Two masterpieces by Rafael Soriano given to the Smithsonian Museum

This summer, two masterpieces by Cuban master Rafael Soriano were given to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s permanent collection. The two works, Un Lugar Distante (1972) and Candor de la Alborada (1994) represent important moments in Soriano’s artistic production. The generous donor, Milagros Soriano, explained that “Rafael Soriano has been called one of the major Latin American artists of his generation, and one of the premier painters of Cuba. So it was fitting that his artwork be represented at our country’s leading art institution.”

Soriano’s art has evolved over the years. He developed rectilinear and angular compositions endowed with strong colours and flat forms giving then life to organic forms, their colours becoming simultaneously deep and diaphanous. Soriano transforms abstraction into a visual space where shapes express metaphysical and spiritual concerns different to those of his American colleagues Mark Rothko and William Baziotes. The two given works represent the perfect example of the shifts Soriano experienced during his career.

Rafael Soriano was born in Matanzas, Cuba, in 1920. He left the island with his wife and daughter in 1962 to settle in Florida. He has displayed a lot in the United States and his works are present in numerous museums.

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