Wifredo Arcay

  • Born 1925 in Havana, Cuba
  • Died 1997 in Paris, France
Wifredo Arcay studied at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro (National Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Alexander) in Havana, then moved to Paris on a grant in 1949. There he studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière from 1949 to 1950 and frequented the Atelier d’Art Abstrait, becoming a part of the post-Cubist geometric abstraction movement. Arcay set up his first studio at the villa of André Bloc (1896–1966) in Meudon in 1951, where he met artists like Theo van Doesburg (1883–1931) and Fernand Léger (1881–1955). In 1953 he introduced serigraphy to France and realized Maîtres d’Aujourd’hui (Today’s Masters), an edition of twelve silkscreen prints honoring the prewar aesthetics of abstraction, followed by a second edition (Jeunes Peintres d’Aujourd’hui [Today’s Young Painters], 1954) dedicated to a younger generation of abstract artists. In the late 1950s and early 1960s Arcay’s practice evolved from easel painting into reliefs designed for architectural space. He joined the Constructivist Groupe Espace in 1953 and from 1959 to 1961 he was a member of the Cuban group Los Diez Pintores Concretos (Ten Concrete Painters). Although Arcay spent two-thirds of his life in France he regularly sent works to Cuba and represented his home country in exhibitions abroad, such as the 1955 Bienal de São Paulo.

Artworks by Wifredo Arcay in the exhibition