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Carlos Enríquez

Carlos Enríquez 

b. Zulueta, Cuba, 1900-– d. Havana, Cuba, 1957

El rapto (The Kidnapping) 


Gouache on paper

Carlos Enríquez, a primary figure of Cuban avant-garde art, briefly attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he met and later married American painter Alice Neel. 


Using a visual language of fluid lines, overlapping color forms, and dynamic figurative compositions, Enríquez portrayed the Cuban countryside, people, and folklore. In the 1940s, his style moved toward expressionism as his palette became brighter, his brush strokes visible, and his distortion of forms more prominent. 


El rapto (The Kidnapping) recontextualizes abduction sagas from Greek and Roman mythology such as The Abduction of Europa and The Rape of the Sabine Women and belongs to Enríquez’s cycle of romances guajiros (countryside ballads) that includes his pivotal 1938 work, The Kidnapping of the Mulatas. In these works, the Cuban countryside pulsates with life and voluptuosity, as stirred up by the untamed instincts of the humans within it. 

*This piece was included in the exhibition section titled "The Sensory Landscape of Memory and Desire."

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