Lydia Rubio


Cuban born, American artist Lydia Rubio earned a B. Arch degree from the U of Florida in 1969 and M. Arch from Harvard University in 1974. A self-taught visual artist, Rubio has had a steady studio practice since 1980 with twenty-nine solo and ninety group exhibitions including thirty-six national museums.

Her work in painting, assemblage, sculpture, public art, architectural interventions, and unique artist books is diverse in themes relating to nature. She comments on ecology, exile, migration, and other art, and her work is often based on a system of conceptual parameters. Exhibited in New York, Montreal, Bogota, and Florida including The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Latin American Art CA, Lowe Art Museum, Frost Art Museum, NSU Art Museum Florida, and in many nationwide university and museum collections. 

Her awards include an Ellie’s, Pollock Krasner Grant, Cintas Foundation Fellowship, State of Florida Fellowship, and the Graham Foundation Grant. Academic experience includes Harvard GSD, Parsons School of Design, and the University of Puerto Rico.

Rubio, a traveler, has lived in Cuba, Florence, Boston, New York, Miami, Bogota, and Puerto Rico and currently is based in Hudson, NY.

Project Description

A Sectional Monograph

There are no printed monographs or exhibition catalogs to show the totality of my work except for one small catalog published for an exhibition in 1994 with an essay by John Yau of which I have three copies. 

A Tree of Life grant will allow me to start the documentation of stages in my work by publishing soft cover printed catalogs combining existing essays, texts, and images. The gradual publication of these books would help explain and make visible to others the stages of development of my works and explorations of themes, methods, and approaches I have followed since 1980. This documentation is totally necessary, especially now.

The images I present of the series TARNISHED NATURE ERASABLE ART (impermanent works of art—paintings—addressing the ongoing destruction of nature) are an example of one catalog section with the texts I have.

Many works I have produced—paintings, sculptures, works on paper, artist's books, and public art—have not been exhibited. Some paintings don't have conventional formats: fragmentation, polyptychs with multiple installations, user participation, word-image associations organized by conceptual systems, must be clearly explained. 

I have in my files elaborate and enlightening essays and interviews by critics like John Yau, Enrico M. Santi, Emir Rodriguez Monegal, Adriana Herrera, and Francine Birbragher. These unpublished critical essays and texts were written on various exhibitions and key series of works and cover four productive decades of work. These important writings will be included in the catalogs along with related images that document the history of my art.