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/ 1 September, 2017

During last June, the historiography of Cuban art celebrated the publication of three significant and valuable art books: Confesiones de Rocío García, 45rpm Ponjuán and Moisés Finalé (2000-2015). Three exhaustive monographs that were made using different tools and methods and carried out by three extraordinary researchers: Corina Matamoros, Sandra Sosa and Yamilé Tabío, respectively. Thanks to the extremely professional labor—and to their good discernment in selecting the book projects—from the group of Collage Ediciones from the Cuban Fund for Cultural Assets (in the last two cases), and the personal endeavors of the artist Rocío García, these research works were not left unpublished. Moreover, they were brought to fruition in three volumes that have an impeccable making and top quality as regards the design and impression.

It is rather difficult to express how valuable are this kind of publications, for the present and for the future as they retrieve and compile information on the artists and their works. Information that most of the time is disperse or incomplete. In the three examples that I have mentioned the art student, the scholar, or critic will find an excellent material to study.

(…) Confesiones de Rocío García is a well-deserved tribute to the art of one of the most sui generis and consequent painters of contemporary Cuban art. Corina Matamoros took the clearsighted decision of making a different book: this time the artist’s voice would have the prominence. In this way, the book becomes a testimony of Rocío García’s life and creation, a narration told by the artist herself who comments on the historical circumstances of the artistic field in Cuba during different stages; drawn on the personal experience of the artist, it reviews the kind of formation that a considerable number of Cuban artists had as students in the Academies of Art in the former Soviet Union. This theme, for example, with all the political and ideological implications that surround it, has barely been explored in the historiography of Cuban art.

The book, besides being an important visual material of Rocío García’s work, is a source of detailed information, of dates and historical data. The interviewer knew well how to lead the conversations, what route to take, what questions to ask and how to encourage the artist to approach different subjects.

(…) The second volume, 45 rpm Ponjuán, constitutes a well-deserved recognition to one of the most significant figures of Cuban visual arts that followed the 1980s. This artist’s faith in the power of art for transforming society made him the son of an epoch, of a generation. One of the values of the book is that it assembles and organizes the most representative works of Ponjuán’s—mainly his individual works made from 1996-2015—, that have brought him recognition and credits from the art critics.

The monograph on Ponjuán has been divided into three very well organized chapters, something that undoubtedly readers will appreciate. The headings of the chapters correspond to the titles of his works or his emblematic series that suggest or indicate principles, concepts, notions or fundamental themes of his artistic discourse.

(…) Lastly there is the book on Moises Finalé which is focused in presenting, like in a sort of inventory, the artist’s work during the period 2000-2015. Although it is necessary to point out that the research undertaken by Yamilé Tabío covers beyond those time limits.

The essay Los secretos de Finalé acts as prologue as it embodies the artist’s guidelines and premises. And this is where Yamilé Tabío devotes herself more to practice criterion. The essay also functions as an entrance hall to the long section in which Moises’s work during fifteen years is compiled—his works since his return to Cuba after a long period of absence. His return was appreciated and celebrated by holding a solo show at the National Museum of Fine Arts in 2003, Herido de sombras (Hurt by shadows). (…)

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