Carlos Martiel

Cuban Art News

At the Museo Nacional in Havana, 5 Shows Explore Cuban History & “Cubanidad”

Curators reflect on the theme of “The infinite possibility: Thinking about the nation”

As its contribution to the XIII Bienal de La Habana—and a preview of the city’s 500th anniversary celebration this fall—the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) is launching 5 shows on Cuban art, history and culture.

Under the theme of “The infinite possibility: Thinking about the nation,” the exhibitions tackle topics ranging from issues of race to the long shadow of sugar.

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Nada personal (Nothing Personal) takes a close look, through art, at one of Cuban society’s most complex issues: race and racialism. “Liberated from chronologies,” write curators Roberto Cobas Amate and Laura Arañó Arencibia, the show “weaves a history that begins with the weight of the story about Carlos Martiel’s skin [pierced by medals in Prodigal Son, 2010] and the heartbreaking canvases of Juan Roberto Diago, and expands to the characters of [19th-century artist] Victor Patricio Landaluze and the painting of [colonial artist] Vicente Escobar.”

The exhibition includes painting, drawing, installation, and video art, with an eye toward “the first manifestations of interracial conflict and its evolution up to the present moment.”

All five exhibitions will debut at the MNBA just ahead of the Biennial’s April 12 opening.

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