Fidelio Ponce de León - New Now New York Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Cernuda Arte, Miami
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Fidelio Ponce de León emerged from the Cuban Vanguardia movement that was informed by European modernist ideals. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro in Havana with some of the greatest Cuban modernists, namely, Amelia Peláez and Wifredo Lam. Shortly after graduating in 1918, he disappeared from the art scene, re-emerging in 1923. In 1934, during his first exhibition at the Havana Lyceum, Ponce de León revealed a remarkable understanding of Western academicism with the presentation of a mature body of work. He would go on to exhibit extensively at galleries and institutions in New York throughout the 1940s and 1950s, including the Museum of Modern Art at the request of Alfred H. Barr.

    Unlike his contemporaries, Ponce de León steered away from the nationalist discourse and refrained from incorporating Cuban iconography in his work. Instead his classical, yet expressionist paintings depict more traditional and universal subject matters, such as landscapes, still lifes, biblical scenes and female nudes. Despite never having traveled to Europe, his works reference many of the great European painters such as Amadeo Modigliani, Diego Velásquez, Zurbarán, El Greco, Edward Munch and William Turner. Ponce de León’s turbulent and desperate financial situations are reflected in his tragic portrayals of poverty and illness, painted in a muted palette. The present work, La espera reveals a simple yet elegant line drawing of a somber female nude, awaiting an unforeseen event.

Contemporary Cuba: Works from a Private Collection


La espera (The Wait)

signed and dated "f. Ponce 36" upper right
graphite on heavy paper
10 7/8 x 8 1/4 in. (27.6 x 21 cm.)
Executed in 1936.

$2,000 - 3,000 

Sold for $2,000

Contact Specialist
Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219
[email protected]

New Now

New York Auction 28 February 2018