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Biography

Raúl Milián Pons. Self-taught Cuban painter.
He was born in Havana on April 14, 1914.
It is said that he began painting in 1950, a decade in which he also worked decorating ceramic pieces, along with other artists such as Portocarrero, Lam and Amelia, in the Santiago de las Vegas Workshop led by Dr. Juan Miguel Rodríguez de la Cruz. His models seem to be the artists of formalism, of new figuration, of North American abstract expressionism, the painting of Mark Tobey, Mark Rotho, the drawings of Wols and the work of previous artists such as Henri Michaux, Paul Klee and Jean Dubuffet.

Almost all of his artistic work was done with black ink and colored inks on paper and cardboard of small dimensions, generally vertical, where he represented heads, faces, figures, flowers, vases, abstractions. His images express speculative, philosophical statements. He was part, albeit in a minor way, of the few painters who surrounded the Origins Group. A work by Milián was selected as the cover of issue 28 of 1951 of the magazine Orgenes.

From 1979 or 1980 his work became more radical, it became more elementary, more decisive. He gave up his usual transparencies and brilliance in favor of a drier painting and drawing, of a direct, immediate nature. He began drawing with commercial markers and felt-tip pens of different thicknesses, using smaller than usual, sometimes poorly cut, slightly uneven cardstocks, where blanks that often exhibited small spots were much more visible sloppy at the edges. In these, his most dramatic and moving works, there is a greater emphasis on drawing, on lines, sometimes tangled and tangled, applied with energy, sometimes with irritation or fury.

He was a student of philosophy, of aesthetics, a careful reader of Kant, Hegel, Schiller, Schelling, Jaspers, Heidegger, Rilke, Novalis, and Valery. Perhaps one of his favorite technical procedures consisted of painting and then removing the paint, the ink, until he left only a basic stain, on which to repaint or draw, and again to remove the excess paint.

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