Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail
Editorial Categories [?]

The French critic and historian Marianne de Tolentino, who lives in the Dominican Republic, writes about the Puerto Rican abstract painter and printmaker, Luis Hernández Cruz. During his early years, according to de Tolentino, he worked mainly with woodblock and linoleum prints. But in the 1970s, he began to experiment with silkscreen printing, which he used to remarkable effect in his abstract creations. In addition to his ability as a printmaker, Hernández Cruz is also acknowledged as a painter. Referring to his dual artistic skills, Marianne de Tolentino notes that “As a painter he imbued his silkscreen prints with an effusive abundance of color, and as a printmaker he enriched his paintings by experimenting with structure and significance.” His prints and his paintings reveal his preference for horizontal formats, and for open and fragmented spaces. He was also deeply interested in the African-Antilles culture and explored the subject at great length in his work. In other words, he was just as comfortable working with real, identifiable references as he was in the field of abstraction.


The annotated catalogue for the collection of prints created by Luis Hernández Cruz (San Juan, PR, b. 1936) was produced by Luigi Marrozzini, director of the Galería Marrozzini for the tribute exhibition held at the Sala de Exposiciones [exhibition hall] of the Chase Manhattan Bank in Hato Rey, on the occasion of the IX Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano y del Caribe [Ninth San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Prints]

Luis Hernández Cruz (San Juan, b. 1936) has been a tireless supporter of abstract painting in Puerto Rico. In 1977, he and fellow-artists Lope Max Díaz, Antonio Navia, and Paul Camacho organized a group called Frente [Front] as a means of uniting abstract artists and promoting their work. Hernández Cruz was also a founding member and president of the Congreso de Artistas Abstractos [Abstract Artists Conference], organized in 1984.   


Flavia Marichal Lugo
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico