Mariano Rodríguez (1912 – 1990) Cuban painter characterized by cutting roosters paintings surreal and Fauve .
It said Mario Benedetti : “When critics tried to pigeonhole, when he tried to subordinate it to some peculiar, defining feature, could paradoxically only lay hands on the adjectives of insubordination, and so is said that his painting is exuberant, joyful, dynamic, essential. No wonder the rooster accompanied by alba ( alba never dismisses the sun always advertised). Every day or stage of his work includes early joy, like a rooster, a joy that can sometimes come shackled and convicted, but Mariano always knew how to untie it , sensed that the new dawn return to sing gallísimos dreams. “
Manuel Rodríguez was born José Mariano Alvarez, August 24, 1912 in Havana . Her mother Amelia Alvarez Alvarez, a daughter of Asturian parents, was a disciple of the academic painters Romañach and Menocal. His father, José Mariano Rodríguez Cabrera, born in Santa Cruz de la Palma, Canary Islands , where he lived from he was three years old to eight years of age.
In 1928 he joined the Institute of the Secondary Education of Havana, to attend the baccalaureate. He requested enrollment in the School of Plastic Arts in Havana San Alejandro, in the course of natural and modeling drawing. After high school he began to draw and enter the second time in San Alejandro. In 1936 he was appointed artistic director of Rhythm magazine.
In October travels to Mexico with the sculptor Alfredo Lozano, where participates in the National Congress of Writers and Artists organized by the League of Revolutionary Writers and Artists (LEAR), held in 1938 at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. He returned to Cuba in June of that year which is part of the Free Study of Painters and Sculptors as adviser and assistant instructor of mural painting in other subjects.
In 1938 it exposes for the first time in a group show at the “II National Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture,” which presents the works “Zora” and “Unity”, with the latter the third prize is obtained. It is published in the journal Grafos, the first single review of his work signed by Ramon Guirao. The next year he painted the mural fresco “Sex Education” in the Normal School for Teachers of Santa Clara. Attends the National Congress of Art in Santiago de Cuba, which expresses its vote against the attempt by the Commission Paint condemn modern art. During this year he made the plays “The thread” and children well. It presents his first personal exhibition at the Lyceum, Havana, sponsored by Victor Manuel . It is part of the leadership of artistic and literary Silver Spur (1939-1941) magazine.
In the decade of the 40 exhibits in the exhibition “300 Years of Cuban Art” at the University of Havana . Pinta “Dove of Peace” and “Woman with birdhouse” Enemy Rumor illustrated, book of poems by José Lezama Lima . Start working the issue of roosters with “painted Gallo”, which exposes with “Man peeling potatoes” and other works in the exhibition “Cuban Contemporary Art”. Together with a group of Cuban Painters decorate the windows of the store El Encanto, works the subject of Havana .
In 1944 participates in “Twelfth International Water Color Exhibition Biennal” Brooklyn Museum and “The First International Exhibition of Watercolors and Gouaches” Hispanic Cuban Institution of Culture, Havana. Make the murals “Descent” and “Resurrection” for the church of Bauta, a little town near Havana.
He is member of the Editorial Committee of the journal “Origins”, since its foundation, one of his drawing appears in the first issue on the cover 1945. Traveled to the United States, disclosed in Feigl Gallery, New York. Illustrate “Stealthy Adventures” by Jose Lezama Lima, editions “Origins” Havana, 1945.
In 1948 he travels to the United States and exhibited again at the Feigl Gallery, New York. Participates in the organization and creation of the Association of Painters and Sculptors of Cuba (APEC), founded in November of that year. Illustrates the book Poems I. Elegies, by Lorenzo García Vega, Ediciones Origins, La Habana, 1948.
In the exhibition “Lozano-Mariano” in the Lyceum, Havana presents “Reading origins.” Céspedes illustrating the book, the precursor of Rafael Esténger and the cover of The road of Jesus del Monte, Eliseo Diego . It destroys about fifty-five works of its production. Make the windows of Our Lady of Fatima and St. Joseph in the Church of Bauta. In 1950 he obtains prize in painting at the IV National Painting, Sculpture and Engraving, with the work Pescador. Begins to decorate pottery workshop in Santiago de las Vegas. The following year exhibited last in the Feigl Gallery, New York. Participates in the V National Painting, Sculpture and Engraving and “Art Contemporain Cubain” at the Museum of Modern Art, Paris.
In 1952 he exposes for the second time with the sculptor Alfredo Lozano at the Lyceum. The mural fresco human suffering, in the building lobby Dental Retiro, La Habana (now School of Economics) begins.
His works are included in the permanent galleries of Art, opened in the Palace of Fine Arts. Is presented in the Lyceum, the retrospective exhibition “Landscape and figure” which includes works ranging from 1942 to 1955. His most recent production is presented in the Cuban Gallery, Havana. This year is his “Jugglers”.
In 1956 he makes a ceramic mural in the building Medical Retirement at the entrance by N Street in Havana. Participates in the exhibition “Homage to Guy Pérez Cisneros,” Lyceum. His work “Gallo yellow” won the prize in the VIII National Painting and Sculpture. Travels through Italy , France , Portugal , Spain and the United States in 1957 and the following year, to Venezuela where he exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Caracas and the Fine Arts Center of Maracaibo. One of the exhibited works, the garden becomes part of the permanent collection of the museum. The exhibition achieves a great success of public and critics.
In 1959, after a tour of several socialist countries, assists in New York to the exhibition “The new painting of the United States”, presented at the Museum of Modern Art. Two works exhibited at the 5th Biennial of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Six of his works are included in the exhibition “Cuban Contemporary Painting” that runs through Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela and Uruguay. He was appointed Cultural Counsellor in India; parted to that country in May. Develops an important series of drawings and oil paintings. Make one of the most significant works of this period: “Jama Mosque Manjid”.
In 1961 returns to Cuba where he participated in the First Congress of Writers and Artists of Cuba where is appointed to chair the section of Plastic Arts of the UNEAC and took office until 1963.
He begins to work on the Casa de las Americas where he was appointed director of the Department of Plastic Arts in 1970 he was appointed vice president this institution.
Havana Gallery opens an exhibition of Mariano Rodríguez and words in the catalog by José Lezama Lima. Participates in the “Exhibition of Cuban painting,” which roams six socialist countries. In 1963 exhibits in the VII Biennial of Sao Paulo.
In 1967 begins its fruits and reality series, which will last approximately until 1973, he participates in the “Salon de Mayo”, Paris, and integrates the group of Cuban and foreign artists who run the collective mural that is performed during the presentation of this room in Havana in July of that year. It is delegated to the Cultural Congress of Havana in ’68 and his works are included in the exhibition “Cuban Masters,” presented in Mexico City on the occasion of the celebration of the Olympics in that city.
In 1980 the documentary Mariano, led by Marisol Trujillo opens. Happens to occupy the post of president of the Casa de las Americas. Mass exhibits works of the series at the National Museum, Havana. The National Ballet of Cuba , Fruits and reality premieres, choreographed by Gladys Gonzalez, created from your plastic at the VII International Ballet Festival of Havana.
In 1981 received the order Felix Varela of the first degree, the highest honor that the State Council of the Republic of Cuba grants personalities of culture. He was elected deputy to the National Assembly. Chairs the Meeting of Intellectuals for the Sovereignty of the Peoples of Our America. his “Retrospective (1937-1981)” at the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico and one in the room Benjamín Carrión of the House of Culture of Guayaquil, Ecuador is performed. Travels to Ecuador to join the jury of the First Prize XV National Exhibition of Paintings of the Foundation Guayaquil. It is mounted in the House of Culture of the municipality Plaza, a joint exhibition of Mariano, René Portocarrero and Pedro Luis Martínez. In 1989 he received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa in Art Institute of Art and Haydee Santamaria Medal. He died in Havana on May 26, 1990.