In summer 2021, the United States Postal Service celebrated the artist Emilio Sanchez (1921–1999) by issuing a new series of stamps featuring four of his architectural artworks. Sanchez is the first Cuban-American artist to be honored in this way. During a career spanning more than 50 years, Sanchez investigated the effects of light and shadow on architecture and landscapes across the globe, particularly in the Caribbean, Latin America, and North America.
Although born in Cuba, Sanchez spent most of his life in the United States. Part of a prominent and wealthy Cuban family, Sanchez attended various U.S. boarding schools from a young age. He then spent two years at the University of Virginia before enrolling at the Art Students League of New York in 1944. For the rest of his life, Sanchez made New York City his home while continuing to travel worldwide. Sanchez’s depictions of place were informed by his multifaceted identities as a gay Cuban man in New York, as well as his fascination with buildings and their architectural details. He delighted in the natural patterns and shadows cast by bright sunlight on facades, doors, windows, and shutters, making artworks often described as dreamlike.
Curated by Laura Minton, Curator of Exhibitions
This exhibition is made possible through support from The Fralin Museum of Art Volunteer Board. The Fralin Museum of Art’s programming is made possible through generous support from The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation. Thanks to our in-kind donors: WTJU 91.1 FM and Ivy Publications LLC’s Charlottesville Welcome Book.