Wednesday August 23, 2017

Cuban Art News

Abstract Art, CINTAS Fellows, and “A Curatorial Gambit”

Next week, the Coral Gables Art Museum opens Between the Real and the Imagined: Abstract Art from CINTAS Fellows. Curator Elizabeth Cerejido previews the exhibition and talks about the thinking behind it—and what makes the CINTAS collection unique in Cuban art.

Cuban Art & Artists in “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA”

With more than 70 exhibitions and events in Southern California museums from San Diego to Santa Barbara, this Getty-led initiative is the most comprehensive, in-depth survey of Latin American art in the US. Here’s our guide on where to find Cuban art, artists, and exhibitions in “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.”

Hollywood in Havana Brings Cuban Poster Art to Los Angeles

Anyone familiar with life in Havana knows that Cubans are big fans of Hollywood movies. And with Hollywood in Havana: Five Decades of Cuban Posters Promoting U.S. Films, Hollywood will have the chance to discover that for itself. Here’s a sneak preview of the show opening August 20.

US-Born Cuban – 6 Artists to Watch

Since Cuban Art News began publishing in 2009, a new generation of artists has come of age—US-born, of Cuban descent, with work that reflects the full range of their heritage and culture. Here (in alphabetical order) are 6 US-born Cuban artists to watch—emerging, emerged, and reaching broader success.

Update: Cubans at Art Aspen, Lam Drawings at Lehigh, Without Masks in Havana

A 3-part exhibition runs at Galleria Continua in Havana, a new exhibition opens at the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso, Jesús Hdez-Güero opens a solo show in Caracas, and top Havana artists show work in Key West. The Prodigious Decade continues in Miami Beach, and Francisco Masó brings his abstract canvases to Miami.

2 Cubans in Brooklyn: Jorge Wellesley and Elizabet Cerviño

Jorge Wellesley and Elizabet Cerviño are the last of six Cuban artists to take part in this spring’s international residency program at Residency Unlimited in Brooklyn. In a pair of mini-interviews, they talk about the program, speculate about its impact on their work, and compare New York to Havana—and Miami.

Midsummer Round-Up: 6 Shows to Catch Now

Who says summer and art don’t mix? Heading into August, we think it’s a perfect time to recap 6 of the season’s most interesting—and still running—exhibitions, with our recent articles and photo walk-throughs.

Without Masks: Contemporary Afro-Cuban Art Arrives in Havana

Originally presented in South Africa in 2010, the exhibition Sin máscaras / Without Masks is now almost double its initial size. Here’s a quick look at the upcoming show at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana, and the special events for opening week.

A Symbol is a Truth: Marta María Pérez at MUSAS

Earlier this month, the exhibition Marta María Pérez: Un símbolo es una verdad (A Symbol is a Truth) opened at the Museo de Arte de Sonora (MUSAS) in Hermosillo, Mexico. In an email conversation, Pérez talks about the planning show, selecting the works, and what truth has to do with it. 

Close-Up: Índice de imágines at Factoría Habana

For José Manuel Mesías, history is the raw material of art, and much more. Re-examining revered legends and historical facts, Mesías exercises a certain scientific curiosity and an eye for odd artifacts. The result is a post-modern cabinet of curiosities, and an alternate reading of the nation’s 19th-century past.

Update: Soriano in Southern California, Mendive in the Bronx, and Pacific Standard Time in LA

Servando Cabrera makes a rare appearance at Galería Habana as other Havana spaces host solo shows by José Manuel Mesías, Octavio Irving, and Rubén Alpízar. Classic poster design is celebrated in Santiago de Cuba—and coming soon, via Hollywood, to Pasadena. Dominoes start slapping at PAMM, and a massive Latin American initiative slowly unrolls across Southern California, bringing Cuban artists with it.

Nkame in New York: Belkis Ayón at El Museo del Barrio

Last fall, Nkame: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón made its US debut at the Fowler Museum at UCLA—the artist’s first museum exhibition outside Cuba. Now it’s on view in New York. Here’s a look at the show at El Museo, with excerpts from the exhibition essay by curator Cristina Vives.

Cuban Art Shines at Art Basel 2017

After two days of invitation-only viewing, Art Basel opens to the public today. Here’s our roundup of where to find notable Cuban art and artists in the gallery stands, curated sections, and special events of the art world’s flagship contemporary fair.

Update: Belkis Ayón in New York, Garaicoa in Lisbon, Art Basel Opens

In Havana, Humberto Díaz finds abstract art in the New York subway while Carlos Garaicoa prepares an astroturf dystopia in Lisbon. The films of Ana Mendieta arrive in Sweden, and Tania Bruguera opens a retrospective in San Francisco. New York welcomes the art of Belkis Ayón, and the 1944 MoMA show returns in a photo-lecture in Miami. 

Teresita Fernández at Olana: “Sometimes Landscape is About What You Can’t See”

In the historic home of Hudson River School painter Frederic Church, Teresita Fernández brings her own work into conversation with that of Church and his contemporaries. In excerpts from her essay, Fernández explains the thinking behind Overlook: Teresita Fernández Confronts Frederic Church at Olana.

Spring Auction Report: Strong Results for Herrera, Mendive, Fabelo and Cárdenas

With exceptional works and the largest number of lots by Cuban artists, Christie’s continued to position itself as a leader in modern and contemporary Cuban art.

Emerging Artists on Video

This spring, the Cisneros-Fontanals Art Foundation launched CIFO ArtChannel, a YouTube channel focusing on emerging artists and experimental art forms. Here, the first two videos on Cuban artists, with a brief written intro by CIFO director Eugenio Valdés Figueroa.

A Tribute to Luis Miret

Luis Miret, longtime director of Galería Habana and president of the auction house Subasta Habana, died last Thursday evening, May 11, at the age of 58. With contributions from friends and colleagues, Cuban Art News offers a tribute to a tireless advocate of Cuban art.

Update: Ponjuán in Havana, Garaicoa in Spain, Bruguera in San Francisco & New York

Levi Orta and Gabriel Sánchez Toledo open in Havana, René Francisco “seminars” in Utrecht, and geometric abstraction arrives in São Paulo. In Miami, PAMM prepares a long-running show of Cuban art while two exhibitions salute the Cuban Republic and Eduardo Abela. Tania Bruguera opens a West Coast show, and waves a different sort of flag in New York.

Going Green in Havana – An EcoArt Design Competition

Last June, during the first Bienal del Diseño La Habana, the New York-based organization EcoArt Project announced “the first eco-sustainable furniture and lighting design competition in Cuba.” Now it’s showing off its finalists in a Design Week exhibition. And one of them will be headed to Italy.

Preview – Carmen Herrera: Paintings on Paper

With her 102nd birthday coming up later this month, the indefatigable artist continues her incisive exploration of form, line, and color. Here’s a quick preview of the works on view.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres in Chelsea

While Carmen Herrera’s show opens this evening, last Thursday a show of work by her friend Felix Gonzalez-Torres opened just a few blocks away. That morning, longtime gallerist Andrea Rosen, a close friend of Gonzalez-Torres and executor of his estate, guided visitors through the new exhibition at David Zwirner gallery.

Update: Design in Havana, Cuban Art in Germany, Campos-Pons at Documenta

Tonel brings Cuban art to Leipzig, Tania Bruguera directs a Samuel Beckett play, and Abelardo Morell shows experimental flowers in Midtown Manhattan. The Cuba Pavilion gets ready to open at the Venice Biennale, Carmen Herrera prepares a new show in New York, and Humberto Castro opens in Miami.

Media Watch: Adiós Utopia

We survey the media landscape for Adiós Utopia and sample the writings it inspired—including this weekend’s New York Times.

Update: Tamayo Celebrates Baseball, Cordero Opens in Milan, Luna Headed to DC

In Havana, Los Carpinteros recover the lost architecture of the 1960s and ’70s, Reynerio Tamayo steps into the batter’s box, and GlitchMix explores the art of the digital error. Omni Zona Franca heads to Espacio Aglutinador, Emilio Pérez opens in New York, Glexis Novoa in Miami, and Cuban artists fill galleries in Paris and Key West.

In the Gallery with Enrique Martínez Celaya

In a stroll around his new show in Chelsea, the artist spoke about how being Cuban has influenced his work, what the challenges he finds in painting, and why his work isn’t really figurative. And a possible new project in Havana.

Update: Arrechea in São Paulo, Garaicoa in Houston, and Double Dulzaides in Havana

Angela Valella opens in Miami, a long-awaited San Alejandro reunion takes place in South Florida, Enrique Martínez Celaya opens in New York, and Cuban photography comes to the AIPAD show. A Yiddish-Cuban opera premieres in Havana, the play 10 Million comes to New York, and the Havana New York Film Festival kicks off with a preview and party in the Bronx.

In Focus: Diógenes and the Light at Factoría Habana

“Light is a metaphor of honesty,” curator Concha Fontenla writes in her introduction to Diógenes y la luz (Diogenes and the light). With this concept as their starting point, José Toirac & Octavio Marín embarked on a metaphoric search through contemporary Havana for the equivalent of the Greek philosopher’s “honest man.”

Opening This Weekend: Adiós Utopia

This weekend, Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950 opens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. By way of a preview, we open our coverage with the complete lists of artists in the show—a multigenerational roster whose works span close to 70 years of Cuban art and history.

Preview: Cuban Art at the Armory Show

This week sees the opening of the 2017 Armory Show, and with it, a raft of additional fairs and events. Here’s a quick guide to some of the top spots to see Cuban art, including a couple of satellite fairs.

Update: “Diogenes” in Havana, Garaicoa in Bilbao, Alfonzo and Mendieta in New York

José Yaque opens in London and Pisa, Diango Hernández prepares a show in Basel, and Levi Orta opens this weekend in Barcelona. Cuban artists join group shows in West Palm Beach, Birmingham, Alabama, and New York City, and Kcho and Juan Roberto Diago hit the spotlight in Miami.

Update: Capote in New York, Diago at Harvard, and Barroso’s Pinball Headed to the Armory Show

Tamara Campo opens a solo show in Havana, the new Rafael Soriano retrospective opens in Boston, and Juan Roberto Diago and Ana Mendieta are showcased at Harvard. María Elena González and Yoan Capote open solo shows in New York galleries, and the Whitney’s Carmen Herrera exhibition moves on to Ohio.

2017 Preview: Cuban Art in US Museums

Whether in solo or group shows, Cuban art is a vital presence in US museums this year. Here’s a look at key shows opening in the first quarter of 2017, and a quick glimpse of the massive Pacific Time initiative coming this fall.

Year in Review: The Top 5 Cuban Art News Stories of 2016

Which stories drew the biggest readership in 2016? What did they have in common? And what trends might they point to for 2017? Here are the top 5 stories for 2016, followed by quick links to the 5 runners-up.

Bookshelf: Tropicana Nights, Concrete Cuba, and at Least One Manifesto

With the holidays rapidly approaching, here are our picks among recent books on Cuban art and culture—including new volumes on Luis Cruz Azaceta, Rocío García, and Félix González-Torres. Plus a new edition of Rosa Lowinger’s beloved nightclub saga, Tropicana Nights, with a cover by Alexandre Arrechea.
 

More Than Fossils and Lizards: An Art-Focused Look at ¡Cuba!

A research expedition into the biodiversity of eastern Cuba may have been the starting point for !Cuba! But even at a natural history museum, art was not left behind.

Auction Report: Mariano’s Gallos Take Flight, New Records Set 

As predicted, it was a hot week for Cuban art, with record-breaking figures achieved by several artists in the Latin American sales. Much of the action focused on “Cuba Moderna: Masterworks from a Private Collection,” the sale-within-a-sale in the Christie’s auction, but there were surprises at Phillips and Christie's too.

Miami Art Week: Museums and Galleries

From women artists at the Lowe to Luis Cruz Azaceta at the new American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora, the Island is a big part of this year’s Art Week events and exhibitions. And perhaps more interesting: a wave of international group shows with Cuban artists on their rosters.

Preview: Sun Shines on Miami Art Week

Next week, the international art world descends on Miami, ready to take on a whirlwind of fairs, exhibitions, and events, anchored by Art Basel Miami Beach. Here’s our guide to some of the top spots for catching Cuban art at the fairs.

Auction Preview: Hot Week for Cuban Art

A wealth of exceptional contemporary and modern works dominate Cuban art in this week’s Latin American sales, especially at Christie’s. All three houses have outstanding works on offer, many of them carrying attractive estimates.

Update: Photography Hot in Havana, Arrechea  and Darié in Miami, Azaceta in New York

Noviembre Fotográfico continues in Havana, Néstor Arenas opens tonight in Miami, and Tresart opens its new Wynwood space with a show of Sandú Darié. Luis Cruz Azaceta opens his first New York solo show in five years, and abstract animations by Emilio Pérez take over Times Square every night this month.

Fors Wins 2016 National Art Award in Havana

Lauded for a lifetime of creative expression and his experimental approach to photography and installation art, José Manuel Fors has been awarded the 2016 Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas. In celebration, a quick walk-through of his work.

Update: Big Week for Cuban Art—Openings Today in Havana, Women Artists in Miami, and a Triple Show in LA

In Havana, re-assessing the 80s Generation from a 2016 viewpoint, tackling “Big Data” from a Cuban perspective, and using the language of medicine to “diagnose” contemporary Cuban art. The CINTAS Awards are rescheduled, Cuban architects go on view in South Florida, and MoMA announces a new institute for Latin American art.

In Havana, 2016 CNAP Prizes Awarded to Curators, Critics

Singling out young critics and curators as well as acclaimed art-world figures, CNAP made its awards as the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) met in Havana—and awarded a couple of Cuban critics too.

Is a Sketch an Artwork? Cuban Collectors Rethink Value in Preparatory Works

What is a finished artwork, and what’s a preparatory study? Alejandro Machado Font, a 2015 winner of Cuba’s National Curator’s Prize, explores creativity, commerce, and changing definitions of the “study” in a show at the PAAP Annex in Miami.

Update: Gottardi, Campos-Pons, Mabel Poblet, Glenda Léon, Pablo Cano & Carlos Martiel Live in NYC

Hurricane Matthew may have postponed some of the weekend’s events, but the art season continues in full swing in Havana and South Florida—with additions in London, Madrid, New York, and Washington, DC.

Update: Ayón in LA, La isla concreta in Sao Paulo, El silencio de Duchamp in Havana

In Havana, La Ciudad de las Columnas showcases the photographs of Ramón Martínez Grandal, while a cross-section of artists unveil works in London. Women artists respond to Ana Mendieta in Arizona, Cu4atro Caminos comes to Miami, and six Cuban artists head to Brooklyn in 2017. 

Cuban Art in Miami: A Quick History Lesson from Ramón Cernuda

This spring, Ramón Cernuda of Cernuda Arte spoke at the Dialogues in Cuban Art symposium at PAMM. His topic: “Cuban Art in Miami, Past, Present and Future: Fifty Years in Fifteen Minutes.” Cuban Art News is pleased to present this valuable historical perspective, excerpted from his talk.

More Updates: Castañeda in Havana, Miradas indiscretas in Mexico City, Faces of Fidel in NYC

Consuelo Castañeda opens her first show in Cuba in almost 30 years, Rafael Domenech curates an exploration of domestic life in North Miami, and The-Merger solos in Tenerife. Photographer Eduardo García is a Magnum Award finalist, and a restored Memories of Underdevelopment screens at the New York Film Festival.

Update: Novoa in Havana, La Isla concreta in São Paulo, Sicre’s Eye in DC

Glexis Novoa opens a solo show at the Museo Nacional, Wifredo Lam opens in London, and Sandra Ramos explores drugs and Don Quixote in Mexico City. Carmen Herrera opens at the Whitney, Cuban Forever Revisited opens at the Pizzuti Collection, and El Acompañante heads to the Oscars.
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VIDEO - Sirique: A Champion of Cuban Music Returns in Rediscovered Photographs

Blacksmith by day, musician and music lover in his off hours, Alfredo González Suazo—better known as Sirique—ran one of the most important spaces for Cuban music in 1960s Havana in his blacksmithing shop. One day, a young photographer, Ernesto Fernández, turned up and started shooting. José León Díaz spoke with Fernández about that day. Added bonus: a classic video documentary on "La Herrería de Sirique."