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Puerto Rican artist and critic José Antonio Torres Martinó states that Myrna Báez has been a militant supporter of Puerto Rican independence throughout her lifetime. Her work, however, is by no means political propaganda. Like many artists before her and many others from her generation, Báez’s artistic practice attests to her commitment as a political activist; her realist production evidences Puerto Rican national identity. The author asserts that even the sense of loneliness in Báez’s art is a reflection of a defensive stance in relation to the Puerto Rican colonial drama.


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 José A. Torres Martino, San Juan, Puerto Rico