Zilia Sánchez : soy isla

Sretenović, Vesela, author

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  • Cuban artist Zilia Sanchez (b. 1926) often says, "Soy isla" ("I am an island"), expressing her desire for solitary, uncompromising practice. It also serves as a metaphor for her experience as an islander-connected to and disconnected from both the mainland and mainstream art currents, such as concretism, gestural abstraction, and minimalism. Characterized by reductive forms, clean lines, and sensuous curves suggestive of the female body, Sanchez's work frequently references protagonists from ancient mythology and lunar motifs while embracing ambiguity. This groundbreaking volume examines her paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and graphic illustrations together with archival ephemera. It traces Sanchez's artistic journey from her early years in Cuba through her travels in Europe and residence in New York in the 1960s to her move to Puerto Rico, where she still lives and works. With spectacular illustrations of more than 75 artworks, insightful essays situating Sanchez within the context of global modernism, and a conversation with the artist, this is the most comprehensive publication on Sanchez's art to date.00Exhibition: The Phillips Collection, Washington DC, USA (02.16-05.19.2019); Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico (06.15-10.21.2019); El Museo del Barrio, New York, USA (11.20-03.22.2020).


  • Published on the occasion of an exhibition held at The Phillips Collection, Washington DC, February 16-May 19, 2019, and at Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico, June 15-October 21, 2019, and at El Museo del Barrio, New York, November 20, 2019-March 22, 2020.
  • Includes index.
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