Arte Cubano highlights a universally agreed-upon characteristic of the island’s art: an incredible diversity. Cuban art is so rich in large part because of its diverse cultural blend of African, European, and Latin/Caribbean influences. Add to these traditional roots the revolution of 1959, and Cuban art occupies a unique aesthetic place in the contemporary art world.
Building on the impetus created by recent reconciliations between the governments of the United States and Cuba, this timely exhibition reflects more than twenty-five Cuban artists’ ruminations on the quotidian, social, and political realities of the island and the contemporary world. The island geography and political intensity of Cuba inform the work in a way that is immediately identifiable, often concealing coded, even subversive, ideas while simultaneously celebrating the richness of Cuba’s cultural identity. Peeling away the layers of Cuban art often reveals a story of struggle caused by the US embargo and its economic and political consequences, the social upheaval that a true revolution produces.
The exhibition’s artists include Lidzie Alvisa, José Bedia, Los Carpinteros, Yoan Capote, Roberto Fabelo, Diana Fonseca, Pedro Pablo Oliva, Kcho, Sandra Ramos, Esterio Segura, and more. Spanning several generations, these contemporary Cuban artists come from an unusual place: a country embargoed by our own because of its socialist revolution. All of the artists in this collection grew up in socialist Cuba, and many graduated from the prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte, built at the beginning of the revolution, Havana’s equally excellent San Alejandro Art Academy or the Escuela Nacional de Arte. Others graduated from local art schools. Despite their disparate backgrounds, aesthetic sensibilities, subject matter, materials, and styles, there is something uniquely Cuban about the art in this collection.
The intensity and depth of meaning, with the specific physical and political context, make Cuban art immediately identifiable and powerful, and an important voice in the art world today. Most of all, the art is connected to Cuba itself. Both the island and the art are an unusual mix of the traditional and the modern, of the ordinary and the special, of simplicity and incredible complexity. The same can be said for the politics, the literature, the architecture, and the people. It confounds and entrances, it is rejecting and embracing.
Mid-America Arts Allliance co-organized Arte Cubano with the Center for Cuban Studies (NYC) to synthesize two extraordinary private collections held by Kathy and Marc LeBaron and Karen and Robert Duncan. This exhibition could not have been made possible without their collecting vision and loan generosity. The Center for Cuban Studies opened in 1972 and was organized by a group of scholars, writers, artists, and other professionals, in response to the effects of US policy toward Cuba.
Arte Cubano is touring August 2018 through September 2022. The dates below reflect ten-week exhibition periods. Dates are subject to change; please contact MoreArt@maaa.org or (800) 473-3872 x208/209 for current availability.
August 24–November 2, 2018
Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, MO pending
December 1, 2018–February 8, 2019
March 9–May 28, 2019
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY pending
June 27–September 3, 2019
October 1–December 10, 2019
January 10–March 24, 2020
April 24–July 7, 2020
August 7–October 11, 2020
November 5, 2020–January 15, 2021
Branigan Cultural Center
Las Cruces, NM pending
February 9–April 21, 2021
May 18–July 27, 2021
August 24–November 2, 2021
December 1, 2021–February 8, 2022
March 9–May 28, 2022
June 27–September 3, 2022
Approximately fifty-five works of two- and three-dimensional art
Custom-Designed and Built Crates
ExhibitsUSA/Mid-America Arts Alliance and Center for Cuban Studies
Out-of-Region Rental Fee
In-Region Rental Fee
Number of Crates/Total Weight
estimated at 12
The exhibition is fully insured by ExhibitsUSA at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.