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Miami Art Museum Presents Cuban-Dominican Artist Quisqueya Henríquez
Quisqueya Henriquez, Untitled (Baseball Players), 2007, Collage on newsprint, 14 x 17 inches, Courtesy David Castillo Gallery.

MIAMI, FL.-Miami Art Museum (MAM) is proud to present Quisqueya Henriquez: The World Outside, A Survey Exhibition 1991 – 2007, the first major survey of this Cuban-Dominican artist’s work in the United States , April 25-July 20, 2008.

The World Outside provides a selection of 22 sculptures, installations, drawings, photographs, videos and light/sound works spanning the last two decades of the artist’s career. Henríquez has gained international recognition for her concept-driven art, which she uses to bridge the cultural and psychological distances between the Caribbean and the “outside world.”

“Henríquez’ installations may incorporate properties of light, color, geometry, movement, water, wind, sound and temperature. She uses natural and industrial materials, as well as natural and architectural environments to create situations that are less about their look than about the experience they create for the viewers,” Guest Curator Amy Rosenblum Martin says. “Through her work, she invokes the sights, sounds, tastes, and textures of the city—all the sensory experiences that make urban life chaotic and provocative. By playfully abstracting familiar forms, she challenges our relationship with the everyday. Her primary concern is making us aware of our perceptions; with allowing us to see ourselves seeing.”

The multifaceted works on view exhibit how Henríquez employs her sharp sense of humor and acute sensitivity to the struggles and ironies of everyday life to break down the barriers between experimental art and popular culture. She photographs construction sites, historical buildings, monuments and beaches strewn with trash, emphasizing how these sights echo global economy, culture, politics, and climate.

The artist uses a wide variety of genre and media to engage the viewer in reexamining issues related to the environment and its role in the production of cultural clichés. In works such as Helado de Agua de Mar Caribe (Caribbean Seawater Ice Cream) (2002), she humorously addresses the stereotype of the Caribbean as a “hot-blooded” individual through ice cream manufactured using Caribbean seawater.

Additional examples of Henriquez’ humorous use of objects drawn from the daily life around her include Jugando con la adversidad (Playing with Adversity), 2001-06, a series of sculptures fashioned from balls, among them a basketball converted into a purse and a soccer ball turned into a cap. Her designs for gift wrapping papers, one of which is folded around the exhibition catalog, combine bright colors and attractive geometry with scenes of garbage washed up on the beaches of the Dominican Republic . These works were first conceived as a participatory project. Henríquez approached store owners in Santa Domingo and asked, with a measure of success, that they use her designs to wrap customers’ purchases.

Among other works included in Quisqueya Henríquez are El mundo de afuera (The World Outside), a video edited from hundreds of hours of footage shot from a camera set on a tripod on the balcony of the artist’s apartment over a three year period; Bornnaked, an installation/sound work built inside a sofa and Intertextualidad/ Intertextuality a video projection merging horses and automobile bodies that spills over into a vinyl wall installation.

About the Artist - Born in Havana , Cuba in 1966, Henríquez studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Havana and the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo. The artist’s first name is the indigenous name given to Santo Domingo before the coming of the Spanish.

Henríquez was a Miami resident from 1993-1997, a period in which she frequently worked collaboratively with Cuban-American artist Consuelo Castañeda, another graduate of Havana ’s Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA).

Quisqueya Henríquez has been featured in solo exhibitions at Artists Space, New York; the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; and The Contemporary Museum, Baltimore. She has also been included in many international exhibitions and biennials, including 23 Bienal Nacional, Santa Domingo (2005) and INSITE 97, San Diego (1997), and several groundbreaking group shows, such as Defining the Nineties: Consensus-making in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Miami: Human Nature, at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; No Lo Llames Performance at El Museo del Barrio, New York; Island Nations: New Art from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the Diaspora at the RISD Museum of Art, Providence; and currently on view at New York’s El Museo del Barrio, This Skin I’m In: Contemporary Dominican Art from the Permanent Collection.

The artist’s work is included in the permanent collections of El Museo del Barrio, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Miami Art Museum, Miami; The RISD Museum of Art, Providence; Cintas Foundation, New York; and the Ninart Centro de Cultura, Mexico City among others.

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