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Cuban Art in the Twentieth Century: Cultural Identity and the International Avant Garde

Published January 26, 2016

February 12 – March 27, 2016

Written by Devyn Fussman, excerpts and photos courtesy of OnView Magazine.
Image courtesy of Cernuda Arte

Cundo Bermúdez, Dos Figuras con Florero (Two Figures with Flower Vase), c. 1959, mixed media on board laid down on canvas, 28 x 22¼ inches. Private Collection, Miami, Florida. Image courtesy of Cernuda Arte

Beginning in early February, anyone looking for a taste of Cuban culture can visit the Museum of Fine Arts’ new exhibit: Cuban Art in the Twentieth Century: Cultural Identity and the International Avant Garde. The exhibition will include works by Cuban artists from the Colonial Period, Early Republic Period, Later Modern Period, and the Contemporary Period.

From the OnView press release:

“Organized by the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts in concert with guest curator, Segundo J. Fernandez, and Cernuda Arte Coral Gables, Florida, Cuban Art in the Twentieth Century: Cultural Identity and the International Avant Garde will present exciting, colorful works by Cuban modernist painters who participated in a global movement in the arts, characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional art styles.”

Wifredo Lam, El Bien Vestido (The Well Dressed), 1968, oil on canvas, 28 x 36 inches. Private Collection. Image courtesy of Cernuda Arte

The exhibition will open at MoFA on February 12, 2016, from 6-8pm and will be open to the public until March 27, 2016. Visitors will have a glimpse inside Cuba’s culture and the modern art that emerged, starting in 1927 Havana and developing over the next 20 years. Some of the leaders in the “First Generation” of artists, such as Victor Manuel Garcia, Amelia Peláez, Carlos Enriquez, and others, brought their visions to life in a time when the country was in political disorder and economic depression.

OnView writes, “Cuban modern art of the 1930s and 1940s is recognized today, from the global modernism art history texts to international auction houses, as one of the leading artistic movements of early 20th century Latin American art. Similarly, contemporary Cuban art is undergoing a promotional boom and it is prevalent in biennials around the world and in major museums and galleries in the Americas and Europe. Today, Cuban modern art is a salient chapter in the history of global modernism and it is the foundation for internationally recognized contemporary Cuban art.”

The program was made possible by the generous support of the City of Tallahassee, Leon County and the Council on Culture & Arts, and Opening Nights.

For additional information on this exhibition, please view our extended blog post.