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"Through the looking glass: Cuban Art Today"
2007-09-28 until 2007-10-31
Allegro Galeria
San Francisco, , PA Panama

To look at reality, it is not enough to gaze at ourselves in the mirror; we must step through it. A traves del espejo: Arte Cubano Hoy (Through the looking glass: Cuban Art Today) is an exhibition of works by a well-established group of artists from that storied Caribbean country. This group show, organized by Panama’s Allegro Galeria, will open on September 27, 2007. Under this title, the curators – two from Havana and one from Panama – with their inward-looking and outward-looking perspectives, set out to collect a broad spectrum of poetic expressions that reveal the superb aesthetic level of Cuban art which has, for several decades, been considered one of the most versatile and consistent in Latin America.

The metaphor of the mirror, then, will allow us to peer into the complex and multifaceted reality of a country that, with very good reasons, awakens the interest of experts, connoisseurs, and the general public; a nation whose artists refract not only the nature and essence of their most immediate realities, but the concerns and motivations equally felt by many of anywhere on the planet.

We are aware that Cuban Art today is also distinguished by its trans-territorial quality, and that being Cuban, carried within, goes beyond borders – the works created by artists living on the Island are just as Cuban as any created by those whose home is elsewhere. Allegro has had the vision to bring together recent works by a group of eighteen artists, almost a third of whom are currently living in the United States. The sheer fact that this plurality of voices will be shown and that the coherence that distinguishes Cuban art will be evident, justifies the expectations that such an immense curatorial effort entails.

Works by Luis Cruz Azaceta, Pedro Pablo Oliva, José Bedia, Gustavo Acosta, Rogelio López Marín (Gory), and Ángel Ramírez – all of them accomplished creators whose vast production has had a major impact on the art scene ever since the eighties (the seventies, actually, in some cases) and whose relevance is still as powerful today. They are joined here by the works of Lázaro Saavedra, Agustín Bejarano, Carlos Estévez, Sandra Ramos, Ibrahim Miranda, Abel Barroso, Aimée García Marrero, Carlos Montes de Oca, Kadir López, Aziyadé Ruíz, Luis Enrique Camejo, and Jairo Alfonso – all of whom are the essential figures in the Cuban art world of the last fifteen years – that illustrate the vitality, the convergence of generations, the conceptual depth, and the anthropological vocation, among other vital traits, of a vigorous artistic movement that enjoys a well-deserved international recognition.

A través del espejo: Arte Cubano Hoy honors two-dimensional supports, certainly, but it also overflows them. Although this exhibition is, in sheer numbers, is mostly dominated by painting, it also embodies the technical diversity, the experimental audacity, the diverse discursive strategies and, above all, the virtuoso craft of its exponents. This exhibition offers us a remarkable opportunity to gaze into the universe of some of the most significant Cuban artists of the recent past; to discover, verify, and recognize ourselves in these shimmering works. And, for those bold enough to go beyond the periphery and cross over to the other side of the looking glass, there is the once-in-a-lifetime chance to discover themselves: after all, in looking at the reality of the other, we might find our own.

IMAGE
Luis Enrique Camejo
Untitled 2001,
45 1/2"x71"


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