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The Art of JAMA |

Radiante Olga Albizu

Thomas B. Cole, MD, MPH
JAMA. 2015;313(1):10-11. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.11499.
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Radiante, by the Puerto Rican painter Olga Albizu (1924-2005), is a composition of puzzle-shaped colors in a flat, mustard-yellow ground. The yellow pigment is applied thickly around the edges and into the grooves of the puzzle shapes, embedding them in the ground. The orange shapes thrust forward as the black shapes recede, making the elements of the picture appear to be at slightly different depths and creating tension as though the shapes are tugging at one another. Visual tension between forms and colors was a major emphasis of Albizu’s mentor, the German American painter and teacher Hans Hofmann (JAMA cover, July 26, 2000). Albizu said she preferred not to discuss her paintings because they were impossible to describe in words, but Hofmann’s influence is apparent in her work.

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Olga Albizu (1924-2005), Radiante, 1967, Puerto Rican. Oil on canvas. 172.7 × 157.5 cm. Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (http://americanart.si.edu/, Washington, DC/Art Resource), Washington, DC; gift of JP Morgan Chase, 2013.17, and Biaggi & Faure Fine Art, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo credit: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC/Art Resource New York, New York.

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