Tag : Cuban Art outside of Cuba

thumbnail Mar 9

Wifredo Lam’s Painting Sells for 9.6 Million at Sotheby’s

Last June, Sotheby’s marquee virtual auction sold Cuban master Wifredo Lam’s painting Omi Obini (1943). The kaleidoscopic piece sold for $9.6 million, which was almost twice his previous auction record. It is the second highest price ever paid at an auction for a Latin American painting. The first is $9.7 million for Diego Rivera’s Los Rivales (1931) in 2018. 

Recognition of Lam’s paintings has increased over the last decade. In 2012, his painting Ídolo (Oya/Divinité de l’air et de la mort) (1944) sold for $4.5 million. Five years later, another of his important works, A Trois Centimetres de la Terre (1962), sold for $5.2 million. He is one example of the rising interest in Latin American art.

The Cuban-American artist has Asian and African roots. He was born to a Chinese father and an Afro-Cuban mother in the Cuban city of Sagua La Grande in 1902.  After studying art in Havana at the prestigious San Alejandro Academy, he left for Europe. While living in Paris, he befriended Picasso and other avant-garde artists like Andre Breton

His work combines his Afro-Cuban roots with the aesthetics of the Paris school. “Lam knew how to reconcile Western culture with Afro-Cuban traditions, giving birth in America to what we know as magic realism,” explained Roberto Cobas, the curator of Cuban art at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana.For example, the artist implements Santería imagery in many of his important paintings, including Omi Obini. In this colorful work, he references the African river deity Oshún.

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thumbnail Feb 10

Martínez Celaya’s ‘A Third Of the Night’ Opens in Aspen

Next week, the Baldwin Gallery in Aspen opens a new show titled A Third of the Night. Cuban-born, LA-based Enrique Martínez Celaya is the artist behind the exhibition. The showcase features twelve of his paintings and one sculpture. It opens this Friday, February 12, 2021 and will be on view until March 14th.

Going to Aspen is like a homecoming for the artist who is a fixture in the Aspen arts scene. He has been involved in the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. He has also had exhibitions at the Baldwin Gallery in the past.

Inspired by the Book of Revelations, A Third of the Night explores the concepts of loss and uncertainty. It also expresses an exilic longing for home. The artists took the name of the show from a passage in the biblical text. It reads “a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.” Martinez Celaya found the notion of being without light interesting. “That was interesting to me. The aspect of darkness and what it means when you no longer have light for a period, sort of the mystery and confusion of that.”

Martínez Celaya was born in Palos, Nueva Pas Cuba. His family first relocated to Spain when he was eight. Then, at the age of eleven, the artist’s family moved to Puerto Rico. He graduated from Cornell University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics and a minor in Electrical Engineering. Later, he earned a Master’s of Science in Quantum Electronics. He patented several laser devices before he received training in art. In 1994, he graduated with highest honors from the M.F.A. program at the University of California.

Blog links to Enrique Martinez Celaya

Wikipedia link

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thumbnail Feb 8

Teresita Fernandez Explores the Disaster of Colonization in Maelstrom

Gallery Lehmann Maupin presents Maelstrom, an exhibition of monumental works from Cuban-American artists Teresita Fernandez. In the show, she explores the topic of colonization through visual poetry.  Immense sculptures and installations feature scenes from natural disasters. The artist conceptualizes violence and devastation through metaphors. In Caribbean Cosmos, Fernandez created a series of mesmerizing vortexes over the Caribbean. The 16-foot-long ceramic panel of mosaics invites viewers to delve deeper into the connection between catastrophic weather events and human biological rhythms.

In Black Beach (Unpolished Diamond), Fernandez uses entangled palm trees and beach debris to portray the chaos of history. It consists of three large panels of charcoal and wood embedded with intertwining layers of material. Édouard Glissant’s essay “The Black Beach” inspired the series. The Caribbean writer, poet, philosopher, and literary critic describes Le Diamant, a beach in southern Martinique, as having a “subterranean, cyclical life.”

Guest may enter the online viewing room to explore a visual essay. It is full of resources including videos, articles, and images. There is a video of an interview with the artist about the research and ideas behind her work.  A reading of Glissant’s poetic essay on the occasion of Maelstrom is also available. Making it even more fun, the gallery provided documentary film footage of Cuba and several essays on Caribbean history. One can even find a map of the Caribbean with original Taino names.

In addition, those curious about the show may request to schedule a visit at the New York gallery.

Blog links to Teresita Fernandez

Wikipedia Link

Link to Video

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thumbnail Feb 8

ART IN WOODEN HEADS

An exhibit by Dorfsman Fine Arts

Art In Wooden Heads is a very unique exhibit presented by Dorfsman Fine Art. It was the brainchild of Silvia Dorfsman, using wooden mannequin heads she asked each of the six artists to create a work. Incredible and awe inspiring works are the result.

The artists are:

  • Jose Bedia
  • Ernesto Capdevilla
  • Liliam Cuenca
  • Ahmed Gomez
  • Noel Morera
  • Carlos Rodríguez Cardenas

CANY Blog posts – Ahmed Gomez

CANY Blog posts – Jose Bedia

CANY Blog posts – Carlos Rodriguez Cardenas

CANY Blog Posts – Liliam Cuenca

Visit CANY Online Gallery

Click on Read more below to see the video.

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thumbnail Feb 7

Aimee Garcia in The Game of Ambiguities

The Black Pony Gallery announced the first solo online exhibition for Cuban-American artist Aimee Garcia. It runs from February 5 to March 1, 2021. Garcia is unique because she utilizes the style of portraiture. She often uses herself as the subject. Using just a few strong colors- red, green, and black- in the backdrop, she draws attention to a person’s facial expressions. She also includes lines in her paintings, adding the sensation of psychological tension.

Garcia describes her work as a game. “I seek to establish a game with the meaning of the materials and the objects…” she states in her artist statement. One can observe from the many lines and spaces a kind of interplay between the dimensions that encourages one to pull in and out of the painting. It also feels like a video game due to the exactness and precision of the intersecting lines. Each space takes you to another level. Each dimension represents a subtext of thought. A particular curve of the eyebrow leads towards layers of hidden meanings.

Garcia also considers her art to be feminine and universal. The artist has claimed to dedicate herself to the “the universal feminine experience.” Her series of paintings titled Repression presents themes of subordination, suffering, and pain. She combined stark grey and black tones with red intersecting lines to express heavy sensations. The look in the eyes of the subject convey a strong emotional message of confinement.

Born in Matanzas, Cuba in 1972, Aimee Garcia currently lives and works in Winston Salem, NC, USA. Garcia graduated from the Higher Institute of Art, Havana, in 1996. Her works are in public collections such as the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba and the Pérez Art Museum of Miami, USA.

Link Cuba Art Database

Work for sale

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thumbnail Feb 7

Carmen Herrera in Paris, Exhibit at Dickinsons NY

Dark red, military green and white, these three simple colors pop out of Field of Combat, a painting from 1952. Carmen Herrera is the Cuban-American artist who created the work.   

The abstract piece made up of these stark colors is the highlighted work at Dickinson’s TEFAF Online New York 2020 presentation. Currently, the private auction house, Dickinsons New York, is presenting an exhibit called “Carmen Herrera in Paris.”

It includes eight paintings dated from 1949-1953, including Field of Combat.  During this time, Herrera lived in Paris, France. She responded to the European avant-garde. She engaged with the Bauhaus and Russian Suprematism. One of Herrera’s first mature pieces Castilla la Vieja [Venetian Red, White and Black] (1949) is also featured in the show. Dickinsons is also presenting three pieces inspired from Herrera’s trip back to Cuba during the holidays in 1950. 

Unlike her sharp paintings, Herrera is a lively character. At 105 years old, she is finally getting the recognition she deserves. Not only was she a woman in a male dominated field but she was also a Cuban exile. About her late fame, she expressed: “If you wait for the bus, it will come. I waited 98 years for the bus to come.” 

All works are for sale and on display from 2 November – 27 February, 2021 at Dickinson New York, 980 Madison Ave, New York.

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thumbnail Jan 28

Cuban-American Artist Carmen Herrera Featured The Met’s Virtual Exhibit

During these trying times, visiting museums and galleries is a possible risk to one’s health, so artists have been unable to display their work using traditional methods.  Yet, the show must go on. Professionals from the art world are no strangers to innovation. Some of the world’s most prestigious institutions are leading the way with new ways to share art with the public. For example, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is currently launching a virtual exhibit for the Fall. 

To make it more engaging for the public, the museum has implemented interactive experiences in the virtual exhibition. These include augmented reality versions of the best art pieces. Aside from virtual reality technology, the museum will provide a gaming experience for guests.  They will enjoy answering trivia questions and riddles. In addition, a Zoom and Spot challenge will allow visitors to read any description and content regarding the art pieces. A game called Analysis will present the underdrawings of famous paintings, as well as other hidden details, giving people a chance to guess the work.

Almost fifty pieces of art from the Met’s collection will come to life. The interactive exhibit will be available to the public free of charge for five weeks. The digitally rendered galleries will showcase some of the most well-known artists in the world. Included in the line-up is one of our own: Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera.  In addition, the virtual exhibit will display the work of  Mark Bradford, Sam Gilliam, and Ek Anatsui. Another major feature of the show is a 14th century Chinese mural, which features the Buddha of Medicine and the Temple of Dendur.

Link:>>Other Carmen Herrera posts in the CANY Blog

Link:>>Wikipedia

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thumbnail Jan 27

Carlos Estévez: Urban Universes projections at Coral Gables City Hall building

Coral Gables City Hall: 405 Baltimore Way

February 12 – March 15, 2021

Cuban born, Miami based artist Carlos Estévez will be creating his first technology-based artwork. Based on Estevez’s paintings and sculptures, this new projection mapped immersive work  will be cast on the entire surface of the historic Coral Gables City Hall building. The artist’s previous work seems to capture a moment of time but for this new commission, Estévez will work with a team of animators to develop the video content about people’s movement, interaction, and sense of community. He has always contemplated working in this way but due to costs and need for technical support has waited for a moment like this. We are proud to be presenting this work every evening for the month-long exhibition period.

In tandem with the video mapped projection piece, Estevez is creating an educational tool and interactive artwork with our educational partners Florida International University Art & Art History Department and the Miami Dade County Public Schools. Through a demonstration video, art teacher workshops and in personal lessons, Estevez hopes to inspire and help the children and their families in the district make kites that are based on identity, self-portraiture, and inclusivity.

ARTIST STATEMENT:

“Urban Universes is the most exciting project of my career. The work consists of the animation of various passers-by or characters that I portray in my paintings. This work pays homage to the City of Coral Gables and its inhabitants. Coral Gables is one of the oldest and both culturally and historically rich cities in South Florida, especially the street of Miracle Mile and its surroundings. The heart of the city is a center of leisure for locals and tourists. My work will be projected on the entire City Hall facade. The images will be imaginary representations of people passing by, walking, and conversing amongst themselves, projecting their goals and dreams, just like the people that inhabit this city. These people are portraits of different individuals that come across one another fortuitously. I wanted to imagine the inner world of people, their identities, and emotions, which I translate with lines and colors. Each person that walks by the city will see their reflection in some of the characters in this piece, identify with the characters will make them feel included, and also feel like a part of this city.

Urban Universes is the work that I am presenting for the Illuminate Coral Gables exhibition. It is orchestrated by curator Lance Fung whose vision is to take the artworks of individual artists to an urban community. It is going to be a fascinating experience that reverses the ordinary dynamic of art. Rather than going into museums, galleries, or art institutions, the art will find and amuse you on the streets of your city.”

Carlos Estévez at CANY blog

More about Carlos Estévez

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thumbnail Jan 20

Quarantine: 40 Days and 40 Nights

Cuban-born visual artist, Geandy Pavón, created a series of stunning photographs during the quarantine of 2020.  Quarantine: 40 Days and 40 Nights is now on display at the Coral Gables Art Museum.  Guests can visit the exhibit in the museum’s Community Meeting Room until February 1, 2021. 

Starting on March 18, 2020 Pavón, originally from Las Tunas, Cuba, released a photograph a day on social media for forty days.  Along with his partner,  Imara López, they produced visually captivating images, which garnered them a following. Using the internet as a lifeline, he connected with people through the imagery. They captured scenes detailing domestic struggles of life during the lockdown, but they turned them into poetry. 

Using limited resources while trapped in López’s Buffalo, NY apartment, the artists wowed his viewers with his imaginative creations. He used simple objects such as flashlights and cardboard to reenact art history classics and popular religious rituals. 

In addition to the photographs, Pavón recorded video narrating the process of creating the artworks. In the exhibition room, guests will enjoy A soundtrack by renowned musician Paquito D’Rivera, created specifically for the exhibition. The soundtrack is comprised of two versions of the iconic La Bella Cubana, written by Afro-Cuban 20c composer, José Lafitte White.This exhibition was originally exhibited virtually at the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C.

More Geandy Pavon Posts

Link to In art we trust

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thumbnail Jan 19

Cuban American Artist honored with New USPS Stamp

Emilio Sanchez is the first Cuban American visual artist in history honored on a United States Postal Service stamp. The USPS dedicated the new series of Forever Stamps to Sanchez on the centennial anniversary of his birth in 1921. They will be released in the Summer of 2021.

The four stamps issued will reproduce four of his paintings. One of these works is Untitled (Ventanita entreabierta) from 1981, an oil and watercolor on paper. It belongs to the permanent collection of Caribbean Art at the Lowe Museum of Art in the University of Miami. 

Equally significant is that Victor Deupi a Professor of Architectural History at the University of Miami researched and wrote about Sanchez.  Deupi first learned about the Cuban visual artist when he visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “I had never heard of him until then, and before you know it, I began my research on Sanchez,” recounted Deupi to News@theU. 

He, along with many others at the University, is very excited about the announcement because it brings attention Cuban American art and culture. 
“It’s a wonderful honor on many fronts because it gives so many voices to people of different races and ethnic backgrounds,” explained to Deupi News@theU.

More posts on Emilio Sanchez

Wikipedia article on Emilio Sanchez

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