Very few of us have had the opportunity to experience the rich culture of Cuba by visiting the island nation. The Katonah Museum of Art
will bring some of that culture to us when it opens Cuba Avant-Garde: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Farber Collection, on June 27. This riveting exhibition, which runs through September 19, features some of the most important art to come out of Cuba in the past two decades. The Museum is located at 134 Jay Street (Route 22) in Katonah. For information and hours call 914-232-9555 x0 or visit www.katonahmuseum.org.
Bringing Cuba Avant-Garde to Katonah is a rare opportunity for our community, says Neil Watson, Executive Director of the Katonah Museum of Art. Our audience in the Northeast has had limited exposure to Cuban contemporary art and the Farber Collection presents a richly textured overview of the exciting and provocative work of todays Cuban artists.
Opening a new dimension of understanding through the universal language of imagery, works in this exhibition encompass a variety of mediums that are used to explore heritage, identity, religion, patriotism, and society, with an exacting eye and an often wry sense of humor. Internationally known Cuban artists whose work is part of the Farber Collection include Los Carpinteros, Tania Bruguera Fernández, Fernando Rodríguez Falcín, Lázaro Saavedra González, Armando Mariño, and Abel Barroso.
There is so much vibrant and important art coming out of Cuba today, says Nancy Wallach, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Museum. Weve wanted to exhibit contemporary Cuban art for a number of years and leapt at the opportunity to present Cuba Avant-Garde when it became available.
The artworks in the exhibition were selected from the extensive collection of Howard and Patricia Farber of New York City and Miami, FL. Mr. Farbers fascination with Cuban art began with a 2001 trip to the island, where he was immediately enthralled by Havanas vibrant art scene. Mr. Farber began working with curators, dealers and artists to preserve the best and most important works spanning the broadest possible spectrum of contemporary Cuban art. The Farbers established in 2010 Fundación Cuba Avant-Garde a foundation advocating for and promoting a greater understanding of Cuban art and culture.
Magda González-Mora Alfonso, founder of the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center in Havana, writes in the collection catalogue: The Farber Collection rescues the memory, and the works, of a fruitful moment in Cubas recent art history. It strikes a balance between generations and historic periods; acknowledging social realities, it bridges the gulfs that exist among Cuban artists around the world. The Collection represents not only work done in Cuba, but also by the diaspora of Cuban artists in North America and Europe. At its core, the collections concept is dynamic, decentralized, and flexible.