At the MNBA: María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Dreaming of an Island​, 2008

It’s been not quite 3 weeks since Hurricane Irma struck Cuba and the Florida peninsula. In Havana and Miami, the art scene is starting its comeback. Gathered from official sources and informal communications with colleagues, here’s an update on both cities: museums, galleries, events, and a resignation.


BIENAL POSTPONED TO 2019. In Havana, most of the institutions we heard about had minor damage—a stark contrast to Cuba’s northern coast and the cultural institutions there.

A statement issued by the Consejo Nacional de Artes Plásticas (CNAP) and the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam read:

“Because of the severe damage caused by Hurricane Irma in the network of cultural institutions in the country, it has been necessary to undertake a rigorous analysis of the resources available for recovery in the remainder of this year and 2018,” read a statement issued by the Consejo Nacional de Artes Plásticas (CNAP) and the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam.

“It has been decided to postpone the celebration of the XIII Bienal de La Habana.

The new date is expected to be announced shortly.

MUSEO NACIONAL DE BELLAS ARTES. Both buildings are open and presenting exhibitions. Without Masks: Contemporary Afro-Cuban Art is scheduled to run through October 2.

MNBA book launch tomorrow. Tomorrow, September 29, the Museo Nacional will present a launch celebration forSalomón, a new book by Caridad Blanco about the iconic character created by graphic artist Santiago Armada (Chago). MNBA director Jorge Fernández and curator Roberto Cobas will present the launch, which takes place at  4 p.m. in the patio of the museum’s Cuban Art Building.

Courtesy Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

WIFREDO LAM CENTERWe’ve heard that the Center is open and presenting exhibitions.

CDAV. This past Saturday, the Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales opened three exhibitions that had been slated for September: the group shows Cartografías de un sendero and Vida quieta, and Equilibrio inestable, a solo exhibition by Ricardo Sánchez Cuerda.

At CDAV, a work by Ricardo Sánchez Cuerda in Equilibrio Inestable
Courtesy Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales

Meanwhile, CDAV is preparing for the VII Salón de Arte Contemporáneo Cubano, which opens in late October. The last Salón was presented in February 2014.

GALERÍA VILLA MANUELAThe gallery opened a solo show by Harold López last Thursday, September 21.

Harold López, Boca arriba (detail)
Courtesy Galería de Arte Villa Manuela

GALERÍA HABANAAs of this past Monday, electrical service was restored at the gallery, and it is now open with its current exhibition, the group show Inventario. The show had been scheduled to run through October 13.


PAMM. The Pérez Art Museum Miami withstood the hurricane well and reopened within a few days. Abstracting History, Part 2 of On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection, opened as scheduled last Friday, September 22.

At PAMM: Waldo Balart, Trilogía neoplástica, 1979
Courtesy Pérez Art Museum Miami

This past week, PAMM organized a drive to collect essential supplies for Floridians affected by the hurricane. Through September 26, visitors received free admission to the museum in exchange for baby products, nonperishable food, and other items.

CORAL GABLES MUSEUMThe museum reopened a few days after the storm. Their show Between the Real and the Imagined: Abstract Art from CINTAS Fellows runs through October 22.

In Coral Gables: Luis Mallo, No. 31, from the series In Camera, 2001–04
Courtesy Coral Gables Art Museum

LOWE ART MUSEUMThe museum opened this past Tuesday, soon after classes resumed on the University of Miami campus.

CIFO ART SPACEThe rescheduled opening for No Black / No White (No And), the 2017 Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation grants and commissions show, took place last Friday, September 22.

Valdés resigns as CIFO director. A week after the hurricane struck, Eugenio Valdés Figueroa announced his resignation as CIFO’s director and chief curator. In an email to colleagues, Valdés cited the fragile health of his parents, noting that he was returning to Havana immediately.

PAN AMERICAN ART PROJECTSThe opening for Ruben Millares: Paint by Number, originally scheduled for September 7, took place this past Saturday afternoon, September 23, with a celebratory brunch.

A work by Ruben Millares in Paint by Numbers at Pan American Art Projects
Courtesy Pan American Art Projects

LATIN ART CORETomorrow evening, Latin Art Core opens Fragment of a Symphony: Salvador Corratgé. Corratgé (1928–2014) was a member of the influential Cuban abstract group Diez pintores concretos. Tomorrow’s reception starts at 7 p.m., and the show runs through October 30.

Courtesy Latin Art Core

FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY. Ernesto Oroza. Museo Popular Concreto: Inform, the show originally slated to open on September 15, will open next Friday, October 6. The reception runs 7 -9 p.m., and the show runs through November 18.

Courtesy Fredric Snitzer Gallery

The gallery’s next exhibition, a show by Enrique Martínez Celaya, will open as scheduled on December 1, in time for Art Basel Miami Beach.

AND IN BOCA RATON… As a post-Irma special, the Boca Raton Art Museum is offering free admission through October, and membership discounts. At the museum, Deep Line Drawings by Carlos Luna runs through December 31.

In Boca Raton: Carlos Luna, Florecito, 2010
Courtesy Boca Raton Art Museum