Tag : Cuban Art

thumbnail Jul 28

The Cuban Foundation Museum – Daytona Beach

The Cuban Foundation Museum is home to one of the most important collections of Cuban fine art outside of Cuba. The collection chronicles 300 years of Cuban history and art in more than 200 objects. Highlights include extremely rare eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century maps, documents, lithographs, paintings, furniture, sculpture, and ceramics.

In 1957, approximately one year before the fall of his presidency, Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, a regular vacationer and resident of Daytona Beach in the 1940s and 50s, gave much of his extensive collection of Cuban art “to the city and people of Daytona Beach.” This collection forms the core of The Cuban Foundation Museum which has been housed at the Museum of Arts & Sciences for over 40 years. Included in the exhibit are works by famous Cuban painters such as Miguel Melero, Leopoldo Romanach, and Jose Joaquin Tejada. Twentieth-century artists represented include Victor Manuel, Armando Menocal, Amelia Pelaez, Mario Carreno, Rene Portocarrero, and Daniel Serra-Badue.

The Cuban Museum’s primary goal is to give Cuban Americans a rare glimpse into their rich cultural heritage through artworks ranging from the Spanish Colonial period to modern times. MOAS endeavors to share these cultural treasures with the general public in an attempt to foster a better understanding of Cuban history and tradition.

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thumbnail Jun 23

Rafael Lopez-Ramos at the MOCA Project Gallery

On June 19, 2021 from 7 PM to 9 PM, the MOCA will feature Cuban-American artist Rafael Lopez-Ramos in their Project Room. “Chromatic Aporias” is the title of the show, which includes realistic renderings of tropical fruit from a colonial perspective. Lopez-Ramos  incorporates Afro-Cuban religious symbols with Catholic images. His culture is also present in his art through his depiction of the Revolution’s propaganda iconography.

He now adds typical popular Americana culture characters and special symbols related to the American political tradition.

Rafael Lopez-Ramos was born in Cabaiguán, Cuba in 1962. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Drawing & Painting at the Academia San Alejandro in La Habana. He studied for four years at the Instituto Superior de Arte in La Habana, and he earned an MFA in 1991.

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thumbnail May 28

Land Art in the Fields of Spain: “Nourishing Self-Esteem” by Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada

Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada is leading a community art project in the fields of
Estopiñán del Castillo, a small town in Aragon, Spain. The massive endeavor includes numerous other artists with experience in the area. The artists utilized the elements of nature to create a striking piece in wheat fields. The palate consists of the green tones of the brushy hillside, the tan hue of soil, and the dark color of neighboring compost. But that is just for the Spring as the art will change along with the seasons. It began in April and ends in October 2021. All together, three phases exist.

This grand project full of inspiration is a tribute to the Fundación Crisálida. It is an initiative in the local area that has allowed nine people with developmental disabilities to develop a sense of self-worth. Together they coexist, baking bread, cakes, cupcakes, croissants, panettones and cookies in a nearby bakery. Then, the delicacies are distributed to the neighboring region. The premise behind the concept is that self-esteem in nourished with community effort. Giving people a chance to provide a benefit to others around them breeds a feeling of importance.

A pair of two hands, one of a child and one of an adult are symbols for the community effort of giving and taking. They represent the power of creation through the work on the land. Our hands are primal tools for breeding and sustaining life through nature. Joined together they make a difference as these artists are doing in the lives of many in the town.

Likewise, the artist stated: “We nourish self-esteem through contact with nature, feeling a sense of gratitude for what the earth gives us, gratitude for the work that sustains us, and pride for what we have completed.”

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thumbnail May 18

Artist Feature: María Magdalena Campos-Pons

Cuban-American visual artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons is having a phenomenal year. She just won a prestigious 50,000 dollar prize from the Perez Art Museum. She garnered recognition not only for her diverse talent in a variety of mediums, and but also for her dedication to social issues. Maria Magdalena is a very special person, not only is she a great, great artist—in photography, in video, in performance—she uses a lot of mediums to express her artistic talents, but she always gives back a lot,” said Jorge Perez. The artist has received well-deserved praise from the artistic community for her dedication. In 2018, Anonymous Was a Woman gifted her with a 25,000 grant.

Campos-Pons is a key figure in post-revolutionary art. In the last three decades, she has received international acclaim. Her work has elements of abstraction and minimalism. Her large scale masterpieces of sharp color and striking imagery have made her as a staple in museum around the world. In addition, she was invited to participate in the Havana Biennial in 2019. The artist is now represented in over thirty museum collections. Some of the major institutions displaying her art include the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, PAMM, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Aside from being a permanent fixture on those grand museum walls, the artist just had some major solo exhibitions. In 2019, “María Magdalena Campos-Pons: Sea and Self” debuted at the Haggerty Museum of Art in August. The show will continue until December 2021. It includes works from the late 1990s to present, including photographs, photographic installations, and a new series of drawings.

Interestingly enough, all of these major merits come towards the later part of her career. She was born in Cuba in 1959. She trained at the Escuela National de Arte in Havana between 1976 and 1979. From 1980 to 1989, she attended Havana’s Instituto Superior de Arte. She has been creating art for over fifty years, and her recent recognition is long overdue.

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thumbnail May 18

Cuban-born Nereida Garcia Ferraz in Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration highlights more than thirty-five artists, including Cuban-born Nereida Garcia Ferraz. The exhibition is on view across PS1’s first floor galleries in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) from Sep 17, 2020 to Apr 5, 2021. It features the work of artists who have been incarcerated in the United States prison system. The show also presents artworks from non-incarcerated artists who have delved into the theme of imprisonment. One of these artists is Garcia Ferraz. The topic of prisons is one that is relevant to her work. In addition, swince the pandemic, artists created new works to reflect the growing COVID-19 crisis within US prisons.

Nereida García Ferraz was born in Havana in 1954 and migrated to the United States in 1970. She grew up in Chicago and received her BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1981. She utilizes painting, photography, video, sculpture, and social art projects in her work. One of those projects involves women in prison systems. The artist also explores concepts such as feminism, identity, nature, beauty and the physical world.

In Miami, she co-founded 801 Projects at the Jose Marti Building. She also works with education programs such as Women on the Rise at MOCA of North Miami and Brick by Brick, the award-winning outreach education art program at Pérez Art Museum Miami.

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thumbnail Apr 13

William Osorio – “Margins of Truth”

Cuban-born artist William Osorio presents his second solo exhibition Margins of Truth which follows Inside Out in 2018. A “gestural looseness of unrestrained paint” characterizes his style, a renewed form of Figurative Expressionism. His vibrant, colorful works depict various stages of human existence.

Born in Holguin Cuba in 1989, Osorio began his artistic journey at a young age. He studied at School of Fine Arts in his hometown before emigrating to the United States. While in the states, he taught himself and, consequently, developed a unique style. Overall, he has participated in over twenty shows in the states.

He is currently an Artist-In-Residence at the Bakehouse Art Complex (Miami, FL). In January 2021, the Pérez Art Museum Miami acquired Osorio’s The Cry

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thumbnail Mar 25

Tomas Esson: Cuban-American Artist Highlight

Grotesque body parts emerge from surreal backdrops in Tomas Esson’s work. The artist said that his work highlights “the fundamental elements of human life: the vagina, the breast, the mouth, the anus and the penis.” The Cuban-American painter created a lively large scale mural for his first solo museum exhibition. Until May 2, 2021, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami (ICA Miami) presents Tomas Esson: The GOAT.  

 “Wet Wall Drawing at ICA” (2020) spreads across a gallery-length wall at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami (ICA Miami).  The mural includes “Retrato #29 (Portrait #29)” (1998), one of his earlier works. In this painting,  a horned creature lactates from large udders on a canyon. Behind the juxtaposed images is a dream-like blue sky.  He intertwines graphic black and white drawings with colorful symbolic paintings.  Full of dynamic energy, the paintings incorporate political commentary with stark mythology. They are reminiscent of Salvador Dali’s iconic masterpieces.

The Miami show brings together works from his thirty-year studio practice. Esson was born in Havana, Cuba in 1963.  In 1987, he graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana. His first exhibition in Havana in 1988 was censored. The Cuban authorities shut it down because his work criticized the communist government.  In “Mi Homenaje al Che (My Homage to Che)” (1987), a beast and a human are lustfully embraced next to an image of the ruthless communist dictator.

Meanwhile, the David Lewis Gallery in New York is currently showing KRAKEN. They recently started representing the artist. KRAKEN is the artist’s first solo show at the gallery. The display includes his series of Fidel Castro portraits. It also presents Miami Flow, a series that combines animation with abstraction.

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thumbnail Mar 10

Carmen Herrera in “Female Voices of Latin América”

Nineteen countries are represented in the online display. With 150 living artists, the monumental show is the largest presentation of work from Latin American women artists. Cuban-American minimalist pioneer Carmen Herrera is one of the women featured in the show. 

Herrera’s career stands out because of her late recognition. She did not sell her first painting until she was 89 years old.  Her first museum show occurred when she was the ripe age of 101. Overall, the show draws attention to the fact that many Latin American women artists are overlooked in the art community. 

‘We have grown tired of not seeing female artists from Latin America receive the recognition they deserve in their own lifetime, says Elena Saraceni, Curatorial Director, Voices of Latin América and Special Projects Consultant at Vortic.

The cross-generational display includes artwork that spans from 1968 to the present day. Liliana Porter, Beatriz Milhazes, Adriana Varejão, Ad Minoliti, Sol Calero and Valeska Soares are some of the other artists included in the affair.  The grand display covers work from various stages of their careers. 
Guests may enter the “Female Voices of Latin América” exhibition through the Vortic website.

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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 24

“Specters of Noon” at Menil Collection

“When the day listlessly drags and delirious visions momentarily reign in the blinding light,” is when acedia is said to possess a person. Acedia is the demon of apathy or laziness. The spirit of acedia is the subject of a recent public program titled Specters of Noon.  Cuban-American artist Guillermo Calzadilla and his partner Jennifer Allora created seven works that summon this spirit.

The artists referenced a text from the fourth century from author Evagrius Ponticus. In laying out the seven deadly sins, he “described the ‘most oppressive’ of all temptations as acedia.” “It is a spiritual dryness and lack of care towards the world that plagues during the hot midday hours,” he continued. It is characterized by a feeling of psychic exhaustion and listlessness.

The creative duo use auditory elements, visual stimulus, and tactile sculptures. They evoke an immersive  atmosphere of stimulation and bewilderment. These giant sculptures of machines spread a cacophonous sound in the atmosphere. The volatile sounds of electricity and power grids disturb the place like the spirit of acedia. The hour is noon, a time when the sun is highest in the sky.  

On Tuesday, March 2nd, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Specters of Noon will stream online. One may view the presentation directly on the Menil Collection’s website.  Meni’s YouTube channel will also showcase the live program. 

Allora & Calzadilla – CANY Blog

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