TRANSOCEANIC ART MADRID: FROM CUBA TO TAIPEI GOING BY PUERTO RICO

 

Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal. FOOTPRINTS. Set 31 drawings. Mixed media on card stock. Variable dimensions. 2016

 

 

The Collage Habana Gallery, located on San Rafael, the central boulevard of the Cuban city, has more than 10 years experience in the promotion and commercialization of local arts with a catalog of artists from different generations, young creators and established masters In the Cuban arts scene, many of them awarded with the National Prize for Plastic Arts, such as masters Manuel Mendive and Roberto Fabelo. Since 2004, it is the gallery that leads the Center of Visual Arts of the Cuban Fund for Cultural Property, where they reflect the aesthetic plurality of the art of the Island, from its projects and exhibitions.

 

The proposal they bring to Art Madrid includes the work of José Bedia, Roberto Fabelo, Santiago Rodríguez de Olazábal and Guibert Rosales. It will be a pleasure to see again the art works of the master Fabelo, painter, draftsman, engraver, illustrator and sculptor who has won numerous prizes and mentions, among them the UNESCO Prize for the Promotion of Fine Arts in Paris (1996) National Prize of Cuban Plastic Arts (2004) or Distinction for National Culture, both granted by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Cuba.

 

 

 

Roldan Lauzan. Hierofante - Hierophant - Oil on canvas - 150 x 140 cm - 2016

 

 

Another Cuban, Galería Moleiros, was founded in 1999 with the aim of internationalizing contemporary Cuban art. Directed by René Moleiros, he represents both masters of the late twentieth century, such as Roberto Fabelo, Zaida del Rio and Manuel Mendive, as well as emerging artists, leading to numerous international fairs.

 

In Art Madrid'17 he bets by these artists: Rubén Alpízar, Roldan Lauzan, Yamir Izquierdo, Daniel Collazo. We highlight here the work of the young Roldan Laúzan (Havana, 1987) who has participated in collective exhibitions such as "Sabor Metálico", in Villa Manuela Gallery in Havana, "Intersections", Izabelle Lesmeister Gallery (Regenburg, Germany) Artis 7 and 18 ", at Galería Post it (Havana, Cuba). He has attended international fairs such as "ART KARLSRUHE" Contemporany Art Fair or "ART BODENSEE", Contemporary Art Fair Liebe FreundInnen der Kunst in Dornbirn, Austria. He has also collaborated with more than 35 publications for Cuban and foreign publishers. His work, oil or acrylics, shows an excellent mastery of the art of portraiture and a palette of his own with which he represents familiar characters in strange characterizations. Roldán wonders about our identity, dual identities or even the loss of identity.

 

 

Aimée Joaristi. Higgs boson 2 - Mixed technique on paper - 80 cm x 80 cm - 2016

 

 

The Klaus Steinmetz Art Contemporary gallery was founded in December 2000. Since then they have performed dozens of exhibitions with many Latin American artists such as Luis González Palma, Javier Marín, José Bedia, Botero, Adriana Varejao, but it is in the international scene where they have been more active, participating in fairs such as Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Lima, Bogotá, Caracas, Miami, Monaco, Madrid and Basel. They have also participated in exhibitions in collaboration with museums and galleries from more than twenty countries. In May of 2013, the gallery triumphed with the most important exhibition of its history: a monograph of Peter Halley (New York, 1953) and his abstraction and expressionism in dialogue with the geometric painting.

 

To participate in Art Madrid, they present the work of Aimée Joaristi, Gabriel Rigo and Nanda Botella. Joaristi's painting has won great recognition at festivals and fairs such as the 5th Riga International Triennial in Latvia, the V Biennial of Guayaquil in Ecuador or the award obtained at the TAG Gallery, Brussels at the International Art Dubai Project. The work of Joaristi is expression and abstraction in pure state, taking the dripping and the stain to almost sculptural states.

 

 

Mónica Subidé. Everydayness at risk of extinction -Oil, pencil and collage on wood - 75 x 120 cm - 2016

 

 

Yiri Arts was founded in 2014 with the spirit of being a "Every Days Art Museum" and the goal of makes art to penetrate and enrich people's lives. Through the curatorship, exhibitions, publications and international fairs, they present inspiring works full of vitality. They have galleries in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung's Pier-2 Space, but also run multidisciplinary venues in Taipei, combining art and literature, and in 2014 they co-founded the Taipei Free Art fair, because they think art can be discovered anywhere.


Its freshness arrives to Art Madrid through the work of Chen Yun, Wang Guan-Jhen, Monica Subidé and Núria Farré. Catalan artist Mónica Subidé (Barcelona, ??1974), represented by Yiri Arts, has exhibited individually in the Eternal Espai, in Bj Art Gallery and in the Fidel Balaguer Gallery, all of them in Barcelona. He has also participated in collective exhibitions such as "Big and Feliceful 2.0" in Yiri Arts, Taiwan, Ramfjord Gallery, Oslo, Norway, Bj Art Gallery, Paris, France and in Catalan galleries like Esther Montoriol Gallery in Barcelona. His work, with certain influence of art brut, regains the taste for the draft and the origins of the drawing, and she mixes the pencil lines with energetic colored brushstrokes in apparently unstructured scenes and compositions.

 

 

 

Among the specialised professional profiles that we find in the cultural sector, and more specifically, in the field of visual arts, one of the most recent occupations is that of the curator. The ‘80s put attention on the role of the artist, with its innovative character and the enhancement of its figure as an essential articulator of creative proposals, while the end of the century moved the interest towards the exhibition centres themselves and their work as custodians of current production and as spaces to accommodate all proposals. The change of millennium strongly introduced in this panorama the role of the curator. Perhaps together with a social identity crisis, perhaps with the complexity that contemporary projects are currently acquiring, the need for building, articulating and delving into artistic discourses became evident.

Although the functions entrusted to this profession are not entirely new, since previously they belonged to conservatives, critics or experts according to the themes, the role has gained solidity because it combines all these purposes while allowing the specialisation of other professionals in their fields of competence. Now, as some curators themselves point out, the genuine spirit of this figure, who was born to facilitate the understanding of the discourse, create narratives within a sometimes chaotic and scattered context, mediate between the works and the spectator and create bridges between contemporary art and society.

The art of our day raises a multitude of unknowns for the visitor who must face proposals many times away from the aesthetic standards, which gives way to uncertainty and confusion; but, in turn, these works employ a closer language, materials and even compositions detached from the sophistication and the technical display of yesteryear, something that, far from favouring proximity to the message, generates some distancing. What we have just described is part of the very essence of current art. The questioning of the formalist guidelines and the recourse to tangible elements that are more utilitarian than embellishing are the new criteria of creation, where, above all, the message to be conveyed stands out.

Likewise, another inherent characteristic of the work of our time is the artists' concern for more immediate themes, for social, political and economic issues that seek to create a narrative and conceptual revulsion, leaving behind the aesthetic priority or, rather, making of the message its own aesthetic. In this context, strange as it may seem, contemporary creation encounters a linguistic barrier hindering the viewer's understanding. And to this circumstance, the abundant current production is added, covering a wide range of themes that are nothing more than a transcript of our diverse and globalised society.

The curator helps to facilitate this understanding by articulating a coherent discourse that allows the grouping of related ideas to set up the message. This requires to have an in-depth knowledge of the current state of the art, the lines of work of the creators, the most recent aesthetic proposals and the real demands of society to bridge the dialogue and allow the approach to art. If art deals with the same issues that concern us all, how can we not share its postulates? Cultural mediation requires the work of the curators to open a small window for reflection and to enable a space for exchange and idea generation. We share the thought that José Guirao expressed in a recent interview: "The curator is someone who reveals something new, and it would be a mistake for curators to become managers."

Understood this way curator’s role, many institutions have joined the trend of creating specific calls for new professionals to give light to their proposals. Let us remember, as an example, the call "Unpublished" of La Casa Encendida, or "Curator wanted", of the Community of Madrid or the call of Curating of La Caixa.