Rene Portocarrero – (1912-1985) Cuban artist noted for highly colorful, abstract paintings. Portocarrero began his artistic education at the San Alejandro Academy, but left early and is hence considered ‘self-taught’. As well as a painter and sculptor, he worked as a ceramicist, scenic designer and book illustrator, publishing his own Las Máscaras (The Masks) in 1935 and El Sueño (The Dream) in 1939. He was also a muralist, producing public artworks for the Havana Prison, a church in Bauta, Cuba, the Cuban National Hospital, the Cuban National Theatre and the Hotel Tryp Habana Libre. His artworks form part of the permanent collections of galleries in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Peru, France, the United States (Museums of Modern Art, New York and San Francisco, Milwaukee Art Center; Union Panamericana, Washington), Uruguay and Venezuela as well as his native Cuba (Museo Nacional, Havana). He put on his first exhibition in 1934, at the Havana Lyceum, beginning a long and fruitful career which included a 1937 collaboration with Mariano Rodríguez and work as a ‘free studies’ teacher of painting and sculpture. After travels in Haiti, Europe and the United States, he gave his first show to an overseas audience at Julien Levy’s gallery in New York City in 1945. René received lessons in painting from Nicolas Guillen Landrian. He worked for the Japan Women’s Association, UNESCO and AIAP. He knew Peggy Guggenheim. Female busts play prominently is Portocarrero’s works, vividly colorful and imbued with wide-eyed innocence as we see in Woman with Bird’s Nest on a predominantly blue background and again in Woman With a Wine Glass, both tempura on paper.