Pedro de Oráa (Havana, 1931)

Pedro de Oráa is one of Cuba’s most prominent painters, as well as an art critic, and translator of East European poetry.  He graduated from the Academia Nacional de Artes Plásticas San Alejandro in 1952, specialising in painting and sculpture.  He is the last living member of the Diez Pintores Concretos (Ten Concrete Painters), the influential group of abstract artists that achieved renown in the 1950s, and today he has a prominent role in the reanimation of abstract art.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, he travelled to Venezuela and Eastern Europe, and led a number of important artists’ groups as well as studying literature.

De Oráa’s reputation in the international art world is long-established.  He explains that in his recent work he is returning to geometric abstraction.  He proposes “… with the help of modern technology, of the computer, to take those geometric configurations and stylise them.  With the resources of computing, forms can be distended and condensed. I am submitting the sense that I have of the form to this tool, and then I transfer the result to canvas.”

De Oráa has exhibited many times worldwide, and his work is held in important collections including the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York; Pompidou Centre, Paris; and the Ludwig Museum, Cologne. In 2015, he won the highly prestigious Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas, Havana and is currently preparing an exhibition at Havana’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in association with his prize.