Cardinales at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. The solo show by Carlos García de la Nuez features the artist’s recent canvases, which play large-scale, abstract composition against the fine detail of handwritten words, drawings, and diagrams. The exhibition runs through August 29.
This Week: Festival del Cartel 2016. The second edition of this graphic-arts poster-fest opened yesterday, with exhibitions and events taking place in many Havana spaces this week. Last night saw the opening of the exhibition Un grito de mujer (A Woman’s Shout), a look at women graphic designers on the island, at CDAV. Today, there’s a full-day colloquium on the topic at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, followed by the 5 p.m. opening of The Seattle-Havana-Tehran Poster Show, a three-city graphic-design dialogue presented at the Centro Hispanoamericano de Cultura in Centro Habana. Originated by the Comité Prográfica Cubana and presented by CNAP, CDAV, UNEAC, and the Comité, the Festival de Cartel 2016 continues through this Friday, April 29. For the full schedule, see the Festival’s Facebook page.
Yunier Hernández Figueroa at Galería Habana. Money is a potent metaphor in $O$, Hernández Figueroa’s solo show at the gallery. Working with concepts of fragmentation and reassembly, and positive and negative space, the artist uses coins and paper bills from various countries (and their pulverized remains) as his raw materials. His works comment on the economic uncertainties of the current moment, and underscore the contrast between the ideals expressed on national currencies and the realities of their circulation in daily life. On view through May 13.
Harold López at Galería Artis 718. In his solo show Discurso Fragmentado. Volumen II, López superimposes portraits of Habaneros moving through the city, depicting them against fragments of words on the walls behind them. “These texts form part of our written history,” the artist writes, “while the passers-by represent the day-to-day experience” of life in Havana. “Unfinished words or phrases are the backdrop of our urban portrait, in its incessant advance within a society still under construction.”
Wifredo Lam in Madrid. The major retrospective that originated last fall in Paris at the Centre Pompidou has now come to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. Close to 250 works—paintings, drawings, etchings, prints, ceramics—trace the artist’s career, with a focus on pieces produced in Spain and Cuba, and the prints of the 1960s and 1970s. On view in Madrid through August 15, followed by a final stop at the Tate in London.
And Artista x Artista III. There are a few days left to catch the group show at Estudio Carlos Garaicoa in Madrid, which features work by artists who have participated in the exchange program so far, as well as other young artists close to the program. Look for work by Yornel Martínez, Levi Orta, Lester Álvarez, and Garaicoa himself, among others. Through May 6.
Enrique Báster in Germany. Galerie Frank Schlag & CIE, in Essen, Germany, is presenting Geometría Social / Social Geometry, the first exhibition in Germany by Cuban artist Enrique Báster. The geometric deconstruction of contemporary urban reality is central to Báster’s work. He explores all of the compositional possibilities derived from the decomposition and fragmentation of the urban landscape, creating multilayered collages from a wide variety of materials: paper, glass, photographs, oil paints, even bank notes. By building up, then exposing other layers, the artist creates works of spatial depth that recall abstract street maps or pasted-over billboards. Geometría Social is on view through May 20.
Cuba Libre too. The impact on contemporary Cuban art by German collectors Peter and Irene Ludwig—founders of the influential Ludwig Foundation of Cuba in Havana—is the focus of a multi-generation group show at the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz, the home town of Peter Ludwig. Cuba Libre, Kubas Zeitgenössische Positionen Seit Peter Ludwig (Contemporary Cuban Art After Peter Ludwig) features work by close to 20 artists, including Los Carpinteros, Carlos Garaicoa, Adrián Fernández, Glenda León, Ariamna Contino, Yoan Capote, and Adonis Flores, and an exhibition essay by artist and curator Antonio Eligio Fernández (Tonel). On view through June 14.
And Kuba Libre. In the northern German city of Rostock, a second show of contemporary Cuban art opens next Tuesday, May 3. Curated by Tereza de Arruda in partnership with the Wifredo Lam Center, the Fototeca de Cuba, and the Taller Experimental de Gráfica de la Habana, Kuba Libre runs through June 19 at Kunsthalle Rostock.
Transhumance in Brussels. Mobility, migration, and evolving ideas of home are some of the themes explored in this show of 11 artists. Among them are internationally recognized creators like Ana Mendieta and Carlos Garaicoa, as well as younger artists gaining international attention, such as Diana Fonseca, Reynier Leyva Novo, Wilfredo Prieto, Yornel Martínez, and Diango Hernández. Curated by Sara Alonso, Transhumance, Beyond Human Horizon runs through June 25 at the Centre d’Art de Bruxelles (CAB).
El acercamiento in Los Angeles. El acercamiento/The Approach is a long-term collaboration between artists and students of the California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) in Los Angeles and the Academia Nacional de Artes San Alejandro on Havana. Together, the teams have been developing a range of projects, including performance work, sound art, visual artworks, and urban interventions. Their first exhibition took place in March at the Ludwig Foundation in Havana. The second will open May 7 at the Boat House Gallery at Plaza de la Raza in LA, where it runs through June 11. Plans call for an exhibition in Miami this fall, and at the Fábrica de Arte Cubano (FAC) in Havana next spring.
Katrina Chairs at Coachella. This year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held earlier this month, included a notable installation by Alexandre Arrechea: Katrina Chairs, a set of four oversized chairs holding residential buildings. Standing some 50 feet high, the structures reference New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, as a gesture to lift the community to safety from the storm.
Tonight in Miami. At CIFO Art Space, artists Aldo Menéndez, Gustavo Pérez Monzón, and Rubén Torres Llorca discuss (in Spanish) “La generación de Volumen Uno.” The first in this year’s series of CIFOTalks, the conversation is presented in conjunction with the ongoing exhibition Gustavo Pérez Monzón: Tramas. The event is free and open to the public, no reservations accepted. 6 p.m. tonight at CIFO Art Space.
And Thursday, Dialogues in Cuban Art. The second part of the cultural exchange project organized by curator Elizabeth Cerejido has been taking place this past week, with the arrival of 15 artists and curators from the island. Capping a week of studio visits, conversations, and informal exchanges, a two-day symposium opens this Thursday morning at the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Participating artists include Sandra Ramos, Alexandre Arrechea, Glexis Novoa, Humberto Díaz, Reyner Leyva Novo, and Juana Valdés, to name only a few.
Of special note: Cuban Art News publisher Howard Farber will be part of the panel discussion on Thursday afternoon, joining gallerists Ramón Cernuda and Frederic Snitzer and collector Peter Menéndez for a conversation on the development of Cuban art in Miami, moderated by art historian Juan A. Martínez.
For more information, see the schedule on the Dialogues in Cuban Art website.
Next Week: Promising Paradise in Miami. At the Wolfsonian-FIU, Promising Paradise: Cuban Allure, American Seduction looks at tourism in Cuba before 1959, and its influence on US popular culture. Photographs, posters, and promotional ephemera trace the growth of US tourism from the Prohibition era of the 1920s through the postwar boom of the 1950s. Opening next Friday, May 6, the show runs through August 21.
The Veiled Experience in Connecticut. At MS17 Art Project in New London, Connecticut, La Experiencia Velante / The Veiled Experience – Symbolism in Contemporary Cuban Art presents the work of two master printmakers, Ibrahim Miranda and Aliosky García Sosa, head of printmaking at ISA. Miranda’s installation Cubrecamas, which was shown at last year’s Havana Biennial, is on view, along with García Sosa’s surreal woodblock prints and other works by Miranda. Through July 17.
This Friday: Aimée García in Times Square. For her public art installation in New York’s Times Square, García applies the delicacy of hand embroidery to the news of the day. Times of Silenceconsists of six panels of collaged newspaper (from the New York Times and the Cuban press), presented in three freestanding, illuminated vitrines. Each panel may be seen as a striking composition of color and form, and/or a comment on how the news is shaped, constrained, and interpreted. The work will be unveiled at a public event in Times Square at 11 a.m. on Friday, on the Broadway plaza between 42nd and 43rd Streets, and will remain on view through May 18.
José Bedia in NYC. Opening this Saturday, José Bedia: Tribal Affinities presents recent work and selected touchstones from his lengthy career, paired with selected works of indigenous art from Africa and North America. Exploring Bedia’s profound affinity for indigenous cultures, it is the first show to present his work with tribal art. Curated by JTBnow and José Bedia, Jr., the show runs through May 28 at Tambaran Gallery. The reception on Saturday runs 4 to 9 p.m.
Carmen Herrera in Chelsea. On Monday evening, May 2, Lisson Gallery opens its long-awaited new space in Chelsea with a solo show of recent work by Carmen Herrera. Featuring a dozen or more works, including large-scale diptychs and triptychs, the show will be her largest exhibition to date—at least until her retrospective opens in September at the Whitney Museum of Art. Focusing on work in the past two years, the Lisson show is distinctly different from the Whitney retrospective, which will focus on earlier decades in her career. The Monday night reception runs 6-8 p.m.
Elsa Mora in Gramercy Park. The historic National Arts Club on Gramercy Park South will host Timeline, a solo show by Elsa Mora. In works that blend photography, sculptural cut-paper works, embroidery, and other techniques, Mora reflects on events in her own life, and the journey that led her from Cuba to the US. The show opens Wednesday, May 4, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., and runs through May 28.
La vanguardia in Chelsea. Following its Ana Mendieta show earlier this spring, Galerie Lelong is now presenting Diáologos constructivistas en la vanguardia cubana: Amelia Peláez, Loló Soldevilla and Zilia Sánchez. With a collective practice spanning the 1930s to the present, the three artists reflect the long history of geometric abstraction on the island. The show opens this Thursday, April 28, but the opening reception will be held on Thursday, May 5, 6-8 p.m. The show runs through June 25.
Félix González-Torres too. The first in an ambitious three-part exhibition, curated by artists Julie Ault and Roni Horn, opens Tuesday, May 3 at Andrea Rosen Gallery, with the opening reception also running 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 5. The other two parts of the project open Friday, May 20, at Massimo De Carlo in Milan, and on Thursday, May 26, at Hauser & Wirth in London. The show in New York runs through June 18.
And a week of Cuban music. This Sunday, May 1, Symphony Space kicks off The Source Project, a week of concerts and films exploring the ongoing influence of Africa on Cuba and Afro-Cuban culture. Performers include Xiomara Laugart, Yosvany Terry, and the Pedrito Martínez Group with Issac Delgado. The film program, presented in conjunction with the Havana Film Festival New York, includes documentaries on Cuban son, nueva trova, legendary singer-composer Benny Moré, Los Zafiros, and more. Full schedule here.