirapuera, Sâo Paulo, BRAZIL.

1959

Salón Anual 1959. Pintura, escultura y grabado [October 10‑November 10]. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, CUBA.*

1960

Pintura contemporánea cubana (See chapter “The Exhibitions,” No.511).

1961

Exposición de pintura, grabado y cerámica. Primer Congreso de Escritores y Artistas Cubanos [August 18‑22]. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, CUBA.*

1961

“A”/Pintura Concreta [August 18-22]. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, CUBA.

1961

VI Bienal de Sâo Paulo Museu de Arte Moderna [September-December]. Parque Ibirapuera, Sâo Paulo, BRAZIL.

1962

Primera Exposición de Obras de Arte Recuperadas, Pinturas, Dibujos y Grabados [December 12/1962‑January 13/1963]. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, CUBA.*

1963

1913‑1963 Cincuentenario del Museo Nacional [February 23-May 7]. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, CUBA.*

1968

Cuatro generaciones de pintores cubanos 1895‑1940. Koubeck Memorial Center, University of Miami, Division of Continuing Education, Cuban Culture Program, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.

1968/1970

Grupo Gala. Bacardi Art Gallery, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

1971

Grupo Gala. Gloria Luria Gallery, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

1973

4th Annual Exhibition GALA. Grupo de artistas latinoamericanos [April 30‑May 18]. Bacardi Art Gallery, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1976

Retrospectiva de pintura cubana. Reencuentro cubano [June 25‑30]. Centro Comunitario de la Pequeña Habana, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1977

Reencuentro Cubano 1977 [June]. Museo Cubano de Arte y Cultura, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1978

Contemporary Latin American Art: The Esso Collection of the Lowe Art Museum and Latin American Artists of the Southeastern U.S. [September 14-October 8]. Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.*

1978

Hispanic‑American Artists of the United States: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Uruguay [November 7‑December 7]. Museum of Modern Art of Latin America, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.*

1979

The Cuban Exhibition [March 9-May 11]. De Armas Gallery, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1979

Opening Exhibition [March 23‑April 20]. Meeting Point Art Center, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.*

1979

Gala 79 [December]. Galería Bacardi, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1980

Art Sale & Auction [August 11‑16]. Bacardí Art Gallery, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1981

he Figure in Latin American Art [January 22‑March 1]. The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.A.*

1983

2nd Latin American Exhibition [April 29‑?]. De Armas Gallery, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1983

Latin American Selections [May 2‑?]. Bacardí Art Gallery, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1983

Cuba y su semblante [July 1‑August 15]. Museo Cubano de Arte y Cultura, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1985

Arte hispanoamericano de hoy. Galería de Armas, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1985

Le Petit Format [December 20/1985‑January 20/1986]. Siler Art Gallery, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1987-1989

Outside Cuba/Fuera de Cuba (See chapter “The Exhibitions,” No.545).

1987

Latin American Treasures from Miami’s Private Collections [October 8-November 8]. Center for the Fine Arts, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

1988

Twentieth Century Cuban Art from the Collection of Ramón Cernuda and Nercys Ganem [February 5‑March 30]. Interamerican Art Gallery, Interamerican Center, Mitchell Wolfson New World Center Campus, Miami‑Dade Community College, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1989

Cintas Fellows Revisited: A Decade After [October 1/1988-January 15]. Main Library, Metro Dade Cultural Center, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.*

1990

Leading Hispanic Artists of South Florida [?-October 25]. Northwood Institute, West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

1991

Cuban Masters [June 1‑10]. Ana Shlar Gallery, Bay Harbor, Florida, U.S.A.

1991

Yesterday and Today. Latin American Art [August 23-?]. Marpad Art Gallery, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.

1994

Cuban Artists: Expressions in Graphics [March 3-5]. Jadite Galleries, New York, U.S.A.*

1994

Orígenes. Revista de Arte y Literatura... las flechas de su propia estela [June]. Galería Latinoamericana, Casa de las Américas, Havana, CUBA.

2017

Cuba Nostalgia, Plaza de los Artistas, Miami, Florida U.S.A  

2017

La Galeria Fine Art, Miami, Florida, U.S.A. 

2018

Miami Lakes Town Hall, Miami Lakes, Florida, U.S.A. 

2018

La Galeria Fine Art, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

2019

La Galeria Fine Art, Miami, Florida, U.S.A. 

2023

La Galeria Fine Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A.

 

AWARDS

1946

2nd Prize. III Exposición Nacional de Pintura y Escultura, Salón de los Pasos Perdidos. Capitolio Nacional, Havana, CUBA.

1950

National Prize in Painting. IV Exposición Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado, Centro Asturiano, Havana, CUBA.

1951

2nd National Prize in Painting. V Salón Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado, Centro Asturiano, Havana, CUBA.

1953

Stimulation Award. VI Salón Nacional de Pintura y Escultura, Salones del Capitolio Nacional, Havana, CUBA.

1954

Honorable Mention. Pittsburgh International Exhibition, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

1956

Honorable Mention. VIII Salón Nacional de Pintura y Escultura, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, CUBA.

1970/1971

Cintas Foundation Fellowship, New York, U.S.A.

2001

Florida International University awarded him an honorary doctorate in fine arts.

 

PRINCIPAL COLLECTIONS

Cintas Foundation, New York, U.S.A.

Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.

Marpad Art Gallery, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.

Miami‑Dade Public Library System, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, CUBA.

Museum of Modern Art, New York, U.S.A.

Museum of Modern Art of Latin America, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

 

MAIN PUBLIC WORK

 

1960

Mural, Teatro del Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, CUBA

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