Published on the occasion of the exhibition
All images reproduced with permission of the artist For more information on the gallery, please visit saltfineart.com
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Previous page: Graffiti en route to â€œLa Vieja Habanaâ€? (Old Havana). All photography of Cuba used in this catalog was taken by Carla Arzente, November 2011.
Ernesto Javier Fernandez IDEAS black and white photography with neon light sculpture, aluminum frame 31.5 x 47 inches
THE WORK OF 11 ARTISTS
REVEAL THE REALITIES OF 11 MILLION
saltfineart is proud to present its most daring and intense show to date ยกCUBA! featuring 11 artists living and working within a culture that has been shut off from the rest of the world. More than just an exhibition of art, ยกCUBA! is a rare view past the socio-political show and into the hearts and minds of its people. The participating artists range from raw, emerging talents to venerated icons that form a part of museums such as the MOMA (New York) and the Whitney (New York). Not all the art is political, and yet all of it has been touched by the every day realities of Cuba. Exhibited the world over for their unique voice and yet unable to speak freely, these artists live a complex irony. Thank you to everyone who made this exhibition a reality, most especially the artists who opened their homes and studios and to Sandra Contreras whose help and guidance throughout this process was immeasurable.
We are pleased to present the following 11 artists:
Abel Barroso Born in Pinar del Río, Cuba in 1971, artist and curator Abel Barroso studied art at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas (1990) and Instituto Superior de Arte (1995). A printmaker known for his three dimensional, participatory installations, Barroso uses humor to explore themes such as materiality and wealth, casting an incisive gaze at life in contemporary Cuba. His work is included in the collections of the The Museum of Modern Art (New, New York), The Whitney Museum of American art (New York, New York), the Blanton Museum of Art (Austin, Texas), the Museum of Graphic Art of the Schreiner Foundation (Bade Steben, Germany), The Banff Center (Banff, Canada) and the Wilfredo Lam Center (Havana, Cuba).
MEMORIA DEL TERCER MUNDO / MEMORY OF THE THIRD WORLD carved wood and acrylic paint 18 x 8 x 5 inches
LLAMANDO A CASA / CALLING HOME carved wood and acrylic paint 40.5 x 12.5 x 15 inches Next page: RESIDENCIA MÚLTIPLE / MULTIPLE RESIDENCE wood chips, acrylic and ink on paper 60.5 x 40 inches
Aimee Garcia Originally living and working in Matanzas, Cuba, Aime Gracia has gained international prestige. Her multimedia art explores the fraught relationship between the personal and the political in contemporary Cuba. She is also well known for her the effective insertion of herself into her images. With solo and collective exhibitions in nearly every art capital, from Los Angeles to Miami to New York and several European capitals, as well as prestigious museum collections such as the Museo del Barrio New York, Garciaâ€™s reputation as an artist representative of the caliber of talent coming out of Cuba is long established.
Previous page (left): OBSESIÓN/ OBSESSION photography 22 x 20.5 inches limited edition 5/10 Previous page (right): ENCUENTRO/ ENCOUNTER photography 27 x 20.5 inches limited edition 2/10 Right: SIN TÍTULO / UNTITLED photography 27 x 20.5 inches limited edition 4/10
Near the renown “ISA” Instituto Superior de Artes (School of Fine Arts).
Alejandro Campins Born in Manzanillo and rigorously trained at the Superior Arts Institute in Havana, Campins is a young sensation in the contemporary Cuban art scene. As a painter, he is known primarily for his ambitious mixing of materials---oil, watercolor, pencil---- painted or applied to canvas or parchment paper and his expressionist, if wry, capturing of the surreality that is daily life in Cuba. Already, he has exhibited widely in Cuba and Spain, where his work has been reviewed as singular and spectacular. He has also participated in collective exhibitions in Germany, Portugal, Egypt, Ecuador, Colombia and the United States.
ESPECTADOR PASIVO / PASSIVE SPECTATOR oil on canvas 55 x 71 inches
SUBASTA / AUCTION oil on canvas 63 x 55 inches
Angel Ricardo Rios Born in Cuba in 1965 and living in Mexico since 1991, Ricardo Rios has exhibited all over the globe and won honorary mention in prestigious biennials on the Yucatan and in Zacatecas. His witty three- dimensional objects refine and redefine every day objects. Combining elements that are useless, like a ladder on the back of a chair, with elements that are as useful, such as a cushiony seat, Ricardo Rios delivers work freighted with Dadaist pun and the deep question of dimensionality--- even his drawing aspire to threedimensionality--- at the same time that the work is utilitarian, swank and comfortable.
CUERNAVACA vinyl, wood and steel 47 x 59 x 24 inches Right page: Detail of CUERNAVACA
Elizabeth Cervino Cervino was born in Manzanillo and graduated from the Superior Arts Institute in Havana in 2009. Widely exhibited in Cuba, this young talent has also shown outside of her native land in countries such as Mexico and Scotland. Although her art is born of a shared cultural heritage and repression, her deconstructed renditions of flowers and landscapes, as well as her performance and intervention art reveal a profoundly individual voice and vision that moves beyond the political.
DOS DE UNO / TWO FROM ONE, triptych, 1 oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches
DOS DE UNO / TWO FROM ONE, triptych, 2 oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches
DOS DE UNO / TWO FROM ONE, triptych, 3 oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches Right page: Studio of Elizabeth Cervino.
Roberto Diago Born in 1971 in Havana, Cuba, Roberto Diago studied at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro (1990). Diago’s practice is marked by a recurrent exploration of the themes of slavery, roots and the fusion of cultures, drawing on the artist’s Afro-Cuba background. He was a recipient of the prestigious Jaun Francisco Elso Prize (1995) awarded by the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana, as well as the representative for Cuba at the 47th Venice Biennial (1997). A member of the Unión Nacionald de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, his work has been included in solo and group exhibitions in countries such as Canada, France, Spain, Italy, the United States, Germany, Greece and Lebanon.
Left page: S/T mixed media on canvas 31.5 x 23.6 inches Right page: MI DESTINO / MY DESTINATION mixed media on canvas 78.7 x 59 inches
The view from the studio of Alejandro Campins after the rain.
Across the street from the studio of William Perez and Marlys Fuego.
Ernesto Javier Fernandez Living and working in Havana, Cuba for over fifty years, Fernandez witnessed the colonial period, followed by the glee and hope of the Cuban revolution and itsâ€™ protracted disastrous aftermath. Enjoying a well-established career in photography, Fernandez has exhibited in nearly every European capital, always to great critical acclaim, and has recently gained recognition in the United States. His compilations of neon and photography are thought provoking documentations of the repression and resilience that pervade Cuban life.
Left page: WASH YOUR HANDS black and white photography with neon light sculpture, aluminum frame 31.5 x 47 inches Right page: ONCE UPON A TIME black and white photography with light fixture, aluminum frame 47 x 31.5 inches
Esterio Segura Living and working in Havana, Cuba, Segura’s work forms part of the permanent collections of the MOMA (New York), the MOLAA (Long Beach, CA) and the Latin American Art Museum (England). Known for his eclectic and transgressive explorations of socio-political processes and the way they are expressed in sexuality and religion, Segura’s works in nearly every medium and operates on the levels of philosophy and kitsch. He has exhibited around the world, in cities such as London, Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, New York, Barcelona and Beirut.
Left page: GOZANDO LA IDEOLOGÍA/ ENJOYING IDEOLOGY Painted steel 78.7 x 39.4 x 3.9 inches
Right page: HISTORIA DE UN VIEJO PESCADOR/ HISTORY OF AN OLD FISHERMAN Fiberglass, metal, plastic and nylon 47.2 x 26 x 86.6 inches
En route to the “Monumento a la Revolución.”
William Perez William Pérez was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba in 1965. He studied at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro (1986) in Havana, with a focus on sculpture. Pérez works principally in assemblage, using locally-sourced materials to poignantly comment on working-class life in Cuba. Notably, Pérez is a founder of Grupo Punto, a group of young sculptors in Cienfuegos, Cuba. His work has been included in solo and group exhibitions in Brazil, Spain, the United States, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Cuba and Martinique.
ST wood, metal, music box and PVC 16 x 22.5 x 12 inches
OMBLIGO DEL MUNDO/ NAVEL OF THE WORLD incised plexiglass, wood and fiber optics 59 x 59 x 4 inches
Left page: ACORAZADO/ BATTLESHIP stainless steel, incised acrylic and acrylic paint 12.6 x 43.7 x 7.5 inches Right page: QUIJOTE stainless steel, incised acrylic and acrylic paint 34 x 7.5 x 6 inches
Marlys Fuegos Born in Las Tunas, twenty two year old Marlys Fuegos took full advantage of the artistic freedoms afforded Cubans in the 1990s. Exploring the divergent themes of the erotic and isolation and Cuban identity, her coy and lush velvet sculptures probe sexuality and aggression and her self-portraits with glitzy masks toy with notions of hidden and revealed identity. In todayâ€™s Cuba, artists hide as much as they show--- of themselves and the ruined island that is their home. Unsurprisingly, this young talent has shown her work all over Cuba and has already had a solo show in New York as well as collective shows in South America.
Left and right pages: From the series, MĂ SCARAS / MASKS wood, crystal, canvas, acrylic and sequins 20 x 20 x 2.5 inches
MI AIRE/ MY AIR Mixed media on canvas 21.7 x 25.6 inches
This page, left: CACTUS soft sculpture 3.9 x 3.9 x 7.1 inches Below right: ALMEJA/ CLAM soft sculpture 3.9 x 4.7 x 5.5 inches
This page: The famous Vedado neighborhood of Havana. Right page: An apartment building in Vedado.
Jorge Lopez Pardo Born in Trinidad, but living and working in Havana, Jorge Lopez Pardo has exhibited his images of alienation in Cuba, Spain, Mexico and Miami. He has won prizes and exhibited in prestigious art fairs. Painting and drawing isolated and sometimes suspended objects, often revealingly titled “Self-Portrait,” Lopez Pardo’s work obliquely captures the loneliness and sense of limbo--- the neither here nor there--- of living and working in contemporary Cuba. Using an exquisitely restrained palette and subject matter, there is a singular elegance and detail to the images that paradoxically speak not of beauty but of solitude.
Left page: AUTORRETRATO NO. 39/ SELF PORTRAIT NO. 39 Oil on canvas 31 x 38 inches Right page: DE LA SERIE CAJA, NEGRA NO. 1/ CASE SERIES, BLACK NO. 1 graphite on canvas 70.9 x 31.5 inches
The friendly neighborhood of Jorge Lopez Pardo.
The one and only “private” (upscale) food market in Havana.