The Visual Universe of Adigio Benítez at the José Martí National Library

The Visual Universe of Adigio Benítez at the José Martí National Library

The exhibition The Poetry of Shapes and Colors, dedicated to the centenary of Adigio Benítez, National Prize for Visual Arts 2002, will open this Thursday, June 6, at the José Martí National Library of Cuba.

This extensive showcase of paintings by the National Prize for Artistic Education 2003 awardee spans from the 1970s to 2000. The National Council of Visual Arts, the hosting institution, and the artist’s family—heirs to a valuable collection—wish to pay tribute to this great artist by bringing his works back to the public eye.

In an exclusive 2002 interview with La Jiribilla magazine, Benítez explained what he called «papiroflexia» or «papirolandia,» affirming that it remained a constant in his work.

«Papirolandia,» he stated, aimed to represent reality in a more poetic way through images. He mentioned that he had spent several years working on both painting and drawing, and held exhibitions featuring characters he named «papirotes.»

In the 1990s, he combined these paper characters—sometimes human, sometimes animal—with houses.

Regarding his four published poetry notebooks, and in response to journalist Estrella Díaz’s query about whether he preferred expressing his feelings with words or with color, Adigio Benítez asserted that «there is no doubt that I prefer to express myself with color, but poetry is a great passion, just like painting.»

He emphasized that he chose the path of visual arts because it aligned more closely with his vocation. He noted that painting always held a sacred place for him, despite his need for verse. «Perhaps that is my second craft,» the master declared.

Translated by Luis E. Amador Dominguez


Alicia Soto Smith