Puerto Rican Artist Myrna Báez Passes Away


El Nuevo Día announced today the sad news of the death of Puerto Rican visual artist Myrna Báez, who won numerous awards throughout her career and whose work is included in many important collections.

The renowned painter, engraver and sculptor Myrna Báez died on Monday afternoon, due to a heart attack while convalescing at the Auxilio Mutuo Hospital due to a lung infection, the family reported in written communication. Báez, 87, suffered from several health conditions, which is why she had been receiving care at her residence.

The family reported that Báez will be cremated. In addition, they will soon offer details about the date and time of the wake, to take place at the Buxeda Funeral Home; a special religious service will be held in the chapel of the University of the Sacred Heart [Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, USC].

In the seventies, upon publication of her book Propuesta polémica sobre el arte en Puerto Rico [Controversial Proposal on Art in Puerto Rico], art critic Marta Traba said that Báez “is the most qualified person I know in Puerto Rico in the visual arts,” a conclusion she reached after knowing the artist’s work.

U.S. historian Edward Sullivan considered her one of the great masters of Latin American art. “We can say that she ushers in many of the most important trends and styles that have characterized Puerto Rican art throughout the second half of the 20th century and in the new millennium. Myrna Báez has also been a crucial figure in the dissemination of knowledge about the visual arts in her country, and one of the key elements in the promotion of artistic education in Puerto Rico. As a committed feminist, Báez has also been responsible for promoting the careers of many of the most important young Puerto Rican artists through her affiliation with the Association of Women Artists,” Sullivan said.

His most recent and most complete retrospective was “Una artista ante su espejo” [An artist before her mirror,” which, in 2001-2002, was curated by art critic and curator Margarita Fernández Zavala.

In the framework of that exhibition, which produced a monographic book great value, Fernández Zavala points out that “the kind of style that best defines her is the portrait. First, she has portrayed her family and close friends, with the conviction that they are people from her city and that she is also part of that urban landscape, of Puerto Rican contemporaneity. Then, for four decades, she portrayed the landscape, has rendered the city and the countryside as iconic, both vacant and inhabited. She used the landscape to produce the most important prints of her generation, with which she became known as on the greatest of our visual traditions.”

Báez won innumerable awards throughout her career, multiple retrospective exhibitions have been held—as well as special exhibitions in her honor—and her work is included in the important private collections and the most prestigious international museums, in Latin America, Europe and the United States.

[Translated from the Spanish original by Ivette Romero. Source: https://www.elnuevodia.com/entretenimiento/cultura/nota/fallecelaartistamyrnabaez-2449193/]

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