The CCCNY bestows the Amelia Peláez Award 2021, its highest recognition in the visual arts, to artist Baruj Salinas (Havana, 1935), widely recognized as a central figure in modern Latin American art. His work is regularly exhibited in galleries in Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Of Cuban-Jewish descent, Salinas’s art is noted for its spiritual, philosophical, cultural, and symbolic layerings. He is identified with the Abstract Expressionism movement, having first been exposed to the work of its leading members (Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Marth Roghko, Zao Wou-Ki) while at Kent State University. He has occasionally taken to forays of figurative and representational abstraction. Baruj Salinas is the winner of numerous awards, including the Prize to Excellency at the VII Grand Prix International de Peinture in Cannes, a first prize at the IV Pan American Exhibition in Miami, and a first prize at the Sexta Bienal del Grabado Latinoamericano in San Juan. Collections of his work are housed in Villafames Museum, Spain; Carrillo Gil Museum, Mexico; Fine Arts Museum, Budapest, Hungary; Beit Uri Museum, Israel; and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., among other museums.
The award ceremony will be preceded by an introduction by curator Adriana Herrera who will give a panoramic overview of Salinas’s trajectory and evolution as an artist; and an illustrated commentary by art critic Janet Batet on Salinas’s cosmovision. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A with the audience, with distinguished personalities from the art, music, and literary world in attendance.
Image above: Baruj Salinas, Sepia & black, 2020, acrylic on paper, 14″ x 20″