Contemporary Cuban Art: History, Identity, and Materiality

from the collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

March 5 – May 22, 2022

Cuba has a diverse culture and complex history that is both fascinating and often misunderstood.  Paradox, dark humor, beauty, sadness, and vulnerability connect the works on view in the exhibition Contemporary Cuban Art.  Guest Curator Jill Hartz has conceptualized this exhibition through the lenses of history, identity, and materiality as a structure to draw visitors into their own paths of discovery of contemporary Cuban art.  Most of the Cuban artists, whose artworks are featured in the exhibition, have benefited from a free education and meticulous training from a young age.  Their extensive knowledge of Western art history and their honing of practice and technique have provided strong foundations for their individual visions and expression.  Artists who are still living in Cuba reflect the daily challenges of survival in their art, while those now living in the U.S. and elsewhere convey the tensions of their hybrid citizenship. Regardless of their current physical location, however, all of them are fully engaged in expressing their personal relationship with their homes and the world with honesty, intelligence, and determination.

Jill Hartz was the Executive Director of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art from 2008 to 2019.  During her career, she had the good fortune to visit Cuba nine times over twenty years. She met many artists, curators, art historians, gallerists, and collectors on the island who have helped her to learn more about Cuban history and contemporary art.

Sponsored by U.S. Bank

IMAGE: Armando Marino, Untitled (Couch with legs/feet), from the “Herencia Colonial” Series, 2003, watercolor on paper, 40 x 60 inches, Collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Gift of Linda and Irwin Berman, in memory of Linda.