Under the Spell of the Palm Tree. Cuban art at the Harn Museum in Gainesville
By Dulce M. Román
Chief Curator and Curator of Modern Art
Glimpse into the complexity of culture and history that has inspired Cuban art throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century this summer at the Harn Museum of Art as they feature “Under the Spell of the Palm Tree: The Rice Collection of Cuban Art” in collaboration with the Cuban Arts Group. Guest curators Gabriela Azcuy and David Horta utilize the work of a broad range of artists in the Rice Collection to display an inclusive view of Cuban art, reflecting on its current dynamic and the existence of new geographies as an essential part of its reality. Through 79 works representing 53 artists, the exhibition presents the narrative of a crossing—a virtual crossing of the seas as well as a crossing of generations, of artists living or having lived both in Cuba and in the diaspora.
Artists in the exhibition include modern masters (Cundo Bermúdez, Mario Carreño, Salvador Corratgé, Carlos Enríquez, Wifredo Lam, and René Portocarrero), members of the so-called “generation of true hope” of the 1970s (Pedro Pablo Oliva and Roberto Fabelo), the “Cuban renaissance” generation of the 1980s (José Bedia, René Francisco Rodríguez, Eduardo Ponjuán, and Lázaro Saavedra), the generation of the 1990s (Tania Brugueras, Belkis Ayón, Carlos Garaicoa, Sandra Ramos, and Esterio Segura), as well as younger artists who have gained international visibility (Adrián Fernández, Reynier Leyva Novo, and Mabel Poblet).