Chang­ing the Sub­ject

Art On Cuba - - Front Page - Llil­ian Llanes & Deb­o­rah de la Paz

A painter moves away from his brushes for twenty years to then re­take them with greater en­ergy. A young artist moves be­tween ac­tion and paint­ing with the sub­tlety of breeze. The is­land and its art sys­tem had al­most for­got­ten the cre­ator who was a ref­er­ent in the ex­per­i­men­ta­tion with the lim­its be­tween art and de­sign in the last decade of the past cen­tury and, lit­tle by lit­tle, are re­tak­ing the ap­proach, are re­cov­er­ing a place for his pro­posal.

Mov­ing the per­spec­tive once and again is im­per­a­tive. As many times as re­quired. Artists chang­ing how they see them­selves, re­or­ga­niz­ing in a con­text which con­stantly eval­u­ates and tries to de­fine them. We, in­deed, reeval­u­at­ing and try­ing to out­line a his­tory of Cuban art, in which the “con­cur­rent fate” also will sug­gest, or de­ter­mine, a change of topic, a con­cep­tual turn, a lead­ing im­age. Although it is a type of very con­di­tioned fate, al­most al­ways very con­ve­nient.

Chang­ing the point of view while go­ing along, in keep­ing with the changes of re­al­ity it­self, this time we reach sev­eral groups of texts that, in our opin­ion, may give the reader a per­spec­tive of what has taken place in re­cent times on the usual spa­ces and in those now opened for Cuban art, as well as throw­ing light on rather marginal­ized top­ics as team cre­ation on the en­grav­ing work­shops.

Although the for­mer edi­tion of Art OnCuba de­voted many of its pages to of­fer an ac­count of what hap­pened dur­ing the Twelfth Ha­vana Bi­en­nial, in this case ref­er­ences of the event again ap­pear in the anal­y­sis of works by artists like El­iz­a­bet Cerviño, Adrián Fernán­dez, Lorena Gu­tiér­rez,

Frank Martínez, Rachel Valdés and Ari­amna Con­tino, all of them very young. We can say that this mag­a­zine is marked by the pres­ence of some of the most prom­i­nent and in­ter­est­ing voices in Cuban young art. Some of these names are listed in the most dis­sem­i­nated top ten that some spe­cial­ists have risked to de­fine in re­cent times. It is re­ally worth the while to deeply ex­plore what is hap­pen­ing with them. And, in tune with that pur­pose, our “youngest” cover shows a work made some years ago by El­iz­a­bet Cerviño that, in our opin­ion, is one of her bet­ter achieved “ex­per­i­ments” in the con­nec­tion be­tween per­for­mance and paint­ing, one of her most beau­ti­ful pieces.

Some ex­hi­bi­tions held our in­ter­est, among them Em­pire by En­rique Martínez Ce­laya and Sur­face Body/Ac­tion Space by José Parla, both in

New York, as well as the pre­sen­ta­tion of the most re­cent work by Al­fredo Sosabravo in the Vat­i­can and the edi­tion of a lux­u­ri­ous book on his oeu­vre. Also a vol­ume, or sev­eral of them, thought by ar­chi­tect Her­mes Mal­lea to show in de­tail the “then and now” of Cuban houses.

The three months in which this edi­tion will be avail­able in book­stores in the en­tire United States be­gin with Art Basel Mi­ami Beach. From now on we ask our­selves what will hap­pen with Cuban art in mar­ket terms dur­ing this so close and di­verse meet­ing. And we will soon try out our re­port on it.

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