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Puerto Rican educator Margot Arce de Vázquez discusses the works presented by Myrna Báez in the exhibition held in her studio in 1980. In Arce de Vázquez’s view, these works, with their interesting and new pictorial language, represent a marked departure from Báez’s earlier production. This new vocabulary entails greater depth in the interpretation of the human, unabashed use of new techniques, and masterful appropriation of motifs taken from major European painters. Arce de Vázquez asserts that with the leitmotif of the mirror, the artist returns to the human figure, “exploring the mystery of her existence as person.” Arce de Vázquez maintains that this exhibition evidences Myrna Báez’s great artistic vocation and places her among the best three or four painters in Puerto Rico. 


On this occasion, Myrna Báez exhibited eleven works—seven silkscreens and four acrylics—produced from 1978 to 1980, including El árbol [The Tree], En el patio de mi casa [In the Patio To My House], Venus roja [Red Venus] (1979), El camino [The Road], El espejo [The Mirror], Georgia O’Keefe en Puerto Rico [Georgia O’Keefe in Puerto Rico] (1980), and Venus del espejo [Venus of the Mirror].

Myrna Báez (San Juan, b. 1931) studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando [San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts] in Madrid, at the Taller de Gráfica del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña [Puerto Rican Cultural Institute Print Workshop], where Lorenzo Homar was the director, and at the Graphic Arts Workshop at Pratt Institute in New York. Together with José A. Torres Martinó and other artists, she was a founding member of the Hermandad de Artistas Gráficos [Fraternity of Graphic Artists] in 1981, which was organized to protest the cultural intervention of the annexationist government that was in power at the time. In 1988, the VIII Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano [8th San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Prints] honored her as a Puerto Rican artist.


Flavia Marichal Lugo
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Courtesy of the Estate of Margot Arce de Vázquez and Francisco Vázquez Díaz "Compostela", San Juan, Puerto Rico.