From the Irrepresentation of What is Representable…

/ 2 June, 2015

to the Representation of What is Irrepresentable

Or Black Square with Grey Backstitches


(…)Many of the artists involved in the development of diverse non-figurative art trends on our continent were linked to social utopias and the most progressive political ideas of their times. (…)But, in the early eighties, non-figurative work by Gustavo Pérez Monzón, Flavio Garciandía and Tomás Esson deserves a careful analysis as a point of inflection in the history of Cuban abstraction. (…)When the century came to an end, several young artists gave rise to works derived from the need of representing certain immaterial concepts. In response to pieces difficult to define for the critics from an aesthetic point of view, the word “abstraction” was frequently invoked. (…)

In 2001, Glenda León presented her piece Las formas del instante (The Forms of the Instant) at the Center for the Development of Visual Arts in Havana. The artist asked to the students in her university to replace their bath soap bars, and she gathered the used ones in a rectangular installation placed on the wall. Remains of human hair, marks of a bubble of foam, totally dispensable corporal residues were trapped in the surface of the soaps during the interruption of the purifying act. The artist intended to perpetuate, in this way, some—irretrievable—instants of time.

In 2003, in the Playa House of Culture, the exhibition Ansich (In Itself) was held as part of the collateral activities of the Eighth Havana Biennial(…). On this occasion, Cuban artist Luis Gómez presented La realidad absoluta(Absolute Reality(…)The piece materialized as a mixture of decidedly abstract and deeply transcendent sounds(…)

Can abstract art conquer what is purely sound and incorporate it into its own tradition as could be done with light or movement half a century ago? The greatest difficulty in consuming pieces like La realidad absolutais accepting the level of formal and conceptual radicalism proposed to us. (…)

Beatriz Gago

Beatriz Gago

She is graduated with a Degree in Science from Havana University. She has devoted the last fifteen years to an approach to contemporary Cuban art as a researcher, art critic and Independent curator. For almost a decade, she has been working for Archivo Veigas, Arte Cubano (Havana) and Ediciones Vanguardia Cubana (Madrid).

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