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Spanish cubist Jesus Fuertes dies in Miami

Artist was known for painting women and cats and using bright blue hues
/ Source: The Associated Press

Jesus Fuertes, a Spanish cubist painter and protege of Pablo Picasso whose works have been exhibited in prominent museums around the world, has died. He was 68.

Fuertes died Sunday in Miami following a heart attack, family spokeswoman Susana Alvarez-Diaz said.

Born in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War, Fuertes was exposed to great artists early in life because his father associated with surrealist Salvador Dali and poet-dramatist Frederico Garcia Lorca. Dali introduced the younger Fuertes to Andre Breton, father of the surrealist movement, who became his benefactor, according to Fuertes’ biography on his Web site.

Fuertes met Picasso in France and delved into neo-cubism, mixing geometric shapes with bright colors. Several of his most well-known works involved the use of stunning shades of blue, which earned him the moniker “Painter of Blue.” He often chose women or cats as his subject matter.

After first showing his works in Berlin and New York, he won first prize in Rome for his “Torneo Medieval” in 1963.

His works can be found around the world, including in Queen Sofia of Spain’s museum in Madrid, the Beaux Arts Museum in Brussels, Belgium, and the Contemporary Art Museum in Vienna, Austria.

Survivors include his wife, daughter and brother.