“Polaridad Complementaria: Recent Works from Cuba” (Complementary Polarity), opens Monday, Aug. 15, a the Housatonic Museum of Art, the final stop of a two-year tour of the United States.
A reception is planned. 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31. The show closes Oct. 20.
The press release:
Developed by the Centro de Arte Contemporaneo Wifredo Lam, Havana, Polaridad Complementaria offers audiences the opportunity to become acquainted with the island’s current and upcoming artistic talent. More than 40 works of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and installation art provide a sense of the serious aesthetic and conceptual concerns that characterizes Cuban art today. The 24 artists presented here are mainly young artists who have attained international recognition. The majority of these artists have taken part in fairs and biennials abroad and all have exhibited in Europe, Latin America and were featured in various editions of the Havana Biennial. Several have exhibited in the United States, including René Peña, Abel Barroso, Aimeé García, Yoan Capote, Eduardo Ponjuán, Lázaro Saavedra, Sandra Ramos and Roberto Fabelo.
Often compared to American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, artist René Peña explores the relationship between individuals within society and the struggle for their own identity. Abel Barroso carves three-dimensional pieces using wood and various printing methods to create a conversation about technology and the third-world. From Zulueta, Cuba, Duvier del Dago takes things one step further, combining drawing with handmade 3D design examining the unattainable, whether it be the material or the ideal. From simplistic to intricately fabricated, these artists create a narrative of Cuba today.
Diverse in both medium and themes, the artists featured in Polaridad Complementaria understand the power of their art to address a wide range of social issues. The exhibition highlights works that connect the local context with global concerns and universal human issues. After many years, Polaridad Complementaria opens a pathway for dialogue and cultural exchange between Cuba and the United States, two countries with historic ties and common cultural processes, despite troubled relations.
Margarita Sánchez Prieto is curator, researcher and art critic at Centro de Arte Contemporaneo Wifredo Lam in Havana and recipient of the National Prize of Curatorship at the 2000 Havana Biennial. She has curated various exhibitions and lectured extensively on Cuban and Latin American art throughout South America, Europe and Canada. Her work has been published in various art magazines and she is the author of the anthology An Outlook of Latin American Art in the Decade of 1980.
Director of the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Centre and curator and art critic of the Havana Biennial, Jorge Fernandez Torres has curated over 15 major exhibitions in Cuba, Spain, Central, and South America. He was a member of the Commission for Cuban Cultural Development of UNESCO in 1997 and on the Advisory Council for the Arts of the National Library of Cuba in 2000 and 2001 as well as Vice Rector of the Higher Institute of Arts in Havana for the past ten years. He is the Author of several texts in catalogues of Cuban art and as professor of contemporary art at the Higher Institute of Arts (ISA), and has lectured all over the world.
Polaridad Complementaria: Recent Works from Cuba was developed by the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.
Scheduled tour dates for Polaridad Complementaria: Recent Works from Cuba are as follows: Newcomb Art Gallery, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA (January 16, 2010 to March 14, 2010); Sonoma County Museum of Art, Santa Rosa, CA (June 16, 2010 to August 29, 2010); Chicago Cultural Center, IL (October 16, 2010 to December 30, 2010); City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC (February 4, 2011 to March 28, 2011); Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT (August 15, 2011 to October 20, 2011). For an updated tour schedule, please visit http://artsandartists.org/exhibitions/cubanart.html.
Centro de Arte Contemporaneo Wifredo Lam is dedicated to the promotion of both contemporary Cuban art and the art of the countries of the so-called Third World. Its main purpose is organizing the Havana Biennial. The Center also promotes and investigates the work of the vanguard master Wifredo Lam as well as the current artistic production of South American countries.
International Arts & Artists in Washington, DC, is a non-profit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally, through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, arts institutions and the public. Visit www.artsandartists.org