Jose Maria Mijares, Cuban (1921 - 2004)

José Maria Mijares Fernandez. Born in 1921 in Havana, died in Miami, Fl. In 1942 is admitted at San Alejandro´s Academy of Fine Arts, Havana. After finishing his academic studies, and with a solid professional formation, his instinct led him to search for more contemporary artistic information sources, finding them at United States and Mexico.

In 1947 exposed his works for the first time in Cuba, and the Lyceum Lawn Tennis Club provided the artist a space, for the display of an interesting gouache collection. Later on, he obtains the National Paintings Prize, from the IV National Paintings, Engravings and Sculptures Salon, event that was an important milestone on his career. Vida en un interior (Life in an interior), one of his most known works, illustrates the definition process of his artistic expressive style, with a special poetic that valuates at the same time, the versatility of his plastic resources, and a exquisite sensibility handling different topics. He left Cuba in 1968 and came to Miami. His geometric style changed with the change in surroundings. Mijares was a prolific painter even in his waning years, working about six hours a day, beginning at sunrise.

Florida International University gave Mijares an honorary doctorate in fine arts in December 2001. In 2002, he opened the Mijares Gallery in Coral Gables, where his latest works went on display.

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