Saturday June 24, 2017

Susan Delson

In Conversation: René Francisco on Adiós Utopia

Artist, educator, and curator René Francisco is part of the curatorial team that created Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950, the major exhibition now on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. in a conversation with Cuban Art News, Francisco reveals the thinking behind the show, and its evolution from initial idea to exhibition opening.

In the Studio with María Martínez-Cañas

With her series Rebus + Diversions, María Martínez-Cañas draws on the archives of curator José Gómez Sicre to explore Cuban art history and her own biography. Here, Martínez-Cañas talks about five of her works and the stories behind them.

Exhibition Walk-Through: Wild Noise/Ruido Salvaje at the Bronx Museum

Last week, Wild Noise/Ruido Salvaje opened at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Originally planned as the second half of an exhibition exchange with the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana, the show ran into a series of setbacks. Which works finally made it into the exhibition? Here’s a look at the art on view.

Birch Tree Music: María Elena González and Tempo

Art from music? Music from trees? The day before it opened in midtown Manhattan, María Elena González took a break from installing to talk about Tempo, and how she came to make music--and art--from birch trees.

Preview: Emilio Sanchez in South Florida Collections

The show, opening this Thursday, February 9, at the Lowe Art Museum, is the artist’s first in South Florida in over a decade. Co-curator and architecture scholar Victor Deupi spoke with Cuban Art News about the exhibition, Sanchez’s career, and the role of architecture in his art.

Fish Hook as Metaphor: Yoan Capote’s Palangre

Earlier this week, we dropped in on the installation of Yoan Capote: Palangre, a show of recent paintings embedded with thousands of fish hooks. The artist walked through the show with us, in a conversation that ranged from Romantic painters to Cubans’ relationship to the sea.

Preview: Juan Roberto Diago at Harvard

Tomorrow evening, the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at Harvard University welcomes Diago: The Pasts of This Afro-Cuban Present. Juan Roberto Diago and the show’s curator, Alejandro de la Fuente, spoke about the exhibition with Cuban Art News.

Soriano Rediscovered: The Artist as Mystic

Two years after his death, artist Rafael Soriano is on the verge of rediscovery, as a major retrospective makes the first of its three stops around the US. Curator Elizabeth Goizueta spoke with Susan Delson about Rafael Soriano: The Artist as Mystic, and the journey from geometric abstraction to surrealism to a luminous, transcendent art.

Luis Cruz Azaceta: An Off-the-Walls Perspective

This fall, the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora opened in Miami with Luis Cruz Azaceta: Dictators, Terrorism, War and Exile. We spoke with art historian Alejandro Anreus, curator of the exhibition and author of the first monographic study of the artist, in a wide-ranging conversation about Azaceta, the Cuban diaspora, and a utopian idea for an ambitious exhibition.

Preview: Cuban Architects at Home and in Exile: The Modernist Generation

Early next month, the Coral Gables Museum turns the spotlight on modernist architecture by Cuban designers on the island and abroad. Victor Deupi, who co-curated the exhibition with Jean-François Lejeune, gives us a pre-opening glimpse of Cuban Architects at Home and in Exile.

Sneak Preview: Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight

At the media preview, Whitney director Adam Weinberg and exhibition curator Dana Miller spoke movingly about the Cuban-born Herrera’s art and her place in the art world. Cuban Art News offers an advance look at one of the season’s most highly anticipated exhibitions.

On the Personal Side of “Dialogues in Cuban Art”

We began our conversation with Elizabeth Cerejido, organizer of the “Dialogues in Cuban Art” project, with a general description of the artist exchanges that took place in Havana last year and Miami this past spring. Here, Cerejido describes the exchanges on a more personal level, and looks ahead to the project’s next phases.

In Conversation: Elizabeth Cerejido on the Miami Artist Exchanges in “Dialogues in Cuban Art”

This spring, the Dialogues in Cuban Art project brought a group of artists to Miami from Havana, following a Miami-to-Havana trip the previous year. Project organizer Elizabeth Cerejido spoke with Cuban Art News New York editor Susan Delson about the Havana visitors’ week in Miami, and the project in general.

Design on the Island: A Biennial and an Eco-Competition

The continuing thaw in Cuba-US relations has sparked changes on both sides of the Florida Strait—among them, a re-energized focus on design on the island. Here’s a report on the recent Bienal de Diseño La Habana, and a new competition for island designers (open for submissions now).

Ben Rodríguez-Cubeñas, Part 2: “I thought we were getting ready for something five years from now”

In Part 2 of our conversation, Rodríguez-Cubeñas reflects on the organization he co-founded in 1998, expanding opportunities for international collaboration, new projects taking shape, and art and broader social issues.

Ben Rodríguez-Cubeñas: What’s Ahead for US Philanthropy, Cuban Art & Culture

In a wide-ranging conversation with Cuban Art News, Ben Rodríguez-Cubeñas of the Cuban Artists Fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund takes a thoughtful look at art and culture on the island, the need for cultural infrastructure, and the challenges facing US philanthropies looking to support island initiatives.

Encore: Picadillo, the New York Times, and Nitza Villapol

Sparked by an article in the New York Times about picadillo, in September 2014 we published an article about Cuban cookbook author and television chef Nitza Villapol. It struck a chord with readers, who had their own memories of growing up with Concina al minuto. To kick off the holidays, here’s an encore appearance by Nitza, video included.

At ABMB: “The New Role of Art in Cuba”

Before a capacity crowd at Art Basel Miami Beach, artists Carlos Garaicoa and Glenda León, curator Stéphane Aquin, and moderator Iliana Cepero Amador pursued a thought-provoking conversation on art and Cuba.

On Art and Curating: A Conversation with Elvia Rosa Castro

Last month, Havana curator Elvia Rosa Castro opened two exhibitions spotlighting emerging and established artists. We caught up with her for a wide-ranging email conversation on contemporary Cuban art and where it might be headed.

In Conversation: María Martínez-Cañas on What Remains

María Martínez-Cañas describes herself as a “photo-based artist.” In a conversation with Cuban Art News, she talks about the influences on her work, how Cuba has figured in her creative life, and her new show, What Remains.

In Conversation: Elizabeth Cerejido, Part 2

In Part 1 of our conversation, Miami curator Elizabeth Cerejido talked about the first phase of the artist exchange program she organized, which brought a group of Cuban American artists, who were raised and trained in Miami, to the island for the first time. Now, Cerejido looks ahead to the next phases of the project, and some of the issues that Cuban artists might face in the coming years.

Preview: “¡Cuba, Cuba! 65 Years of Photography” in the Hamptons

This Saturday, August 15, the International Center of Photography presents ¡Cuba, Cuba! 65 Years of Photography at the Southampton Arts Center, featuring more than 100 works by some 20 photographers, photojournalists, and artists. Co-curator Iliana Cepero talks about 5 works in the show.

In Conversation: Elizabeth Cerejido, Part 1

Among the many US citizens who visited Havana for the first time during the Biennial were a group of Cuban-American artists participating in the Dialogues in Cuban Art project. The organizer, Miami-based curator Elizabeth Cerejido, talks about the trip, the Cuban artists coming to Miami next year, and what it means to confront “the Havana-Miami binary.”

Celia & Yunior: “We have never believed in the figure of the artist as an enlightened genius”

Earlier this year, the duo Celia & Yunior won the prize for Young Artist of the Year at the first international Cuban Art Awards, sponsored by the Farber Foundation. In an email interview, they talk about winning the award, their current work, where they are in their career, and where they see themselves, and Cuban art, in the coming decade.

Bienal Snapshot: Between, Inside, Outside

At the Cuban Pavilion, a pair of curators encouraged Cuban, Cuban-born, and foreign artists to bring fresh thinking to the idea of art as a mechanism of cultural, social, and economic exchange. The results ranged from video installations to a short-term cottage industry.

Bienal Snapshot: Glexis Novoa, Emptiness

In the first of our Bienal close-ups, we focus on the Miami- and Havana-based artist’s contribution to this year’s Detrás del muro (Behind the Wall)—a meditation on history, contemporary realities, and the subtle art of guiding viewers through a space.

In Conversation: Elio Rodríguez

This month, artist Elio Rodríguez completes a semester-long fellowship in Harvard University’s Afro-Latin American Research Institute and Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. In an email interview, he talks about the experience and what comes next.

Cuban Architecture in MoMA’s Latin America in Construction

After five years of research and planning, MoMA’s long-awaited Latin American architecture show has opened, and the island’s modernist treasures are part of the design conversation.

In Conversation: Carlos Estévez on Reliquaries

In an email interview, Carlos Estévez talks about the work in Reliquaries, his show at Pan American Art Projects, and about time, scale, tin soldiers, and the pleasures of collecting stuff.

Photo Walk-Through: Yoán Capote’s Open Mind at Nuit Blanche, Toronto

Earlier this fall, we wrote about five Cuban artists participating in Nuit Blanche, the annual dusk-to-dawn art event in Toronto. Yoán Capote takes us through the creative process behind Open Mind, 2014, his outdoor installation for Nuit Blanche.

In Conversation: Lowery Stokes Sims on New Territories

Opening today, New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America includes the work of three Cuban artists: Ernesto Oroza, Carlos Garaicoa, and Coco Fusco. Exhibition curator Lowery Stokes Sims talks about the exhibition, how it’s organized, and how Cuba fits into the picture.

Exhibition Close-Up - Exodus: Alternate Documents

As the exhibition Éxodo: documentos alternos (Exodus: Alternate Documents) draws to a close this week at the Centro Cultural Español in Miami, we finally caught up with Guillermo “Willy” Castellanos and Adriana Herrera of the Aluna Curatorial Collective for an email conversation about the show.

VIDEO: Picadillo, the New York Times, and Nitza Villapol

Last week, the New York Times published a recipe for picadillo, calling it “the ultimate Cuban comfort food.” The accompanying article cited Nitza Villapol as a picadillo starting-point, describing her as “the closest thing Cuba has had to a Julia Child.” That sent us on a hunt for more about Nitza, including a video.

In Conversation: Curator Elizabeth Goizueta on Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds

This weekend, the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College opens Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds, a retrospective exhibition that presents the Cuban artist as an international figure in 20th-century art history. Cuban Art News spoke with curator Elizabeth T. Goizueta about the show and her approach to Lam and his work.

Exhibition Walk-Through – Teresita Fernández: As Above So Below

In her largest solo exhibition to date, Teresita Fernández fills the galleries of MASS MoCA with works that respond in different ways to the massive, light-filled spaces of the former industrial complex. Here’s a quick photo walk-through of the exhibition, on view through March 2015.

In Conversation: Roberto Fabelo on Fabelo’s Anatomy

Last month saw the opening of Fabelo’s Anatomy, Roberto Fabelo’s first solo exhibition in a U.S. museum. In a brief email interview, the artist talks about the show, the Malecón as a subject in his work, and what it’s like to use an antique book as the basis of his art.