Nela Arias-Misson

Nela Arias-Misson, the Cuban painter who is beginning to be valued… as she always deserved

MIAMI, United States. – Although in Cuba the name of Nela Arias-Misson will hardly be heard, this painter born on the island in 1915 and died in Miami eight weeks after her 100th birthday, she is beginning to be valued as the great exponent of abstract expressionism that she was.

Very soon, the Reina Sofía Museum, in Spain, will exhibit two of the works created by the Cuban in that country in the 1960s: “Homage to Goya” and “Table with boots and a lamp.”

“We hope it will be the beginning of a very long career, because we are convinced from the first day that her work is significant, it is important and must be recognized”, told the news agency EFE Flor Ana Mayoral, co-founder of the Nela Arias-Misson Foundation.

In New York, the Cuban artist was a disciple of the German painter Hans Hoffmann. In Provincetown, she was taught by Hofmann and associated with creators such as Mark Rothko, Walasse Ting, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Karel Appel, Lee Krasner, Franz Kline, and many others.

“In 1957, abstract expressionism was a movement that was completely macho, that did not allow any woman to shine, and many women even changed their name to a masculine form so that they would not be recognized as female painters,” Mayoral also told EFE. . “That’s why it’s important that she be recognized,” she added.

One of the works of Nela Arias-Misson (Image taken from ArteAlDía)

Although he never stopped painting and always maintained his own style, according to Mayoral, Arias-Misson sold very little, partly because he did not like to part with his works.

His legacy is held by the foundation created with his name and consists of around 130 works in oil and more than 600 drawings, among other pieces of art.

In Cuba, the Wifredo Lam Center has a small work of his. In addition, there are some more works distributed among collectors in the US and Europe, specified Mayoral.

Likewise, in the US, the Smithsonian has begun to select and protect everything that has to do with the art of Arias-Misson.

“We want the world to know that this woman existed at a time when women were not recognized and now that all this time has passed, they need to know who she was and the importance she already has in the art world. Because she created a style that today is considered something important,” Mayoral said.

At the end of his life, Arias-Misson retired to Miami, where he died at the age of almost 100, in 2015, in the company of his daughter.

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