Emilio Sanchez works on paper at UVA art museum

On view at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia through June 20, 2022, Open Window: Emilio Sanchez on Paper presents 21 works by Emilio Sanchez (1921-1999) demonstrating his delight in natural patterns and shadows cast by bright sunlight on façades, doors, windows and shutters. Sanchez’s work is often described as dreamlike.

Emilio Sanchez 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. 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. 

In summer 2021, the United States Postal Service celebrated the artist 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. 

University of Virginia connection

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.  

About the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia

Established in 1935, the University of Virginia Art Museum became the Fralin Museum of Art in 2012 in honor of a bequest of American art and service to the university by Cynthia and W. Heywood Fralin. The Museum maintains a collection of more than 13,000 works of art, including American and European painting, works on paper, and sculpture from the 15th through the 20th centuries; art from the ancient Mediterranean; Asian art; and Native and ancient American art.

Housed in the historic Bayly Building near the Rotunda on the landmark UVA campus, the Fralin is dedicated to serving the widest possible audiences and engaging comprehensive visual education to enhance its visitors’ understanding of world cultures. Throughout the year, the Museum presents a diverse selection of exhibitions, programs, research and events that bring the university and broader community together.

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