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Amelia Peláez

Cuban art in Florence, with Amelia Peláez, a visual arts pioneer in Latin America. Like Frida Kahlo, she is so revered that her paintings are called Amelias, her first name only. In the 1940s she developed her signature cubist style, where her compositions focused on the visual examination of Cuba’s traditional colonial architectural elements -- the house, the garden, the neighborhood and the city. Her free flowing thick black lines, which outline areas of intense color, recall Cuba’s baroque architecture. They can be seen in her Still life, which she donated to the city of Florence in 1966. In 1931-1934, Amelia studied color dynamics and design with Russian constructionist and co-founder of the Art Deco Movement, Aleksandra Exster. Throughout the course of her career, Peláez was a favorite of Alfred H. Barr, founding director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, who recognized Amelia as a pioneer of Cuba’s Primera Avantguardia and purchased several of her works for the museum’s permanent collection. Amelia Peláez’s Still life was restored by AWA in 2016 and exhibited at Florence's Twentieth-century Museum.