PEDRO, Luís Martínez (1910 - 1989)

Oil on canvas, signed and dated lower right 'lmpedro 1967 HABANA'
94.5 x 147 cm
Date of entry at UNESCO
Country of origin Cuba
Donating country Cuba
Donation made to UNESCO by the artist through the Permanent Delegation of Cuba
© Photo: UNESCO/N. Burke
All rights reserved

Between 1963 and 1973, Luis Martinez Pedro carried out a series of works on the theme “Aguas Territoriales” (Territorial Waters). This composition, made up of a variation of blues, is composed around a central, light-colored circle. The perspective created by the “whirlpool” effect first attracts the spectator’s gaze to the light blue at the center, and only afterwards the surrounding composition. Thanks to its circular, swirling layout, the work makes the spectator feel immersed, even invaded, by the bluish ‘liquid’. Antagonistic sensations can be felt by the viewer; where some might experience a feeling of plenitude or tranquility, others might feel anxiety. Either way, this painting of indisputable force does not leave the spectator indifferent.

Artist Biography

The Cuban artist Luis Martinez Pedro was born in 1910. After studying architecture at the University of Havana, he studied at the San Alejandro Academy of Fine-Arts starting in 1929. The repression under the dictatorship of Machado drove him to leave for the USA, where he settled in New Orleans, joining the city’s School of Art and Craft in order to study painting and drawing. He went back to Cuba in 1933, where he began working for various advertising companies. On the occasion of his first solo exhibition, held in 1943, he presented two series of works entitled “El Amor” and “Los Animales”. From 1944 to 1956, he carried out illustrations for the magazine « Origenes » (Origins). Starting in 1950, he undertook ceramic decorations in the Santiago workshop in Las Vegas. Luis Martinez Pedro passed away in 1989, at the age of 79.