Myrna Báez: Tiempo suspendido/ Suspended Time

Myrna Báez (Puerto Rican, 1931-2018)
Noche de luna (Moonlit Night), 1989
silkscreen, P/A (ed. 75)
image: 27 ¾ x 37 ¼” paper: 30 x 44”

Myrna Báez (Puerto Rican, 1931-2018)
Aglaé, Talía y Eufrosina (Aglaia, Thalia, and Euphrosine), 1980
silkscreen, ed. 69/85
image: 20 ½ x 13 ¾” paper: 26 x 19”

Myrna Báez (Puerto Rican, 1931-2018)
Mediodía (Noon), 1987
silkscreen, ed. 56/65
image: 22 ½ x 30” paper: 29 ¾ x 41 ¾”



Myrna Báez: Tiempo suspendido/ Suspended Time

June 27, 2020 to November 29, 2020

This exhibition celebrates the recent gift of ten silkscreen and woodcut prints by Myrna Báez (Puerto Rican, 1931-2018) from the artist’s estate to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA). Báez, one of the most important artists in Puerto Rico during the second half of the twentieth century, expanded the genre of portraiture while revising the island’s landscape tradition. The six works on view in Tiempo suspendido/ Suspended time are from the 1950s and 80s. They speak intimately of contemplation and self-reflection on the threshold of Puerto Rico’s dramatic flora, terrain, and skies. Báez uses windows, mirrors, and the interplay between exterior and interior both as reflections of reality and projections of the imagination. This exhibition highlights the seminal concerns in Báez’s work—the relation between figure and landscape in moments of stillness and solitude; nuances of light and color that suggest a specific time of day, mood, and climactic condition on the island; national identity and self-definition; and the female nude in the history of Western art.

Myrna Báez, a painter, printmaker, and art professor, earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Puerto Rico, and in 1951, she went to Madrid to study medicine. There, she decided instead to enter the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. In 1959, having returned to Puerto Rico, she joined the Graphic Arts Workshop at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and became one of the first apprentices to master printmaker Lorenzo Homar, learning the new skill of silkscreen technique. From the beginning of her career, she has alternated painting and printmaking, thus broadening the possibilities of her subject matter as she interprets it in different mediums. Her prints are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The JSMA extends its gratitude to Margarita Fernández Zavala, Dessie Martínez, and Teresa Brigantti Bengochea for facilitating the gift of these silkscreen and woodcut prints to the JSMA’s collection.