Nancy Hoffman Gallery, 520 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
Juan Gonzalez (January 12, 1942 - December 24, 1993) was an important Cuban painter who rose to international fame in the 1970s and remained active until his death in the 1990s.
Juan Gonzalez was born in Camaguey, Cuba, in 1942. He spent his early life in Cuba until fleeing to the United States in 1961 as a part of the Cuban exile resulting from the Cuban Revolution. Gonzalez resided in Miami with other exiled Cuban artists and earned his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Miami in 1972. Later that year he relocated permanently to New York City following a successful exhibition - his first - at the Allan Stone Gallery. Gonzalez had another highly successful exhibition in 1975 at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery, which as a result went on to manage and represent him for the rest of his career and following his death.
Throughout the rest of his career, Gonzalez would continue to paint, have solo and group exhibitions, win awards, and have his works added to the permanent collection of renown institutions. He also designed elaborate sets for two plays by famed Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, "Blood Wedding" (1988) and "As Soon as Five Years Pass" (1991), and taught and lectured at the New York School of Visual Arts for nearly twenty years.
He died in 1993 in New York City of complications stemming from AIDS.
His work was the subject of an in-deapth, career-spanning retrospective book, Dreamscapes: The Art of Juan Gonzalez, by Irene McManus, which was published by Hudson Hills Press on the year of his death.
Gonzalez in known for creating paintings and collages that ranged from realism to surrealism and fantasy. His themes and subject matter included religion, reinterpreted scenes from art history, portraits of family and friends, and psychologically introspective expressions of identity (via self-portraits) and his struggle with AIDS. His works were characterized by their rich detail and symbolism.