A work from the series on Cuban youth culture by Michael Christopher Brown
Courtesy Annenberg Space for Photography

From the opening of Adiós Utopia in Houston to “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA,” from the 7th Contemporary Cuban Art Salon in Havana to Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach, 2017 was a jam-packed 12 months—including the worst hurricane season in recent memory. Here are our Top 5 stories for the year, followed by quick links to the 5 runners-up.

1. Cuba Is: An “Uncomfortable” Show

September 4, 2017

The interview with Iliana Cepero, curator of the exhibition Cuba Is, was by far the most popular post in 2017. Presented as part of “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA”—the region-wide, multi-museum cultural program led by the Getty—the show sparked strong word-of-mouth even before it opened.

Published ahead of the exhibition’s debut at the Annenberg Space for Photography, the interview immediately gained a large audience, and continued to draw readers throughout the fall.

“It’s not the Cuba that appears in the tourist brochures,” Cepero told Cuban Art News New York editor Susan Delson. “I know that for some people in audience, it’s going to be a little bit of an uncomfortable show.”

Raúl Martínez, Rosas y estrellas, 1972
Courtesy The Farber Collection

2. 2017 Preview: Cuban Art in US Museums

January 3, 2017

The first post of the new year turned out to be one of our most popular, reflecting the remarkable number of Cuba-related shows presented in US museums in 2017.

Covering only the first three months of the year, the article profiled more than half a dozen exhibitions and events—among them, Rafael Soriano: The Artist as Mystic, Juan Roberto Diago at Harvard, Emilio Sánchez in Miami, and Adiós Utopia at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

And of course, looking far ahead, the article included a brief preview of Cuban art in “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.”

Margaret Randall with the Argentine investigative journalist Rodolfo Walsh, co-founder of the Prensa Latina news agency, Havana, 1968
Courtesy Havana Times

3. An American Feminist in Cuba: Margaret Randall and To Change the World

February 14, 2017

One of the surprises on our list was the interview with poet, photographer, and social activist Margaret Randall—the only one of the Top 5 not to focus on art.

The story was prompted by publication of Randall’s memoir, To Change the World: My Years in Cuba, in a long-awaited Spanish translation. As the article went online, Randall was given a tribute at the 2016 Havana Book Fair.

“At the end of my time in Mexico, I discovered feminism, and I arrived in Cuba eager to learn how the Revolution had changed—or not changed—the lives of Cuban women,” Randall tells Laura Ruiz Montes in the interview. “The world has changed, Cuba has changed, and I think the life we led in the 1970s may be of interest.”

A frame from the video I Scream, Therefore I Exist, 2011, by Antonia Wright
Courtesy antoniawright.com

4. US-Born Cuban – 6 Artists to Watch

August 8, 2017

“Since Cuban Art News began publishing in 2009, a new generation of artists has come of age,” we wrote in the introduction to this story. “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 on the cusp of broader success.”

Los Carpinteros, No es fácil, 2017
Courtesy Galerie Peter Kilchmann

5. Cuban Art Shines at Art Basel 2017 

June 15, 2017

Our Miami Art Week roundups of Cuban art are always popular, and this year we added a look at Art Basel itself. The popularity of this story suggests a growing interest among Cuban Art News readers in Cuban art in the international arena—not only in museums, but in galleries and the art market in general.

AND THE RUNNERS UP

Here, in numerical order, are the next most popular stories.

A modernist building in the Miramar section of Havana
Courtesy Rosa Lowinger

6. Rosa Lowinger: “Deterioration and repair go together”

June 28, 2017

Courtesy Sotheby’s New York

7. Cuban and Latin American Art Gain Traction at Major Auction Houses

September 19, 2017

El techo, directed by Patricia Ramos
Courtesy Havana Film Festival New York

8. Preview: Havana Film Festival 2017

March 21, 2017

René Peña, Wardrobe, 2007
Courtesy withoutmasks.org

9. Without Masks: Contemporary Afro-Cuban Art Arrives in Havana

July 25, 2017

Rafael Soriano, Motivos del mar, 1953
Courtesy CINTAS Fellows Collection

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

August 22, 2017

As we head into our ninth year, Cuban Art News will spend the first part of 2018 undergoing a redesign. In the process, we’ll be experimenting with different story formats, schedules, and ways of presenting information. We hope you’ll let us know what you think, and your suggestions for what you’d like to see on the website or our social media. You can reach us using the “Contact Us” link at the bottom of the screen.