The painter Antonia Mir, Medal of the University, reclaims the miscegenation of indigenous and Hispanic cultures

Antonia Mir with Esteban Morcillo at the time of receiving the University Medal.
Antonia Mir with Esteban Morcillo at the time of receiving the University Medal.

The painter Antonia Mir has reclaimed the miscegenation of Indigenous and Hispanic cultures, through life and death, in the evolution of her work Mir has received the Universitat de València’s medal in a ceremony celebrated on 1 December in the Paraninfo of the historic building La Nau. The “laudatio” has been read by Román de la Calle, honorary professor of the Universitat de València since his retirement as professor of Aesthetics, and Antonio Ariño, professor of Sociology and vice-principal of Culture and Equality. The Principal, Esteban Morcillo, has emphasised the international level of the work of Antonia Mir, “which has also a great human quality.”

The event has also count with the presence of Josep Boira, regional secretary of housing, public works and structuring of the territory; and Jesús Monzó, mayor of Catarroja.

The new honorary doctorate has explained how he discovery of Mexican funeral altars influenced the evolution of her painting. "Life and death, mourning and joy, baroque, tenderness and tears coexist, reveal intrinsic emotions and give the senses on the Mexican Day of the Dead, offerings time that I have moved to panel paintings and canvases, capturing all kinds of essential and chromatic nuances." The painter has continued: “I found out the Festivity in my second trip to Mexico, when I visited the fabulous Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, which impressed me and motivated me to know the current popular roots of it, through various aesthetic manifestations, exhibited, at that time, in homes of all conditions, official centres, academics and cultural venues.”

The words of Antonia Mir can be consulted entirely by clicking here.

Romà de la Calle y Antonio Ariño have shared the “laudatio” of the new honorary doctor. In their speeches they have remember how decisive it was for her to experiment first person, in her travels, “the influence of the so special Mexican funeral altars”. “The theme of death, as an emblematic symbol, caused her a great impact and admiration, in this particular anthropological context. By contrast of experiences, she began to paint, in this historical vital juncture, with intense colours and much happier tones. Her paintworks will acquire, consequently, a noticeable compositional symbolism and a great chromatic force. This was, for her, a very special period in which she worked, with total commitment and dedication, in a wide series of characterized paintings, dedicated in Mexico, with the significant title of Offerings ".

The full ‘laudatio’ can be read by clicking here.

The principal, Esteban Morcillo has pointed out that the Universitat de València want to recover the memory of women, “those pioneers who fought in difficult and adverse time, who contributed to break glass ceilings which were more real than metaphorical.” “their longings for freedom, their values, their efforts and their dedication have been recognised by this University so that they can be preserved, because they are part of our collective memory,” he added.

The Principal’s speech can be checked out by clicking here.

Antonia Mir

Antonia Mir (Catarroja 1928) is member of the Academy of Fine Arts of San Carlos de Valencia. Graduated in Painting by the School of Fine Arts of San Carlos de Valencia, she also graduated in Fine Arts in Valencia. She received a grant in the House of Velázquez of Madrid, and by the General Directorate of Cultural Relations to study in the school of Metiers d'Art and in the school of Fine Arts, in Paris, she completed her training in engraving in the Scuola Internacional de Venezia.

She has developed her teaching activity in middle schools as a professor of drawing, and has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally. It highlights her presence in Madrid, Venice, Lisbon, Paris, New York and Brussels.

The Antonia Mir Museum of Catarroja was inaugurated in 2007, and the Antonia Mir Foundation of the Valencia Region was established in 2011.

She has been granted many honours, medals, honourable mentions and tributes, among them, the Premi Senyera de Pintura de l’Ajuntament de València, that paid tribute to her in 2013 on the occasion of International Day of Working Women.


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