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Cuban Engraver Antonio Canet Dies

Havana, Jan 18 (Prensa Latina) Famous Cuban painter Antonio Canet passed away in this capital at the age of 66, reported newspaper Granma on Friday.

Born in 1942, among his most significant works there is a series inspired in the historic defense of young Fidel Castro, called History will Absolve Me in his trial after the attack on the Moncada Garrison in 1953.

Titled Fidel and Moncada seen by Canet, this work was edited on occasion of the 50th anniversary of that assault led by a group of revolutionaries headed by Fidel Castro.

A total of 200 engravings and 50 sketches done in lithographic and xylographic techniques, based in Cecilia Valdes, novel by Cirilo Villaverde conform a volume.

Canet was member of the International Fine Artists Association of UNESCO and he illustrated the novel Lucia Jerez, only one written by Jose Marti.

Among his over 50 exhibitions it is worthy of highlighting that of engravings dedicated to Vietnam.

According to the Cuban painter and curator Lesbia Vent Dumois, Canet was "one of the engravers with a long career of tireless stamina."

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Antonio Canet.

1942 - 2008

Painter, master printer and designer, was born in Casa Blanca, a picturesque coastal town, located in the east of Havana Bay.

When referring to the Canet’s painting, the famous Cuban writer Alejo carpentier wrote:
“Visiting an exposition of Canet is really joyful for it is the youthful explosion of his color (...) Every day, he desperately violates the secrets of the stone and the metal; he paints convinced that life is short and that there is need of being prolific. Beauty emerges. Man and his world take delicate and sublime, but at the same time offensive shapes”.

His prolific work as plastic artist is outstanding within his generation due to his singular stylistic development which has led him to venture to integrate elements from the idiom of landscape-painting with expressionistic shades of colors up to abstract themes and the elements of postmodern art, using techniques such as varied as painting, xylography and lithography. In his works he approaches diverse range of subjects: architectonic engravings of Havana City, (sea) landscapes from Casa Blanca and other Cuban cities and their colonial heritage. He took his inspiration from literary works as in his illustration in 200 prints (xylography) of the Cuban national novel “Cecilia Valdés”, written by Cirilo Villaverde in the 19th century.

“Nobody had ever before dared to translate the novel Cecilia Valdés in to images, and that made it a challenge for me. I believe that work is my highest contribution to printing, to the Cuban culture and to the world culture”, stated Canet while working in the Gallery – Workshop that carries his name.

Cuban abstract art today has in Canet one of the brightest exponents in Cuba and his works of arts are found in galleries, libraries and private collections all over the world.

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