ART OnCuba 01
December 2013 - February 2014
In the incessant search for more involved in publishing a magazine, we often come across surprising discoveries, unexpected revelations, and little “traps” that change the direction of our original concepts, pointing our team toward a new course for our work. Some of these encounters are fortuitous, others are imagined…. Entering that bizarre scenario populated by the protagonists of the story we want to tell, roving through their interstices, and exploring slowly obliges us to adjust our sight and hearing. We listen to their dialogue, completely sincere or less so. But we observe and look for connections until we finally find our own voice in that dialogue…. As the host, we should not allow a given perspective to overshadow the rest.
With respect to names, the list of authors, artists, collectors and curators in this issue of Art OnCuba boasts many degrees of eminence.
As destiny would have it, we were able to assemble a group of materials on a theme with some aspects still to be examined in detail: the tradition of abstraction in Cuban art and the different voices that have distinguished themselves in that legacy. While in Havana hitherto unknown works were being brought to light of an artist who became involved in abstraction very early on (Ernesto González Puig, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes), in New York an exhibition was opening by one of the most consistent Cuban artists in that tendency (Zilia Sánchez, ArtistsSpace). In an even greater coincidence, on both sides of the Strait another two exhibitions testified to the inexhaustible abstract tendency within the Cuban art scene: The Silent Shout (collective, ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries) and Accentus (José Villa, Galería Villena). Hence, this issue honors the artists and curators of yesterday and today who are profoundly connected with abstraction.
In this issue, we are also offering our readers a surreptitious historical interpretation of post-revolutionary Cuban art based on an analysis of work by individuals from several generations. It might not be very obvious, but by the last few pages, one will have a clearer picture of the visual arts scene in the 1960s (through the work of Antonia Eiriz, whose work was recently on exhibit at Miami’s Freedom Tower), 1970s (Carlos Alfonzo, of the “true hope” generation), and 1980s (Ricardo Brey). The latter gave a lengthy interview to Sandra Sosa, and we are publishing just a few excerpts. We are highlighting it among this series of articles for being a very direct way of arriving at an understanding of the paths that Cuban art has followed from Volumen until today. In the case of Carlos Alfonzo, who sadly passed away, we recur to the pen of another artist—Antonio Eligio (Tonel)—and to the extraordinary heritage preserved by his family, and which we hope one day will be exhibited for the enjoyment and knowledge of experts and all art lovers.
Two collections that have been very distinct since their beginnings have captured our attention: the Latin American art treasure of Jorge Pérez, who recently donated a very large part of it to the Miami Art Museum; and the young, reflective collection devoted to Afro-Cuban art of Chris von Christierson, curated by Orlando Hernández.
Other exhibitions and events of interest in this issue: the upcoming editions of Art Miami and Art Spot, José A. Toirac and Meira Marrero at PanAmerican Art Projects (Miami), Lázaro Saavedra at Galería Habana, María Magdalena Campos-Pons and Neil Leonard at the Stephan Stoyanov Gallery in New York, Humberto Díaz at knoerle & baetting contemporary in Switzerland, and others. Young artists who are beginning to earn a name on and off the island also have their space. The multiplying capacity of art through education or collaboration, based on the actions of two creators—Nelson Villalobos and René Francisco—is another timely subject.
In short, this is an opportunity to join in a multiple dialogue, enjoy a perspective, or take a side for or against. What we always enjoy doing.
IN THIS ISSUE
Editor in Chief / Publisher
Executive Managing Editor
Editorial Director / Editor
Design & Layout
Translation and English copyediting
Commercial director & Public Relations / Cuba