Armando Mariño, A Lonely Girl, 2013
Courtesy Armando Mariño and 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel

This year, New York’s Armory Show celebrates its 100th year. And like every major art fair, it brings with it a swarm of additional fairs, exhibitions, and events. Here are three that turn the spotlight on contemporary Cuban art. And there’s a bonus: two of them remain on view long after Armory Week ends.

VOLTA NY: Armando Mariño for 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel. As a partner exhibition to the Armory Show, VOLTA NY offers shared VIP passes, shuttle buses, and discounted package tickets. More to the point, it offers a hand-picked selection of solo exhibitions, one per gallery—including, at Booth 2.2, a show by Armando Mariño presented by 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel in Chelsea. The VOLTA NY exhibition follows two solo New York shows by Mariño in 2012 (and a two-part interview in Cuban Art News), and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 2011-12. “Mariño is a romantic painter,” wrote Donald Kuspit earlier this year, “but he is an ironical romanticist, one might say a disappointed romanticist.”

VOLTA NY opens Thursday, March 7, at 82 Mercer Street in SoHo and runs through Sunday, March 10.

CUBART: Contemporary Cuban ArtVOLTA NY isn’t the only spot in Lower Manhattan to catch Cuban art this week. Opening this Friday, March 8, CUBART takes its inspiration from the 2012 Havana Biennial. Presented at the Lower East Side exhibition space Site/109, the exhibition showcases nine of the island’s leading artists, several of whom participated in the Biennial: Alexandre Arrechea, Abel Barroso, Luis Enrique Camejo, J. Roberto Diago, José Manuel Fors, Kcho (Alexis Leyva Machado), Sandra Ramos, and José Ángel Toirac.

Barroso and Ramos were the subjects of solo shows at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes during the Biennial, and have since had solo shows in Miami and New York, respectively (among other cities). Alexandre Arrechea just unveiled a major project in Manhattan (see below). But others are perhaps less familiar to New York audiences.

José Manuel Fors, Tierra Rara, 2008
Courtesy CUBART

Fors, a member of the legendary Volumen I  (Volume I) group in the early 1980s, works with natural materials and family photographs and documents to address themes of history, memory, and loss. Cuban history is also a focus for Toirac. CUBART features work from his 2011 series “Alma Pater”—a play on the term “Alma Mater,” with its associations with learning, nurturing, and the Virgin Mary—which depicts well-known figures of Cuban history interacting with small children. Luis Enrique Camejo—recently interviewed in Cuban Art News—takes the urban landscape as his subject, rendered in shades of a single color which, he says, acts as a filter to condition the gaze.

José Ángel Toirac, Untitled 8 from the “Alma Pater” series, 2011 – José Martí with his son José Francisco Martí
Courtesy CUBART

For the show’s curator, Miami-based Irina Leyva-Pérez, the exhibition is a way of bringing the art and ideas of the Biennial into broader contact with the mainstream of contemporary art. “With CUBART,” she wrote, “we hope to continue the dialogue and extend the conversation to incorporate the opinions and insights of the venerable New York art world.”

CUBART: Contemporary Cuban Art opens at Site/109 on Friday, March 8, and runs through Sunday, March 31.

Alexandre Arrechea: No LimitCuban Art News readers may have caught our sneak preview of Arrechea’s 10-sculpture installation last week. Now is a great time to see it in person. You’ll find his fanciful re-inventions of classic New York skyscrapers–one of them 20 feet tall–installed on the median strips along Park Avenue from the mid-50s north to 67th Street, where they’re on view through June 9.