Wilfredo Prieto, Ping-Pong Cuadrícula

The Havana Biennial doesn’t officially open until next Friday, May 22. But the action starts long before that. Here are a few of the other openings next week, in chronological order.

Monday, May 18

“Bienal, bienal! Are you my friend?” Sandra Ceballos launches what she’s calling her final show at Espacio Aglutinador. An all-day event, running 12 noon to 8 p.m. The exhibition runs through June 15.

“Bienal, bienal! Are you my friend?”, Sandra Ceballos

Wednesday, May 20

Cuban Art Awards. At the Wifredo Lam Center, this event will see the presentation of the first international Cuban Art Awards. Sponsored by the Howard and Patricia Farber Foundation (sponsors of Cuban Art News), the awards include Artist of the Year and Young Artist of the Year. The event includes a cocktail reception with music by El Septeto Habanero. Invitation only. 4 p.m.

Crack. Galería Habana brings out a team of heavy hitters for this group show exploring various aspects of the global financial crisis: euphoria, panic, addiction, the housing bubble, and more. Artists include Tonel, Ariamna Contino & Alex Hernández, Felipe Dulzaides, Iván Capote, Carlos Garaicoa, Roberto Fabelo, Yunier Hernández, Enrique Báster, Glenda León, and Los Carpinteros. On view through July 3.


RAM-ROM-RUN (run, save, and continue running)In a historic building that several Cuban families call home, the art space Loft Havana hosts a group show of young and cutting-edge artists. A project by Nina Menocal curated by Elvia Rosa Castro and produced in collaboration with architect José Antonio Choy, RAM-ROM-RUN uses the tropes of technology to examine notions of memory, archival documentation, and the speed of contemporary life. The close to 20 artists and art groups in the show include Elizabet Cerviño, Plasticv Guajiras, Yornel Martínez, Rachel Valdés, and Celia y Junior. Opening 5–7 p.m.; the show has been extended to run through Friday, May 29.

Thursday, May 21

Zona Franca (Free Zone). The largest collateral project of this year’s Biennial is the artists and collectives presenting their work at the Morro-Cabaña complex. Opens at 4 p.m. Through June 22.

Alumbrando el Barrio / Lighting Up the Neighborhood. As the sun goes down, the lights go on in this urban restoration project by artist Kadir López Nieves. Working from an aesthetic he calls En Poder Práctica Social (In-Power Social Practice), López Nieves has overseen the restoration of several vintage neon and illuminated signs around Havana, including those for the Alameda, Acapulco, and Apolo theaters. Through June 20.

HB, Muestra de arte cubano contemporáneo. Presented at the enormous Pabexpo center in Playa, this show features work by dozens of top artists. Reception at 8 p.m.

No es lo que ves. Photographs by Che Serguera and Alfredo Sarabia, curated by Julia Portela. Estudio 50 in Vedado. Reception at 8 p.m.

De la acera de enfrente (… Across the Street). The latest collaboration between two Vedado neighbors, the Norwegian Embassy and Studio Figueroa-Vives, this group show promises to expand the interior and exterior space of both locations. The ten artists on view are all expected to attend, including Alexandre Arrechea, Ignacio Barrios, Alejandro Campins, Javier Castro, José A. Figueroa, Francisco Alejandro (Jim), Flavio Garciandía, Alejandro González, Tony Labat, and Fernando Rodríguez. 9–12 p.m.

FAC Reopens. For the past three weeks or so, the Fábrica de Arte Cubano has been closed for an art-oriented remodeling. It’s now ready to unveil the results, in a grand reopening, May 21, from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. In honor of the Biennial, admission is free from noon to 6 p.m. through June 7.

Pez Peo / Fartfish

Friday, May 22

The Biennial officially opens at 10 a.m.

Pez Peo (Fartfish). Installation by Lázaro Saavedra, opening 4 p.m. at the Wifredo Lam Center.

Artista x Artista (Artist x Artist). A collateral exhibition at the Carlos Garaicoa Studio in Miramar. Reception at 5 p.m.

Montañas con una esquina rota (Mountains with a Broken Corner). An international group show curated by Wilfredo Prieto, Direlia Lazo, and Gretel Medina. Opens 7 p.m. at the Fábrica de bicicletas in Vedado.

Montañas con una esquina rota

Saturday, May 23

Libros sin dominio (Books without Domain). At the Fayad Jamís Bookstore in Habana Vieja, Elvia Rosa Castro curates a show of book-objects by Reynier Leyva Novo and other artists, as part of an intervention by artist Yornel Martínez. 3 p.m.

Alexandre Arrechea’s El Mapa del Silencio

Four exhibitions open at the Museo Nacional. In addition to Alexandre Arrechea’s El Mapa del Silencio (The Map of Silence) and Wild Noise: Artwork from The Bronx Museum of the Arts and El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (both previously profiled on Cuban Art News), two other shows will open at the museum that day:

Gustavo Pérez Monzón: Tramas. A solo show by one of the original “Volumen Uno” artists, curated from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection by Elsa Vega and René Francisco Rodríguez.

Wilfredo Prieto: Ping-Pong Cuadrícula. A solo show by the conceptual artist, whose work was featured in last summer’s show of Latin American contemporary art at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Through July 23.

All four openings begin at 5 p.m.

Alejandro Campins: Ciudad de los Muertos. At Galería Servando, this solo show by Campins—a Young Artist of the Year finalist for the Cuban Art Awards—opens with a reception at 7 p.m.

Rocío García: The Mission and René Francisco: Entropía. Factoría Habana kicks off these solo shows with an 8 p.m. reception.

Rocío García: The Mission

Sunday, May 24

Between. A joint exhibition by Alejandro Campins, Michel Pérez Pollo, and José Eduardo Yaque opens at UNAICC (Unión Nacional de Arquitectos y Ingenieros de la Construcción de Cuba) in Vedado, with a reception at 5 p.m. Through June 10.


Detrás del muro: En el medio de nada (Behind the Wall: In the Middle of Nowhere) opens at 6 p.m. on the Malecón. Check Cuban Art News next week for a preview of this show.

Monday, May 25

Sobrerania (post-zone) / Sovereignty (post-zone). At Cristo Salvador, three Danish artists join Ernesto Leal, Ernesto Oroza, and the studio’s resident artist, Ezequiel O. Suárez, among others, in a group show opening at 7 p.m. Through June 25.

And on Thursday, May 28, Cristo Salvador will host the launch of the LP “Los Beatles Felices o El triunfo de 1970” at 7 p.m.


Insomnia. A combination art installation and performance piece, Insomnia has artist Pablo Rosendo and actress Claudia Tomás inhabiting a house that remains constantly open to the public. Once the project has ended, Rosendo will be an artist in residence in North Miami with the Copperbridge Foundation, which is hosting the opening reception at 8 p.m.

Thursday, May 28

Con aroma de nación: La primera cola.ICAIC’s Galería Fresa y Chocolate is the setting for this group show curated by Teresita Gómez Acoasta and Yuray Tolentino Hevia, which gathers together recent winners of the Premios Nacionales de Artes Plásticas (National Awards in the Visual Arts). The reception starts at 7 p.m.

Cutting Edge Art in Havana: 100 Cuban Artists.

And this just in…

Cutting Edge Art in Havana: 100 Cuban Artists. Just in time for the Biennial, this new guide to the contemporary art scene includes artists’ studios, cultural centers, and more.