Cuba Avant-Garde: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Farber Collection
February 6 – April 4, 2010
Lowe Art Museum
Cuba Avant-Garde: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Farber Collection provides a rare opportunity to glimpse the extraordinary diversity and quality of Cuban art created from the mid-1980s to the present. On view at the University of Miami Lowe Art Museum from February 6 – April 4, 2010, these works of art will illustrate how contemporary Cuban art transcends the limits of geography and nationality, while engaging and enriching a much larger global artistic discourse. A preview will take place on February 5th.
The exhibition’s more than 50 works reflect the cultural mixing and diverse styles that characterize international contemporary art, but that also emerge from the distinct circumstances of Cuba itself. Cuba Avant-Garde presents large scale paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs and mixed media works—many not seen previously outside Cuba—by forty Cuban-born artists. Using irony and metaphor, the exhibition’s artists explore themes ranging from the history of colonialism, to emigration, and exile. They take an unflinching, at times humorous approach to such topics as political and economic crisis, religion, gender and race. Subtle devices of satire, allegory and ambiguity are used to challenge accepted artistic and political discourses, at the same time employing a rich variety of experimental and postmodern strategies.
All of the artworks in the exhibition were selected from a more extensive collection of contemporary Cuban art assembled by Howard and Patricia Farber of New York City and Miami Beach. With broad experience as a major collector of American modernist painting and contemporary Chinese art, Howard Farber began collecting contemporary Cuban art after a visit to the island in 2001. Mr. Farber was soon trotting the globe to find the very best Cuban contemporary pieces available, resulting in a collection that truly encapsulates a period of great significance.
“I’m not a politician, I’m an art collector,” says Mr. Farber. “There’s an energy and passion in these works that I find very compelling, and I’m pleased to share them in this exhibition.”
Cuba Avant-Garde: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Farber Collection is organized by the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida and toured by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions (CATE), Pasadena, California. A fully illustrated bilingual publication accompanies the exhibition. The publication features essays by Abelardo G. Mena Chicuri, Curator of Contemporary International Art at The National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana), Harn Museum Curator Kerry Oliver-Smith, and Magda González-Mora Alfonso – a founder of the Havana Biennial.