At Galleria Ca’ d’Oro in Chelsea: José Ney, Parallel worlds 2
Courtesy José Ney

Opening tonight: Saavedra at Caja negraHavana’s Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales (CDAV) has announced a new exhibition space dedicated to audiovisual art. According to curator Caridad Blanco, the new space—called Caja negra, or Black Box—will be “a space capable of accommodating expressions of media art (video art, cine, television) as well as exploring the relationships of art, science, and technology.”

Courtesy CDAV

Caja negra opens tonight with Haciendo memoria, a show of videos by Lázaro Saavedra, winner of the 2014 National Prize for the Visual Arts. The reception begins at 5 p.m. The show runs through January 11.

And Premio Maretti, too. Also at CDAV is an exhibition presented with the third edition of the Premio Maretti Cuba. Since 2002, the Italian publishing house Maretti Editore has issued a monograph honoring a chosen artist. (This year’s prize is dedicated to Italian artist Piero Pizzi Cannella.) In Cuba, working with the National Council for Plastic Arts (CNAP) and the Ministry of Culture, the Premio Maretti brings together established Italian artists and young Cuban artists under 35.

Jurors from each country selected the exhibition artists. This year’s Cuban jury included Caridad Blanco de la Cruz, Jorge Fernández Torres, and Dayalis González Perdomo, who selected the artists Leslie García — Carlos González, Orestes Hernández, Levi Orta, Mabel Poblet, Milton Raggi, and Rafael Villares. The Italian jury—Laura Cherubini, Eugenio Viola, and Giacomo Zaza—chose Diego Cibelli, Fabrizio Cotognini, Pamela Diamante, Giulio Frigo, Roberto Marchese, and Gian Maria Tosatti. The exhibition opened on November 25 with the presentation of the volume accompanying the 2014 Premio Maretti. The show runs until December 30.

Cirenaica Moreira in Havana. Featuring photography, installation work, and performance, Moreira’s exhibition Estas flores malsanas… (These Morbid Flowers…) takes inspiration from Charles Baudelaire’s Les fleurs du mal, biblical notions of sin, and a certain theatricality that, as Joel del Río wrote in Ciber Cuba, “borders on spectacle” [“…de cierta teatralidad vinculada al espectáculo…]. Presenting masculine beauty as an object of desire, Moreira undermines notions of machismo with the elán of a Tropicana chorus dancer. Through January 8 at Galería Servando.

Courtesy Galería Servando

And Rafael Villares. At Galería Artis 718 in Miramar, ECO brings together recent drawings, videos, and installation works in the artist’s series titled ECO. With landscape as its reference point, Villares’s work seeks out parallels and divergences across a range of contexts—the course of a river and the flow of an artery in the human body. At the symbolic level the works function as new linkages in a landscape that fluidly transforms from one elemental state to the next. On view through January 8.

Courtesy Galería Artis 718

Permanent homes for Detrás del muro artworks. Árbol de luz, Rafael Villares’s playful version of a city street light, is one of several sculptures finding permanent locations around the city. They were first seen last spring in Detrás del muro (Behind the Wall), the 12th Biennial’s massive public-art show along the Malecón. According to an article in Arte por excelenciasDetrás del muro organizer Juan Delgado named Proyecto Reality-Cubo Azul by Rachel Valdés, Delicatessen by Roberto Fabelo, and Primavera by Rafael M. San Juan among the works being relocated, in cooperation with the artists and the Office of the Historian of Havana.

Rafael Villares, Árbol de luz, 2015
Courtesy Rafael Villares

Cuban artists to Spain. In our last Update column, we wrote about Cristina Garrido, the first Spanish artist to arrive in Havana as part of the Artista x Artista program run by Studio Carlos Garaicoa. Now, Artista x Artista has announced its inaugural residencies for Cuban artists. From March 1 through April 17, Luis Manuel Otero and the art duo jorge y larry will participate in residencies in Spain, developed by Artista x Artista in collaboration with El Ranchito, the residency program of the arts organization Matadero Madrid – AECID.

Los Carpinteros in London. This month saw the unveiling of the newly installed “Europe 1600–1815” galleries at the Victoria & Albert Museum—and with them, The Globe, a commissioned work by Los Carpinteros. A curved architectural sculpture that seats up to 30 people, The Globe continues Los Carpinteros’ exploration of the ‘panopticon,’ with their mandates for surveillance and control. At the V&A, The Globe will be used for quiet contemplation and informal conversations about Enlightenment-related topics. Here, a video of the artists discussing the work.

Alom in Mexico. Eroticism, magic, and everyday knowledge are among the themes explored in Juan Carlos Alom: Los Elementos. The show’s 34 photographic works are on view in the Sala Nacho López of the Fototeca Nacional of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico. On view through January 24.

One of the photographic works by Juan Carlos Alom on view at the Fototeca Nacional in Mexico
Courtesy Fototeca Nacional, Pachuca, Mexico

Q&A in Washington, DC. The cultural center of the Inter-American Development Bank is presenting a show of contemporary Cuban art curated by Cristina VivesQ&A with Seven Contemporary Cuban Artists includes the work of Alexandre Arrechea, Alejandro Campins, Javier Castro, Humberto Díaz, Fidel García, Alejandro González, and Lorena Gutiérrez. The evening before the show’s invitation-only opening, the artists and Vives participated in a lively panel discussion at the Katzen Arts Center of American University. Q&A remains on view through March 10.

Opening tonight: Made in Cuba! in NYC. In Chelsea, Cuban Art Space NYC is marking the anniversary of last year’s historic announcement with the New York opening of Made in Cuba! / hecho en Cuba: Recycling Mermory and Culture. A version of the pop-up exhibition that opened this fall at Santa Monica Art Studios in Los Angeles, Made in Cuba! features the work of close to 20 artists, including Alberto Casado, Sandra Ceballos, Manuel Mendive, Mabel Poblet, and Ernesto Javier Fernández, who’ll be there at tonight’s opening, 6-8 p.m.

Cardinal Points in NYC. At the Galleria Ca’ d’Oro New York, this group show features the work of Estebán Blanco, Antonio Nuñez, José Ney, and Geandy Pavón. Working in painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed media, the artists explore themes of history, memory, migration, and world politics. On view through January 16.

Elsa Mora holiday cards at MoMA. For the second year, Mora was invited to create a cut-paper holiday card for the Museum of Modern Art. See what she has to say about her creative process here; and purchase cards online here.

The «Winter’s Tale» card designed by Elsa Mora for MoMA
Courtesy Museum of Modern Art, New York

Fresh look for the Farber Collection website. With essays, artist videos, and images of the works in the collection, the Farber Collection website has long been a resource for anyone interested in Cuban contemporary art. Now, the site has been updated to feature larger images and more agile search capabilities, as well as new acquisitions made during the Farbers’ recent trips to Cuba. There’s a new slide show on the home page, too, that launches a few seconds into your visit—click here for a preview.

A frame from the new, large-size slide show on the Farber Collection website
Courtesy The Farber Collection

Follow-up on the autumn auctions. A recent article in The Economist on contemporary Cuban art cited two more artists whose work broke their previous records for sale at auction: Rubén Alpízar, whose 2011 canvas Sueño de una tarde de verano surpassed its $15,000 high estimate to bring $20,000 at Phillips; and José Ángel Rosabal, whose 1966 Untitled (From the series Figuras Geométricas) shot beyond its $18,000 high estimate to reach $32,500 (all prices include buyer’s premium).

Félix González-Torres, Untitled (L.A.), 1991
Courtesy fayettevilleflyer.com

Earlier last month, another record was set by Félix González-Torres, whose  “Untitled” (L.A.), 1991, went for $7,669,000 (including buyer’s premium). The work—approximately 50 pounds of individually wrapped green candies, replenished as visitors take them—was bought by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Bentonville, Arkansas, institution founded by Walmart heiress Alice Walton. “Untitled” (L.A.) was offered in the postwar and contemporary evening sale at Christie’s on November 10.

Luis Martínez Pedro, Aguas Territoriales (Territorial Waters), 1963
Courtesy David Zwirner

Looking ahead to January, and after.  One week into the new year, look for Concrete Cuba, the show that opened the fall season at the David Zwirner Gallery in London, to open at Zwirner in Chelsea on January 7… On January 9, José Manuel Fors opens his solo show, The Long Shadow, at Couturier Gallery in Los Angeles… Carlos Estévez opens Soulcatcher at LaCa Projects in Charlotte, North Carolina on January 14… a solo show by Reynerio Tamayo opens at Galería Villa Manuela (stay tuned for the date)… And Tania Bruguera gives the keynote address at the College Art Association’s 2016 conference in Washington, DC, which convenes on February 6.

Save the Date. It’s not too early to reserve tickets for the Bronx Museum of the Arts’ Spring Gala and Art Auction, scheduled for Monday, March 14, 2016. With the theme of “Wild Noise: Bronx/Havana,” the event will honor Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, Ben Rodríguez-Cubeñas, Cristina García, and Los Carpinteros. Musician and educator Arturo O’Farrill will be the master of ceremonies, and there’ll be a special performance by Yosvany Terry. For details, click here.

For the reading list. Issue #68 of the e-flux journal is now online. Edited by Coco Fusco, the issue focuses on Cuban cultural politics in the year since last December’s historic announcement. The online publication includes essays by Sandra Ceballos, Lázaro Saavedra, Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti, and others whose writings don’t often appear in English.

And congratulations to Fusco for winning the Greenfield Prize, a $30,000 award administered by the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood, Florida. Fusco has said that she’s planning to use the award to make a documentary film about Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti. Next month, she joins the University of Florida College of the Arts as a professor in the School of Art and Art History. Meanwhile, her work is included in Agitprop!, the international group show that opened last week at the Brooklyn Museum and runs through August 7.

A Goya nomination for Vestido de novia—and one for MeñiqueLast June, we wrote about Vestido de novia (His Wedding Dress), the first dramatic feature by director Marilyn Solaya, based on her 2010 documentary En el cuerpo equivocado (In the wrong body). Now, Prensa Latina is reporting that the film has been nominated for a Goya Award—Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars—in the category of Best Iberoamerican Film. The children’s film Meñique has also been nominated in the category of Best Animation. The awards will be announced at a gala ceremony in Madrid on February 6.