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"Humberto Castro: The Paris Years (1989–1999.)"
2001-07-14 until 2001-09-20
Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

Recent works by celebrated Cuban-born artist Humberto Castro are explored in a new installation at MOA in Humberto Castro: The Paris Years (1989–1999.) The multi-media exhibition opened July 14, and marks the first time a mainstream museum in the United States will attempt an extensive and comprehensive presentation of Castros work.

A focal point of The Paris Years is a large mixed-media installation entitled The Wailing Wall addressing the Cuban Diaspora. The exhibition also features numerous canvases done by Castro in Paris during his ten year residence as well as a few paintings created since his permanent move to South Florida two years ago.

A graduate of the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts and the Graduate Institute for the Arts of Havana, Castro achieved notoriety in 1981 when he participated in the Volumen Uno exhibition at the International Art Center in the Cuban capital. There, together with a handful of avant-garde young artists (among them, Elso Padilla, Jose Bedia and Tomas Sanchez), Castro began challenging preconceived notions and political dogma. Their eclectic art was edgy and often controversial. The Generation of 80s, as they were collectively known, assimilated and adapted ideas from such diverse sources as Photo-Realism and Afro-Cuban rites. As further proof of their independent ways and original talent, each of the members of this pioneering group developed separate and distinctive styles.

Castro’s oeuvre combines mythical and actual events. This thematic fusion imbues the work with an alluring, visionary quality. His compositions, no matter how grim the subject matter, display an innate elegance making them palatable and even lyrical at times. Castro is a master at capturing metamorphosis. His svelte figures seem to endlessly evolve from ethereal beings to earthlings. Castro’s stirring palette and sensuous textures further enhance his bewitching designs.

The exhibition, sponsored by Stanley and Pearl Goodman, includes examples from some of Castro’s best known series including Zodiac, The Minotaur in His Labyrinth, Icaro’s Flight and Ulysses Raft. MOA Curator Jorge Santis says contemporary issues of censorship and exile are subtly yet insightfully communicated in many of these allegorical canvases During the last two decades, Castro held triumphant solo exhibitions in Berlin, Paris, Mexico City and Caracas.

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