Emilio Sanchez

Summer House

Emilio Sanchez. It is many years now since Emilio Sanchez came to the United States, bringing in his baggage an ample reserve of the brilliant sunshine and tropical splendor of his native island. His painting in Cuba had been in the po pular vein: there were pictures of fish and fruit vendors and dancing mulattos, consciously picturesque landscapes and carnival scenes. With the passage of time this calendar art was left behind, as Sanchez turned from superficial story-telling to the pur suit of purely plastic values. Detail was simplified reduced, or excised as the artist strove to bring out the essential elements of his subject. The result we see today is an austere but vibrant vision of quiet reality. In their serene simplicity the a rt deco facades Sanchez paints by predilection take on an air of grandeur and eternity. The contrasting verticals and horizontals of doors and windows impart movement to the composition without detracting from its monumental effect. The light hues of buil dings are brilliantly offset by deep blue skies. Here we are far from the atmospheric subtleties of the Impressionists, which seem as if they might vanish away before our very eyes. Sanchez strives to capture, not the fleeting moment, but eternity, and to preserve it forever, as if beneath a bell glass.

Sanchez was born in 1921 in the city of Camaguey, and it was there that he received his public schooling. In the late 1930's he traveled to New York to study painting and printmaking at the Art Students League. An institution of which he had heard much in Cuba. He then decided to settle in Manhattan, and eventually he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Finding the atmosphere of Cuba unbearable since the coming of the Castro regime, he has made no trips to the island since 1960.

S anchez has had only two exhibits in Cuba-one-man shows held in 1956 and 1959 at the Havana Lyceum. He has never taken part in collective exhibitions in the land of his birth. His first appearance elsewhere in Latin America was a one-man show at t he Ateneo Gallery in Mexico City in 1951. He has made four individual appearances in the Colombian cities of Bogota and Cali and one at the Museum of Fine Arts in Caracas. He made his European debut at the Bernheim Jeune Gallery in Paris in 1953. In 1964 he had a one-man show at the Fortuny Gallery in Madrid. He has taken part in group exhibits in Basel and Cologne. All told, to date Sanchez has had fifty-three one-man shows and has participated in fifty group presentations, chiefly in the continental Uni ted States and Puerto Rico. As might be expected, his most frequent appearances have been in New York City, his place of residence. Paintings and prints by Sanchez form part of numerous public and private collections. In New York they can be found at th e Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, and the Chase-Manhattan Bank. In Washington, D C., they are to be seen at the Hirshhorn Museum and the Corcoran Gallery and in the Rosenwald Collecti on of the National Gallery of Art. Elsewhere in the United States they figure in the collections of museums in Minneapolis, Wilmington (Delaware), Buffalo, Tulsa, San Antonio, and Austin. Abroad they are to be found in the National Museum in Havana, in th e Museum of Modern Art and the Arango Library in Bogota, in the La Tertulia Museum in Cali, and in far-away Canberra at the National Gallery of Australia.