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In this essay, Puerto Rican critic Enrique García Gutiérrez discusses the nine reduction woodcuts by Marta Pérez García included in the exhibition Huellas held at Casa Candina, San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1991. The author asserts that there is something circus-like about Pérez García’s work. Despite the rich use of color and caricaturesque treatment of the figures depicted, her woodcuts are permeated with the ominous presence of death. García Gutiérrez places Pérez García’s prints in historical context in an overview that encompasses great Renaissance figures, modern European artists, and the master poster-makers from Puerto Rico. In closing, García Gutiérrez states that Pérez García’s work is a sophisticated enigma that partakes of life as well as death.


Marta Pérez García (Arecibo, Puerto Rico, born 1965) received a bachelor of fine arts degree with a specialization in printmaking from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, in 1987 and a master of fine arts degree from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia in 1993. In 1989 and 1991, she was awarded a prize at the Certamen Nacional del Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico. Pérez García’s production is known for the use of reduction woodcuts. In the exhibition Dibujos y grabados de Marta Pérez García, held at the Galería Botello in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, in 1999, she exhibited twelve color drawings and two color-reduction woodcuts. She was also awarded a prize at the XIII Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano y del Caribe [XIII Latin American and Caribbean Print Biennial, San Juan], which was held in 2000.

The prints exhibited at Casa Candina were Liberación [Liberation], Hambre [Hunger], Basta ya [Enough Already], Presión [Pressure], Hegemonía [Hegemony], Ambigüedad [Ambiguity], Peligro [Danger], Injusticia [Injustice], and Qué pasará mañana [What Will Happen Tomorrow].


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