Tuesday May 23, 2017

Cuban Art News

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.

Fall Preview: November

Our fall preview continues with a look at key museum shows focusing on women contemporary artists, modernist architects, and discoveries made in some of the Island’s least-explored wilderness areas.

Photo Walk-Through: Amanecer at Galería Habana

We normally think of Havana’s Galería Habana as a sedate, “white cube” space, where individual works of art are hung on the walls or installed on plinths, with identifying labels discreetly posted nearby. For Amanecer, his solo show and “intervention,” emerging artist Pablo Rosendo had other ideas.

Fall Preview: October

October brings a trio of firsts: the first solo US museum exhibition for Belkis Ayón, the first museum retrospective for designer Narciso Rodríguez, and the first in a series of Cuba-focused shows in Tampa. And Carlos Martiel joins a show of body transformation at the Frost.

Bookshelf: Fall 2016

For late summer reading and into the fall, a roundup of books on Cuban abstraction, 20th-century art, and graphic humor, as well as cookbooks, Cuban theater, a fantasy for kids, and a long-awaited volume by poet Félix Lizárraga.

Fall Preview: September Blockbusters – Lam, Herrera, Novoa, and Cuba Forever Revisited

With summer winding down and the fall arts season only weeks away, the focus is turning toward our series of Fall Previews featuring Cuban art and artists. In opening-date order, here’s the lineup for September: four blockbuster museum shows in Havana, London, and the US.

VIDEO: The Arcades of La Habana

As the northern hemisphere moves into the “dog days” of August heat and humidity, we share a celebration of the arcades that define so much of Havana’s enduring architecture, in a video slide show by Cuban-born, Florida-based architect Ángel C. Saqui.

Update: Gárciga in Havana, Los Carpinteros in Brazil, Bruguera in London

Los Carpinteros open a four-city exhibition tour in São Paulo, Diango Hernández prepares a gift for the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, and changes are announced at the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana. The Nasher Sculpture Center acquires works by Ana Mendieta, and women skateboarders take to the streets in Havana and the Bronx—on video.

Photo Walk-Through: Wifredo Lam in Brazil

While the Europe-based Wifredo Lam retrospective continues its run at the Reina Sofía in Madrid, we take a moment to catch up with another Lam exhibition that recently finished its tour in Brazil: a show of paintings and prints drawn from the collections of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

Fall Preview: CIFO, Miami

In speaking with Eugenio Valdés Figueroa about the recent workshops led by Gustavo Pérez Monzón, the conversation naturally turned toward what’s coming next at CIFO. Here’s a quick preview of the highlights for fall.

VIDEO: Gustavo Pérez Monzón – The Artist as Teacher

Commenting on a recent workshop in Miami, Pérez Monzón shares his thoughts on teaching art to children, and a classic documentary from the 1980s shows him doing the same on the Island.

Update 2: El Libro de Job in Havana, Under the Same Sun in London, and Harlem/Havana Coming to New York

A tribute to Ramón Casas opens in Havana as René Rodríguez translates a biblical figure into geometric abstraction. Yornel Martínez and Allora & Calzadilla head to Japan, and Enrique Martínez Celaya heads to Dartmouth University.

Update Part 1: Performance Art in Havana, Tattooing History in Milan, Delahante Matienzo in Sweden

The Wifredo Lam Center takes an 18-day plunge into international performance art and a new prize for curatorship is announced. Luis Gómez opens a solo show in Barcelona, two Cuban artists “draw the line” in Los Angeles, and a work by Luis Cruz Azaceta joins a Bronx conversation on AIDS. 

Exhibition Close-Up: Diango Hernández, Theoretical Beach

In a metaphorical exploration of sea and shore, Diango Hernández ponders the Cuba of his imagination and—via the encryption of a famous speech—“the incapacity to read properly, understand properly” what we are trying to grasp.

Exhibition Close-Up: (Art)xiomas in Washington, DC

Now on view at the OAS Art Museum of the Americas, (Art)xiomas - Cuba Ahora: The Next Generation presents work by young and emerging artists from the Island. The show’s curator, Gabriela García Azcuy, talks about the exhibition in its newly expanded form.

Another Update: Erotic Art in Havana, Larraz in Venice, and a Theoretical Beach in Germany

Shows by Félix González-Torres open in London, Milan, and NYC, Diango Hernández brings Theoretical Beach to a castle in Germany, and Wilfredo Prieto solos in Mexico City. Julio Larraz opens in Venice, Drapetomanía travels to Chicago, and Cuban photography opens in Midtown NYC. So do Septeto Santiaguero.

Update: Arrechea in Havana, Cuban Art in the Hamptons, and a Career Award for José Rosabal

Cool War brings international game art to the Lam Center, Geandy Pavón and José Manuel Mesías share a gallery in Miami, and Roberto Chile opens a photo show in Chelsea. (Art)xiomas opens in Washington, DC, Tania Bruguera receives an honorary doctorate, and Cuban art makes a splash at Art Hamptons.

Happy Birthday, Carmen Herrera

In a visit to Herrera in her studio, the conversation turns to artists she has known through the decades. In the process, a highly personal glimpse of Cuban art history comes to light, and long-absent friends are included in the party.
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