Where we come from and where we are headed…

Art On Cuba - - News -

We have ar­rived at is­sue num­ber 16, with which this year comes to a close. A year char­ac­ter­ized by the ap­pear­ance of so­cial, nat­u­ral and po­lit­i­cal events of huge im­pact on all re­gions of the world. Let us hope that na­ture and so­ci­ety set­tle down in the New Year, for the well-be­ing of all the cit­i­zens of the planet, and that art may con­tinue to de­velop, as the en­joy­ment and greater en­rich­ment of our spir­its re­quires.

We open this is­sue with a beau­ti­ful work on Manuel Piña, who made the Ha­vana Malecón the ob­ject of his gaze in those fate­ful years of the nineties. We are also pleased to in­form our read­ers of the in­ter­est­ing project car­ried out by Ta­nia Bruguera in Por­tu­gal, as well as that of Mo­rales in Greece; while up­dat­ing the view on Car­los Estévez, who in re­cent years has de­vel­oped a work of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in Miami. We like­wise draw at­ten­tion to some of the youngest artists of the mo­ment, whose work shows the de­vel­op­ment of a very per­sonal iconog­ra­phy, as in the cases of Ari­amna Con­tino and Rafael Villares in Ha­vana, and José M. Costa in Las Tu­nas.

Many friends will won­der what hap­pened to Ajubel, who for­merly dis­played such good hu­mor. We have brought him to our pages from Va­len­cia, where he cur­rently de­votes part of his time to paint­ing.

Cer­tain other ex­hi­bi­tions that have taken place in re­cent months also at­tract our at­ten­tion. Firstly, that held in Ha­vana’s Museo Na­cional de Bel­las Artes, fea­tur­ing draw­ings from the twen­ties and thir­ties, of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est for ex­perts and afi­ciona­dos of the his­toric Cuban van­guardia, or avant-garde. An equally val­ued ex­hi­bi­tion was that held at the Ken­dall Cen­ter, in Miami, as the back­drop to launch a book which brings to­gether the col­lec­tion cre­ated by Cuban Jorge Rey­nar­dus, of works by artists be­long­ing to the gen­er­a­tion of the eight­ies in Cuba. Also, the space awarded to Cuban posters this year is in­ter­est­ing. Once again, ex­hi­bi­tions that bring to­gether many of the ma­jor artists in this field con­tinue to mul­ti­ply.

At the same time, the col­lec­tion that Spa­niard Lu­ciano Mén­dez has cre­ated on the is­land is re­vealed, and his ideas on the sub­ject are made known in a lu­cid in­ter­view, con­ducted by one of our as­sid­u­ous col­lab­o­ra­tors. Among the rar­i­ties that we pro­pose to our read­ers in this is­sue is an ap­proach to an­thro­po­log­i­cal stud­ies in Cuban art, whose au­thor presents some ideas that could serve as in­for­ma­tion and ar­eas of de­bate on such a lit­tle-stud­ied sub­ject. Mean­while, we did not want to over­look the ap­pear­ance in our art scene of a medium that has gone un­no­ticed since the days of the Ra­fart. A sculp­tor with a such a ca­reer as José Villa has sur­prised us with the minia­ture re­cre­ation of his mul­ti­fac­eted ab­strac­tions in the form of jew­els of a sin­gu­lar beauty; and a young, thus far un­known woman has pre­sented her­self as a jew­eler, demon­strat­ing her ex­traor­di­nary cre­ativ­ity in a beau­ti­ful set of pieces also in­spired by the geo­met­ric tra­di­tion that to­day arouses so much in­ter­est.

A beloved fig­ure, Natalia Bolívar, is also part of this is­sue; an es­sen­tial per­son­al­ity of Cuban art and cul­ture since the sec­ond half of the twentieth cen­tury. And of course, it is not pos­si­ble to over­look the San Alejandro Academy, which is all set to cel­e­brate the bi­cen­ten­nial of its found­ing, and hopes to be the ob­ject of the at­ten­tion and af­fec­tion of all those Cuban artists who have passed through its class­rooms, and whom we call on to send us their mem­o­ries for pub­li­ca­tion in the next is­sues of the mag­a­zine.

Un­til now, we were priv­i­leged to have Deb­o­rah de la Paz as part of the team, an in­tel­li­gent ed­i­tor and great friend, who de­voted all her en­ergy to this dream of a spe­cial­ized Cuban art pub­li­ca­tion, ever since its found­ing. New projects de­mand her knowl­edge, and our team is pleased to of­fer her a warm farewell, wish­ing her all the suc­cess she de­serves in her new en­deav­ors.

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