Cuban artist Zilia Sánchez’s first ever museum exhibition Soy Isla: Compréndelo y retírate (I Am an Island: Understand and Retreat) will be put on display by the Phillips Collection between February 16 and May 19.
The exhibition features Sanchez’s works from her prolific career spanning almost 70 years. Over 60 of her artworks, which include paintings, paper works, shaped canvases, sculptural pieces, and also her illustrations, design sketches and ephemera will be featured in the exhibition.
“The exhibition traces Sánchez’s artistic journey from her early days in Cuba to her extended visits to Europe and residence in New York, and finally her move to Puerto Rico, where she now lives and works,” notes the exhibition brief.
Protagonists from ancient mythology, including warriors and female heroines (Trojans, Amazonians, and Antigone) are all referenced in many of her artworks.
“Others have reoccurring motifs of lunar shapes, erotic topologies, and tattoo drawings that map physical and psychological spaces and add another dimension to her curvilinear geometry, rich with metaphorical meaning,” according to the brief.
Opening February 16, "Soy Isla" is the first museum retrospective of artist #ZiliaSanchez. This long-overdue exhibition examines the artist’s prolific yet largely unknown career that spans almost 70 years. More details and events: https://t.co/eqPLDH8ACO (Image via @ArtBasel) pic.twitter.com/BTpEB69ZTb
— Phillips Collection (@PhillipsMuseum) February 8, 2019
The title of the exhibition “I Am an Island” stands out as a personal metaphor for Sánchez for being an islander—“connected to and disconnected from both the mainland and mainstream art currents.”
Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1926, Sánchez started her career by designing sets for an anti-Batista theater group. Her work has been featured in important galleries and museums worldwide, including in the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the White Columns, among other galleries and museums.
She now lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico, since settling there in the early 1970s.
You can buy tickets for the exhibition here.