Contemporary rara avis

/ 1 December, 2015

When only 25 years old, working and living between Havana and Barcelona, Rachel set out to cover several territories of painting with predominance, at the beginning, of figuration (enormous paintings of women, flowers, delicately erotic scenes). Later she felt encouraged to explore the viewpoints of a new abstraction which opens its way in Cuba and abroad, and also feeling photography as her own based on her dazzle before unusual visited places. In this order, she is able to interpret the meaning of her photographic images to intervene them with relevant imagination and pictorial trade: by instants we discover in them an indistinct and plural discourse, submitted to the trials and errors of transparency, on one side, and the doughy consistency of the oil on the other.

And with equal strength and passion she devotes her time to sculpture, to objects and installations in open spaces allowing her a consistent interaction with the viewer, which has been one of her main purposes in recent years. Rachel pursues the dictates of her mind and her heart to translate them as expression “of the existential phenomena of the human being, their physical and ideological matter…” as she maintained on a given occasion.

Her aesthetic interests, her affinities, are many. I have heard her feeling admiration for Cy Twombly, Mark Rothko, on one side, and have seen her passion in front of a drawing by Picasso or Dalí, as with a watercolor by W. Turner. The centuries gone by between some authors and others, the period, the motives and techniques do not matter. And I have been able, on my own, to asses a distant familiarity with the monumental and spectacular aspects animating the works by Richard Serra installed in the center of some cities or inside the enormous museums of contemporary art. Also with the idea of the penetrable by Jesús Soto, defending the physical contact of the materials, the colors and the audience in multiple urban fields and buildings: two sculptors, two installers, claiming a closer place for art in the life or people, a sort of subtle company to feed the entire social and individual imaginativeness.

Nelson Herrera Ysla

Nelson Herrera Ysla

Art critic, curator, poet. He is co-founder of the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center and of the Havana Biennial, an event he led from 1999 to 2001, and where he is currently curator. He has lectured in numerous countries and published numerous critical texts in specialized publications of Cuba and abroad. General Curator of the XVI Paiz Biennial of Guatemala, 2008. Essay Jury of the Casa de las Américas Prize, 2005, and international art events in Latin America. National Award for Arts Criticism Guy Pérez Cisneros, 2007, and National Prize for Curators 2013, both in Cuba.

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