AN EXHIBITION OF WORKS BY THREE PIONEERS OF CUBAN GEOMETRIC ART
FROM THE COLLECTION OF ELLA FONTANALS-CISNEROS
Curated by Elsa Vega & Ella Fontanals-Cisneros
CIFO Art Space
Miami, FL, USA
6 December 2017 – 4 March 2018
Triángulo (Triangle) brings together the works of three key figures in the genesis of Cuban abstract art. Loló Soldevilla, Sandu Darie, and Carmen Herrera are three vertices of a story that runs along parallel paths that nevertheless cross: Geometry as a common language for a bold aesthetic renewal. Triángulo presents a confluence of the symbolic values of an essential mythology of space, taken by Loló Soldevilla to their most scientific conclusions; the formal artistic rigor of a new pictorial structuralism as formulated by Sandu Darie; and the wide-ranging intellectual sophistication of a meticulous oeuvre in the unmistakable style of Carmen Herrera.
These 50 works from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, all from the 1950s and 1960s, attest to the degree of innovation achieved by Cuban art of the period. These works, executed with dissimilar materials and rejecting imitation, brought about undeniable originality to the international panorama of abstract art.
A partnership between CIFO and Microsoft resulted in the production of Sandu Darie: An Immersive Experience, a section within the exhibition which aims to make important Cuban works of art accessible beyond the constraints of their physical location. The Experience takes public works of art that are permanently located in Cuba and brings them to life in Windows Mixed Reality Headsets and Microsoft HoloLens, including: Darie’s environmental sculpture Arbol Rojo (1981), located in Palacio de Pioneros Ernesto Guevara, Parque Lenin, Havana; the sculptural mural El Dia y La Noche (1982), located in the hospital vestibule of Hermanos Ameijeiras, Havana; and the sculptural ensemble Construcciones (1977), located in the popular intersection of Cuatro Caminos, Havana. Microsoft has also re-created one of Darie’s Estructuras Transformables (Untitled, c. 1950s) in HoloLens to showcase the kinetic movements of the piece seen – up until now – only by curatorial staff due to its delicate nature. Microsoft’s Sandu Darie: An Immersive Experience is a limited viewing and will only run during Art Basel week December 6th – 10th, 2018.
Also included in the exhibition are a number of Sandu Darie’s transformable spatial structures constructed in Plexiglas, an almost-unknown facet of his work, as well as the projection of Cosmorama, an audiovisual experiment in collaboration with ICAIC, which constituted a key precursor for the later development of video art in Cuba.
Accompanying the exhibition will be a meticulous selection of documentary and bibliographic materials from the CIFO Veigas Archive that offer a deep look into the lives and work of these three creators.
About Ella Fontanals-Cisneros
Ella Fontanals-Cisneros is a philanthropist, entrepreneur and collector of contemporary art. She began collecting art in the 1970s and her collection has an international profile with emblematic figures of modern and contemporary art with a focus on Latin American art. Today the collection has more than 3,000 works.
About Elsa Vega, independent curator
Art historian specializing in Cuban art of the 1950s and 1960s, Vega has been curator of Cuban art at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) since 1993. One of her curatorial hallmarks is the permanent exhibition Otras perspectivas del arte Cubano (Other Perspectives on Cuban Art) 1951–1963, which has been on permanent display at the MNBA in Havana since July 2001. Vega has organized numerous national collection exhibitions and co-curated a number of international exhibitions in Brazil, Canada, Holland, and Spain. She has written widely for exhibition catalogues and art publications. Vega has twice been awarded the Annual Prize for Cultural Research and is a member of the Cuban National Heritage Commission.
Ella Fontanals-Cisneros established the non-profit Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) in 2002. The foundation’s mission is to support and foster cultural understanding and educational dialog among Latin American artists and global audiences. CIFO serves as a platform for emerging, mid-career and established Latin American artists through the Grants & Commissions Program, the CIFO Collection, the CIFO Art Space, and other related art and cultural projects in the United States of America and internationally.