Blanco y Verde
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svdgrift's picture


Carmen never met a straight line she didn’t like.

She sold her first painting at the age of 89, but years and years before that glorious moment, Carmen’s work was exhibited right next to that of Piet Mondrian in 1940. She was in fact pretty successful at the time. But as many of her artsy Parisian friends went on to be super famous, Carmen didn’t. She wasn’t much of a self promoter, but being female, and from Cuba, probably didn’t help much either. 

She went from exhibiting next to Mondrian in Paris, to living next to Barnett Newman in NYC, always surrounding herself with like minded artists. Decades later she still lives in that same loft, and even now she still paints or draws daily! Every morning after she has her café con leche, her perfectly organized colored markers are waiting at her table. Red, yellow, blue, green and black. Carmen hasn’t grown bored of geometric shapes and straight lines yet, “I like straight lines…I like order. In this chaos that we live in, I like to put order,” she explains. Even better, she is still figuring out variations on the straight line."I'm still looking for it! ...This is done with pleasure," she says. 

To create a painting like Blanco y Verde, Carmen usually first draws shapes on vellum graph paper. Sometimes she then cuts them up and moves them around to find the perfect composition. The drawings are then amplified onto canvases bigger than herself.