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Rafael Soriano: The Artist as Mystic

In the Daley Family and Monan Galleries
January 30–June 4, 2017

Click thumbnails to view selected objects in exhibition
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E-book | Catalogue | Meditation Tour | Virtual Walkthrough

Cuban painter Rafael Soriano (1920–2015) was an acclaimed master of geometric abstraction and a global figure in the twentieth-century art world; his work resonated with international artists of Latin American origin like Roberto Matta, Rufino Tamayo, and Wifredo Lam. As a result of the Revolution in Cuba, in 1962 Soriano immigrated to the United States. An unprecedented examination of his life’s work, this exhibition focuses on the multiple influences that nurtured a style where, in his words, “the intimate and the cosmic converge.”

Featuring more than ninety paintings, pastels, and drawings from the Rafael Soriano Family Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Art Museum of the Americas, and Long Beach Museum of Art as well as other institutions and private collections, The Artist as Mystic begins with Soriano’s works in the Cuban geometric abstract style. It then moves to his transitional, experimental paintings from the 1960s and 1970s reminiscent of surrealist biomorphism. The exhibition concludes with luminous, mystical imagery in paintings from Soriano’s mature period.

Accompanied by a bilingual English-Spanish catalogue with contributions from American, Cuban-American, and Cuban scholars, The Artist as Mystic opens at the McMullen from January 30 to June 4, 2017. The exhibition then travels in June 2017 to the Long Beach Museum of Art and in October 2017 to the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University.

Organized by the McMullen Museum in conjunction with the Rafael Soriano Foundation, the exhibition has been curated by Elizabeth Thompson Goizueta. Major support has been provided by Boston College and the Patrons of the McMullen Museum.


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