press release

On October 3, 2004, the Mattress Factory will present Cuba: Instalaciones Nuevas, Artistas en Residencia, featuring 10 artists from Cuba who will work in residence from July through September 2004. The exhibition will include established artists, whose work has been exhibited in other countries as well as several young artists, who have not exhibited outside of Cuba. The show will run through July 25, 2005.

Cuba truly has an exciting art scene, in spite of the difficult economic situation and the recent crackdowns on dissidents.

This exhibition of new installations by Cuban artists will be on view at the same time as the 2004 Carnegie International.

The exhibition is supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, Norma Fund for Artistic Programming and Mattress Factory Members.

Angel Delgado was jailed for six months in 1990 for a provocative performance and made art with what was at hand, sculpting soap and drawing on handkerchiefs. In the past several years, Delgado has been creating larger-scaled installations that refer to his experience of incarceration.

Rene Francisco makes art out of used toothpaste tubes, a rather poignant reference to the Cuban people. In Cuba’s restricted economy, toothpaste tubes are strictly rationed and dutifully recycled.

José Emilo Fuentes Fonseca’s work contrasts the naïve innocence of children’s art with the political and historical realities. He creates installations of large, brightly colored paintings in a child-like style and sculptures of children’s toys constructed out of found objects.

Erik Garcia Gomez creates simple yet powerful installations, he uses universal symbols, such as light and birds, to convey religious experience.
Luis Gomez creates objects and installations that refer to spiritual and interior experience rather than political concerns. Often compared to Joseph Beuys, his work contains a wry humor as well.

Glenda Léon creates installation works whose fragility makes them seem more like performance art. She uses fugitive materials like ice cubes, flowers, hair and soap, some of which last only a short time.

Lindomar Placencia is a young artist who works with Luis Gomez and Erik Garcia Gomez, both of whom resist making political art. While their work often has a spiritual basis, his is more conceptual. His work addresses scale and architecture in direct terms.

Sandra Ramos equates her self image with the situation of Cuba. Her self-portrait insinuates itself into her paintings of fish and islands.
Lazaro Saavedra is often referred to as one of the most humorous artists of his generation, yet his work has a critical bite that spares neither religion, government, the art world nor Cuba’s new tourist economy.

Jose A. Toirac’s work seems to be an obsessive examination of the iconography of the Cuban revolution. His installation works, based on Cuban culture icons, intensify the artist’s ironic point of view.

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Sandra Ramos

mit Angel Delgado, Rene Francisco, Erik Garcia Gomez, Luis Gomez, Glenda Leon, Lindomar Placencia, Sandra Ramos, Lazaro Saavedra, Jose A. Toirac ...