Abstracting History, Second Chapter in On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection Opens at PAMM

Second Chapter of PAMM’s expansive three-part exhibition dedicated to Cuban art on view September 22–January 7, 2018

MIAMI— August 14, 2017 —Abstracting History, the second chapter of Pérez Art Museum Miami’s (PAMM) multi-part, yearlong exhibition dedicated to contemporary Cuban art, opens September 22, 2017. On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection features over 170 works of art spanning painting, drawing, photography, mixed-media and sculpture and highlights a rich panorama of recent work produced by artists living both in Cuba and abroad. Chapter 2: Abstracting History takes a closer look at artists whose work primarily explores abstract geometries—including linear horizon lines—as they relate to both personal and historical narratives. On the Horizon celebrates the recent generous gift of Cuban artworks donated to the museum by Jorge M. Pérez in December 2016, and includes a significant number of recent acquisitions purchased during the last year with funds provided as part of Mr. Pérez’s donation.  

Picking up the thematic thread from Chapter 1: Internal Landscapes (on view June 9, 2017 – September 10, 2017), Chapter 2: Abstracting History explores spiritual and political histories, and examines past and contemporary realities within the context of Cuba and its diaspora. A triptych by seminal 20th century Cuban abstract artist, Waldo Balart, will hang alongside works by contemporary artists who share similar formal, linguistic and modernist tendencies, including Kenia Arguiñao, Sandú Darié, and Aimée Garcia. Havana-based artist Reynier Leyva Novo revisits scenes from Cuban history to offer new critical perspectives; his El Peso de la Historia (The Weight of History) (2014), an installation of black squares of ink painted directly on the gallery wall, represents the amount of ink used to write nine influential laws that changed the history of Cuba. Multi-panel canvases by Zilia Sánchez, a Cuban artist living and working in Puerto Rico, showcase the artist’s approach to formal abstraction through her signature use of a shaped canvas, expressing a sensual juxtaposition between femininity and masculinity. Other important works that are now in PAMM’s permanent collection and part of the installation are: José Ángel Vincench Barrera’s Exilio 5 (2013); Alexandre Arrechea’s Remote Control – Campamento (2005); a series of 12 photographs by Havana-based artist, Leandro Feal, entitled ¿Y allá qué hora es? (2015-16); Leyden Rodríguez-Casanova’s mixed-media work, A Layered Frame Set (2013); and two artist books by Glenda León.

With a new chapter opening every three months, On the Horizon is PAMM’s most ambitious Cuban art exhibition to date. The exhibition is organized around the metaphor of the horizon line—a motif that appears in many of the works on view—and brings together a strong view of artistic practices in Cuba from the last three decades as well as work by young, lesser-known artists working on the island and across the globe. The individual chapters each explore various meanings of the horizon, which include the vista as a symbol of desire, longing or containment. This symbolic framework helps generate a larger dialogue between the works on view and the specificities of Cuba’s current physical, social and political landscape, as revealed through each artist’s personal experience and unique aesthetics.

On the Horizon features works by many of the world’s leading contemporary Cuban artists, including Alexandre Arrechea, Carlos Garaicoa, Hernan Bas, Yoan Capote, Teresita Fernández, Enrique Martínez Celeya, Glexis Novoa, and Zilia Sánchez, among others. Each presentation involves a partial rehanging of the exhibition galleries, accompanied by distinct public programs and performances, as well as the placement of select works from the Pérez collection within the museum’s permanent collection galleries. A number of works are included in each presentation, serving as a contextual link between each chapter. These include: Yoan Capote’s outstanding large-scale painting Island (sea-escape) (2010); Enrique Martinez Celaya’s Summer / Verano (2007); Fire (America) 5 (2017) by Teresita Fernández; and Horizonte (2015) by Elizabet Cerviño.

As Miami’s flagship contemporary art museum, collecting the work of Cuban artists and documenting the Cuban Diaspora exemplifies PAMM’s mission to represent its place in the world—geographically, conceptually and intellectually. Cuba, equally a part of Latin America and the Caribbean, has been an area of sustained interest at PAMM going back to its beginnings as a presenting institution. The presentation of On the Horizon at PAMM coincides with a renewed energy internationally around Cuban art at a time when US-Cuban relations remain an active subject of discussion. Through this gift, PAMM now holds one of the largest collections of contemporary Cuban art in any American museum.

Many of the works on view throughout On the Horizon have never been seen before in a museum setting, while others have appeared in important previous exhibitions at MAM and PAMM or other significant venues such as the Havana Biennial and Venice Biennale, among others. The unique serial exhibition format reflects the diversity of curatorial themes and works featured, and showcases the breadth of PAMM’s Cuban art collection, one of the largest collections of contemporary Cuban art in any American museum.

On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection will be accompanied by two publications, the first being an exhibition guide available at the opening of Chapter 1 and a fully illustrated bi-lingual exhibition catalogue with commissioned essays.

On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection is organized by PAMM Chief Curator Tobias Ostrander. The privately-funded exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Jorge M. Pérez, and is presented by City National Bank with additional support provided by Cidade Matarazzo, Crystal & Co., and Pomellato.

About Pérez Art Museum Miami
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. A 32-year-old South Florida institution formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), Pérez Art Museum Miami opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on December 4, 2013. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab and classroom spaces. For more information, please visit www.pamm.org, find us on Facebook (facebook.com/perezartmuseummiami), or follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@pamm).


Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami and the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency (OMNI CRA). Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. All contents ©Pérez Art Museum Miami. All rights reserved.

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