Sunday February 25, 2018

Abelardo Mena Chicuri

Laboratory, Incubator, Source: Cuban Drawing & Graphic Design of the 1920s and ‘30s

This season, a show at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes considered drawing and graphic design—specifically, magazine covers—of the 1920s and 1930s as source and inspiration for the painting and sculpture of that era. Cuban Art News Havana editor Abelardo Mena spoke with curator Roberto Cobas about the thinking behind the show.

City of Columns: Reinterpreting Alejo Carpentier

In 1982, the Cuban edition of La Ciudad de las Columnas paired Alejo Carpentier’s 1963 essay with images by a young, emerging photographer, Ramón Martínez (Grandal). Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Noviembre Fotográfico, Havana’s monthlong focus on photography, we present a selection of Grandal’s images with an essay by curator Abelardo Mena.

Bienal Snapshot: Guillermo Ramírez Malberti’s Identidad

Using the artist and his family as an intimate frame of reference, Guillermo Ramírez Malberti’s exhibition is a meditation on the arc of the Revolution and its first generation. Abelardo Mena Chicuri, Cuban Art News Havana editor and the show’s curator, takes us through Identidad.

Bienal Snapshot: Néstor Siré’s Banksy in Havana

On the Internet, Cuban artist and videomaker Néstor Siré discovered that Banksy had spent several days in Havana in 2004, and left work behind on the city’s walls. Abelardo Mena reports on what Siré discovered next, and how it became part of his own art.

In Conversation: Caridad Blanco, Part 2

Continuing the conversation with Abelardo Mena, Blanco talks about organizing the exhibition Las otras narraciones: Una década de animación independiente, discovering the audience, and understanding animation in both the Cuban and international contexts.

In Conversation: Caridad Blanco on Las otras narraciones, Part 1

This past fall, one of the highlights of the 6th Salon of Contemporary Cuban Art was Caridad Blanco’s exhibition The Other Narrations: A Decade of Independent Animation. In a conversation with Abelardo Mena, Blanco talks about the show and animation as a medium in Cuban art and culture.

"Unforgettable:" Obama, Raúl, and Alexis Esquivel's Chronicle of Hope

The handshake between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro last December rippled throughout the world’s media. In the wake of yesterday's historic resumption of official relations between Cuba and the US, Abelardo Mena, Havana editor for Cuban Art News, offers a meditation on Alexis Esquivel's painting of the event.

Exhibition Close-Up: Cuba: Art of the Fantastic

Havana curator Abelardo Mena Chicuri brings the imaginative visions of four emerging artists direct from the island to North Carolina.

Rocío and Rita: Solo Shows in Havana This Summer

This summer, Havana saw solo shows by two women artists from different generations, revealing distinctive visions. At Galería Habana in Línea Street, the desirous beings of painter Rocío García inhabited her canvases with the lightness of comic-book characters; at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, a centennial homage showcased sculptor Rita Longa´s women of stone, plaster, and marble.

Kcho at the "Crossroads"

Sacrificio en la encrucijada (Sacrifice at the Crossroads) is not your usual solo show. Instead of dazzling visitors with an array of new work, Kcho chose to share his creative process on an intimate level—curating the exhibition entirely from his own collection, incorporating dozens of personal sketchbooks, and inviting the Cuban people to rediscover his art for themselves. Abelardo G. Mena Chicuri, curator at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, reflects on the exhibition and the artist.

A Laughing Matter: Caridad Blanco on Cuban Humor

La Ubre del Humor (The Udder of Humor), an exhibition of graphic humor, was presented in Havana this spring. Curator Caridad Blanco de la Cruz talks about the show—and Cuban humor in general—with Abelardo Mena, her collaborator on a forthcoming project.

“Hasta cierto Titón:” A New Look at Tomás Gutiérrez Alea

Film historian Juan Antonio Borrero talks with Cuban Art News about the internationally acclaimed filmmaker—Titón to his friends—and the challenges of writing a biography that captures the director, his work, and his personal contradictions.