Zilia Sánchez, Amazonas, 1972
Courtesy Artists Space, New York

Zilia Sánchez in New York. At 85 years of age, the Cuban-born artist is having her first U.S. survey at Artists Space in Lower Manhattan. Zilia Sánchez presents a selection of work from the early 1950s to the present. A forerunner of Latin American Minimalism—“I guess I am not a Minimalist, but rather a Mulata,” she has said—Sánchez’s work includes elaborately stretched and shaped canvases. Often they’re modular, multi-part pieces that resemble wall-hung abstract sculptures, with shadows and curves that subtly recall the human body. The exhibition runs through June 16. For images from the opening reception, see the Cuban Art News Facebook page.

Luis Cruz Azaceta, Tsunami II, 2012
Courtesy Pan American Art Projects

Azaceta and Camejo in Miami. Last week Pan American Art Projects opened the latest in a string of double shows in its galleries. In Luis Cruz Azaceta: UP*SIDE*DOWN (turmoil, disasters, & shootings), the artist continues to address social issues and upheaval, now in brightly colored, semi-abstract works that often rely on their titles to get their message across. In the gallery’s project room, Azaceta’s “Sandy Hook Shooting” series expresses the horror of the incident through the use of crudely drawn stick figures, like those that small children would make. By contrast, in Luis Enrique Camejo: Miami Cool, the artist casts an almost documentary eye on the city—the intense traffic and soaring buildings downtown, the forgotten corners in out-of-the-way neighborhoods—captured in his characteristic monochromatic style. (For more about Camejo and his artistic approach, read the Cuban Art News interview posted earlier this year.) Both shows run through May 25.

Azaceta is also participating in two museum shows: Order, Chaos, and the Space Between: Contemporary Latin American Art from the Diane and Bruce Halle Collection, on view at the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona through May 5, and Myth and Materiality: Latin American Art from the Permanent Collection, 1930-1990 at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art through May 26.

Ibrahim Miranda, Bestiario de Panamá (Panama Bestiary), 2013
Courtesy Ibrahim Miranda

Ibrahim Miranda in Panama. From the artist comes news of his participation in the first Panama biennial, the Bienal del Sur en Panamá 2013. “Here you can enjoy one of my recent installations of paintings: Panama Bestiary,” Miranda writes. “The city plan of Panama City was my inspiration to create these colorful animals. I hope you can enjoy them with me.” The biennial opened mid-April and will run through May 30.

In After the Void: Mabel Poblet, Untitled, 2012
Courtesy Ministry of Nomads

After the Void in London. Carlos Garaicoa, Mabel Poblet, and Yunior Mariño are among the 11 international artists in this exhibition, which explores the transcendent states of consciousness that emerge from the mind in meditation or at rest. Focusing primarily on spatial relationships in painting, sculpture, and performance, the show was curated by Maria Vega of Ministry of Nomads, the organization that is presenting the exhibition in its Marylebone Road gallery.

Humanscape: Five Cuban Artists

Humanscape in New Jersey. At the Union City Museum, Humanscape: Five Cuban Artists brings together the creative visions of artists who all take the city as their focus, one way or the other. Four of them use photography as a jumping-off point, but with remarkably different approaches and results. Arturo Cuenca explores the tension between images and words—or as he puts it, between “art and ideology”—in manipulated photographs that somehow retain a touch of lyricism. Juan-Sí González—whose Brooklyn show with Frank Guiller we wrote about earlier this year—captures fleeting images of televised “talking heads” as the broadcast signal fades and the image dissolves into abstract pixels.

Guiller takes a more documentary approach, photographing people on New York streets, often with telephoto lenses; the results are unsentimental but intimate portraits of a city and its inhabitants. For Guillermo Portieles, the photograph is a starting point for a series of physical interventions—paint, scratches, wrinkles, folds—that in an odd way reveal the fundamental truth of the image. Sculptor Armando Guiller bypasses photography completely, compressing and distilling his impressions of the city into cleanly geometric sculptures that speak to both the depersonalization of urban life and the depth of its human presence. Humanscape continues at the Union City Museum through June 2. For a photo walk-through of the show, see the Cuban Art News Facebook page.

Goodbye My Love

Public Art in NYC: A Cuban Moment. In recent weeks we’ve run interviews with Alexandre Arrechea and Esterio Segura about their current projects in New York, but we wanted to savor, once again, the fact that not one, but two major public art projects by Cuban artists are on view in the city this spring. Kudos to the Times Square Alliance, Cuban Artists Fund, chashama, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund for sponsoring Segura’s Goodbye My Love, on view through May 13 in the pedestrian passage running between West 42nd and 43rd Streets on the block between 6th Avenue and Broadway. The same to the Sculpture Committee of the Fund for Park Avenue, the Public Art Program of the City of New York’s Department of Parks & Recreation, and Magnan Metz Gallery for Arrechea’s No Limit, on view through June 13 along the Park Avenue traffic mall from 54th Street to 67th.

Video Art in Camagüey. The 5th International Festival of Video Art Camagüey (FIVAC) opened yesterday and runs through this Sunday, April 24. The organizers of this biennal event received 456 submissions from 35 countries, and are presenting 152 works during the festival. More than 100 international visitors are expected to attend, including many of the artists, who will participate in workshops. In addition to programs in the principal venues—the Museo and Plaza de San Juan de Dios (Monumento Nacional), the Galería de Arte Universal Alejo Carpentier, and the Gran Hotel—the festival for the first time will also present a selection of works in competition in other municipalities throughout the province. Jorge Luis Santana, president of the organizing committee, noted that “this latest edition will reaffirm our intention to make technology more human, by the warmth of contacts and collaborative work.”