In the early hours of this Monday, September 12, the painter, draftsman, engraver, illustrator and muralist Cosme Proenza Almaguer passed away in the city of Holguín. He was 74 years old and was possibly the most important figure in the plastic arts in the eastern part of the island.
According to a message from his daughter Sandra Proenza on Facebook, the death occurred “after several days fighting for his life in the hospital in our city, he was with covid, his ashes will be taken to his homeland with his parents.”
The Provincial Council of Performing Arts of that eastern province recalled that he is “one of the most renowned Cuban artists, the pride of Holguín, from where he created a universal work.”
Born in 1948, in Tacajó, Baguanos, Holguín, Proenza was the owner of a peculiar cosmovision, distinguishable in the contemporary artistic field and that starts from the investigation and reappropriation of the classics of universal art.
Graduated from the National School of Art, in Havana, and the Institute of Fine Arts, in kyiv, Ukraine, Proenza created series such as “Manipulations”, “Boscomanias”, “The gods listen”, “Woman with a hat” and “Variations on Matisse themes.
In his pieces, created in the city where he stubbornly remained until the end of his days, the symbolic and the mythical accompany the human being on an artistic via crucis, with obvious influences that the codes of European art left on him.
Among his works, pieces such as “Cecilia Valdés”, “Lennon and the night”, “Jardín”, “The expulsion from paradise” and “San Cristóbal de La Habana” are remembered.
Master Cosme Proenza Almaguer, illustrious son of Holguín and relevant painter, engraver, muralist and illustrator, died. The #cuban_culture today physically loses one of its most outstanding bastions in the field of #visual arts. EPD. Condolences to family and friends. pic.twitter.com/ASXMJuWZdQ
– Alfredo Fuentes Fdez (@LeviatanCubano) September 12, 2022
In 2016, Cosme inaugurated the Parque de los Tiempos, in Holguín, a project with the prominence of his pictorial creations, turned into sculptures, recalls the Provincial Directorate of Culture of Holguín.
Proenza’s pieces were included in multiple collective exhibitions, as well as being made available to the public several times in the main art galleries of their city.
Among the awards with which he was recognized are the Distinction for National Culture, the Ax of Holguín and the Alejo Carpentier Medal. He was several times nominated for the National Prize for Plastic Arts.
Institutions and artists have lamented this death. Holguin and Cuban culture are in mourning again.