Acclaimed by Jean Arp as â€œthe perfection of Cubaâ€™s Cubists,â€ Arcay emerged among the postwar generation of the Ecole de Paris as a painter, muralist and, perhaps most familiarly, as a printmaker. Born in Cuba and trained at Havanaâ€™s Academia de San Alejandro, Arcay arrived in Paris on a grant in 1949.Â He assimilated quickly within the milieu of post-Cubist abstraction, studying at the Grande ChaumiÃ¨re and with Edgard Pillet and Jean Dewasne at their Atelier dâ€™Art Abstrait.Â In 1951, at the invitation of AndrÃ© Bloc, the influential editor of the journal Art dâ€™Aujourdâ€™hui, Arcay set up a studio at Blocâ€™s villa in Meudon, mingling there amongst such luminaries of the historical avant-garde as Arp, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, and Fernand LÃ©ger.
While celebrated as a printmaker, ArcayÂ painted only through the 1950s and 1960s, sending work to the Salon des RÃ©alitÃ©s Nouvelles (1951-54) and regularly to Cuba. He exhibited as part of the Cuban delegation to the SÃ£o Paulo Biennale (1955) and frequently at Havan’s GalerÃa Color-Luz, a pioneering outpost of geometric abstraction. A member of both the constructivist Groupe Espace, founded by Bloc and FÃ©lix Del Marle in 1951, and the short-lived Cuban group Los Diez Pintores Concretos (1959-61), Arcay personified the rich diversity and internationalism of postwar abstraction.