Antonia Eiriz

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Antonia Eiriz
(Havana, 1929 – Miami, United States, 1995)

She studied in San Alejandro School between 1951 and 1957. In 1952 she participated in her first collective exhibition together with Manuel Vidal, Fayad Jamís, Guido Llinás and Antonio Vidal in the Auditorium of the Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC). In 1957, she participates in her first individual exhibition in the Church of Paula, Havana. Two years later, she takes part in the important Annual Exhibition of 1959, National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, where important, decisive figures in the arte in the sixties used to meet. In the first lustrum of that decade she was invited to participate in important events like the Second Inter-American Biennale in Mexico and the 6th Sao Paulo Biennale, in which she gets an honorary mention for her work, among others.

In 1962, she begins to work as a teacher, first in the National School for Art Instructors (ENIA) of Havana, until 1964, and from 1965 to 1969 she gave classes at the National Art School (ENA) of Havana. First Prize winner in the Second Latin–American Contest on Engraving, announced by the Casa de las Américas in 1963. The following year she participated in one of the most important exhibitions of the moment for its quality and intensity of the collection in La Habana Art Gallery. She was invited to show the powerful exhibits in the space reserved to The Artist of the Month at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana and two years later she exhibited her works together with Raúl Martínez in La Casa del Lago, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City. The following year se was invited to participate in the 23rd May Exhibition in Paris.

She was given the National Culture Award in 1981 and two years later, the Alejo Carpentier Medal. In 1985 is presented the Antonia Eiriz exhibition, in the Cultural Latin-American Space, Paris, France and in 1989 the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba conferred the Félix Varela Order —the highest distinction awarded in the field of Culture— on her. In 1991 Antonia presents before the Cuban public her exhibition Reencuentro, Galiano y Concordia Art Gallery, Havana and in 1994 gets the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, New York, United States.

After her demise, the Museum of Art of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, organizes the Antonia Eiriz exhibition: Tribute to a Legend, from September to November of 1995.

(Information taken from the Guide of Cuban Art, National Museum of Fine Arts, 2003)
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