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Sol y Flores Para Liora

   Associated images:

Juan Sanchez

American, Born 1954

Sol y Flores Para Liora 1997
Master printer - Maryanne Ellison Simmons
Duotone Lithograph from photo plates with Collagraph from two sintra plates, acrylic paint, silk roses
Handmade Paper
64"h x 44"w
Ed. 16
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This idea that the shop in St. Louis was a place where an artist could produce some of his/her finest work was certainly substantiated by Juan Sanchez, who returned in 1995 to Washington University to make a print so complex that it would take twenty-six months to complete. Eventually Sol y Flores Para Liora (Sun and Flowers with Liora) would win a Grand Prize at the Latin American Print Biennial in San Juan in 1998. In this print, Sanchez’s daughter, Liora, wears a small wedding dress and stands centered in the upper part of the composition. She is surrounded by five depictions of her own hands. Nine small silk roses are placed above her head. In the area below Liora are spirals (the Puerto Rican Taino Indian symbol for the sun), other Taino petroglyphs, and one large multi-colored flower. Through this mélange of elements, the past (immediate and distant), the present, and the future are all given space in this image. Significantly, Sanchez was referring to his heritage, his culture, and the traditions that have become so much a part of his persona.

Perhaps the best characterization of this project and, indeed, the entire print shop at Washington University, is found in the words of Maryanne Ellison Simmons, the master printer with whom Sanchez worked on this visit. When the work was finished, she wrote to him, "As ever, this has been a wonderfully complicated project. We’ve worked hard … When we rest up, let’s do it again!"(1) Such enthusiasm permeated the shop beginning at the top and filtering down. The fearless attitude of tackling each difficult project supplied the necessary ingredient for successfully producing unique works of art with the stamp of Island Press. Sol y Flores Para Liora is the combination of a photolithograph, collagraph, collage, and hand painting on handmade paper, proving that nothing is done the "easy" way in St. Louis.

Marilyn Kushner
Curator and Chair of the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
Brooklyn Museum of Art
1 Maryanne Ellison Simmons to Juan Sanchez, February 23, 1997, Island Press Archives, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.