Saturday, November 08, 2008

DC area debut

As far as I know, two of the Cuban artists that I have included in the "Aqui Estamos" (Here We Are) exhibition at H&F Fine Arts are making their Greater DC area debut, even though they are both rather important artists in the rarified upper artmosphere.

Alexis Leyva Machado, known to the art world as Kcho, was born in Nueva Gerona, Isla de la Juventud (nee Isla de Pinos), Cuba in 1970. He studied at the National Art School in Havana from which he graduated in 1990. Five years later Kcho won the Grand Prize at the Kwang-Ju Biennial in South Korea and began attracting international attention.

A year later, at age 26, he became the youngest Latin American artist ever to be included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

His work has been exhibited worldwide in dozens of solo shows in galleries and museums in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. His work is often associated, because of its recurring use of boats and rafts, as referencing the plight of the Cuban Diaspora, which has seen the largest per capita migration of any nation in modern history since the Castro takeover in 1959. Kcho lives and works in Havana, Cuba.

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons was born in Matanzas province in Cuba in 1959. Her work has been described as bearing a powerful familial history that is intermingled and mixed with the sugar industry’s omnipresence in her hometown of La Vega. The focus and roots of her work can be traced from the US, where she has resided since 1992, to a Cuban homeland, to the enslaved Africans who were brought to Cuba by white Spanish colonists and finally back to what is today Nigeria.

She has also been described as "one of the most significant artists to emerge from post-Revolutionary Cuba. Her evocative works probe questions of race, class, cultural hybridism, and national identities in African diasporic communities."

Campos-Pons has been exhibited internationally since 1984 when she won the Honorable Mention at the XVIII Cagnes-sur-Mer Painting Competition in France, and the Bunting Fellowship in Visual Arts at Harvard 1993.

At the age of 29 she had a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and subsequently at the Venice Biennale 2001, Johannesburg Biennial, the First Liverpool Biennial, and the Dak’ART Biennial in Senegal.

Most recently the Guangzhou Triennial in China hosted her work. A 20-year retrospective of Campos-Pons’s work, Everything is Separated by Water: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, opened at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2006 and traveled to the Bass Museum in Miami. A new museum show will open in Nashville in 2010.

Campos-Pons has been celebrated as one of the upcoming young leaders of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by the Women’s Chapter, is usually included among the 100 Most Influential Latinos, and was honored in 2008 as Harvard launched its campaign to build the new Harvard Art Museum, as well as the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s 125th Anniversary Gala in 2008.

Last year, Campos-Pons was selected to receive the Rappaport Prize. She has lectured in many museums worldwide, including MoMA, the Tate Modern, the Brooklyn Museum and the School of Art in Dakar. She works and lives in Boston.

The opening is tonight, Saturday Nov. 8 from 5-8PM at H&F Fine Arts, located at 3311 Rhode Island Avenue, Mount Rainier, Maryland and their gallery phone is 301/887-0080.

See ya there!

Come join me tonight

Tonight H&F Fine Arts proudly and elegantly hosts artwork by some of the best known Cuban artists from Cuba and from the Cuban Diaspora. I called the show "Aqui Estamos" or "Here We Are," as sort of a footprint statement for these important artists making an exclamation point to the Greater DC area.

On the walls are drawings, photographs, paintings and etchings by Magdalena Campos-Pons, Kcho, Sandra Ramos, Cirenaica Moreira, Marta Maria Perez Bravo, Aimee Garcia Marrero and Roberto Acosta Wong.

Read this about Magda Campos-Pons and then come see the gorgeous triptych titled "Island Treasure" that I selected for the show.

María Magdalena Campos-Pons. Island Treasures, 2004

María Magdalena Campos-Pons. Island Treasures. Large Format Polaroids

The opening is tonight, Saturday Nov. 8 from 5-8PM at H&F Fine Arts, located at 3311 Rhode Island Avenue, Mount Rainier, Maryland and their gallery phone is 301/887-0080.

See ya there!