Feature Articles

April 2014

Latin American Contemporary Art Projects in Charlotte, NC, Offers An Exhibition of Cuban Artworks

The Latin American Contemporary Art Projects in Charlotte, NC, is presenting Cuba: Art of the Fantastic, curated by Abelardo Mena, on view through May 2, 2014.

Cuba: Art of the Fantastic brings together four masterful artists, Juan Carlos Verdial, Alicia de la Campa, Alexander González, and Vicente Hernández, who offer personal speeches through figurative, vibrant, and highly emotive paintings and drawings. Full of imagination and fantasy, these artists are joined by their eagerness to freely reinterpret symbols of the Cuban culture, of its geography and history, Catholic and African popular religions, proverbs of the Cuban popular idiosyncrasy, and by their deep knowledge and intertextual game with iconic works of the Western, European, and United States, all places where they have gathered considerable momentum.

The high and low elements of their works are integrated when creating fantastic worlds, made up of beings with a human and animal side, and in some cases mixed with amazing machines. The source of inspiration for these dimensions comes from the artists’ close relatives and from his/her intimate obsessions or traumatic situations, where good sense and delirium are merged without transition.

Far from the surrealism of the Cuban artists of the ‘30s and ‘60s of the last century, the invocations to science fiction or lysergic trips characterizing the Cuban visual arts during the ‘70s, the construction of these fantastic worlds undoubtedly stems from the rupture with a troublesome and uncertain social landscape.

Cuba: Art of the Fantastic is the first exhibition of Cuban visual production in Charlotte and the surrounding region, and an outstanding ensemble of the Latin American modernity since the beginning of the 20th century.

This exhibition has been generously sponsored by Bentley Charlotte, with additional support from QC Exclusive Magazine and 89.9FM WDAV Classical Public Radio.

Abelardo G. Mena Chicuri is the Curator of Contemporary International Art at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana. The former Curator of French Art at the museum, he holds an MA from the University of Havana and is completing a PhD in art history from the Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Seville, Spain. A former professor at the ISA (Instituto Superior de Arte), he has curated a number of exhibitions, including From Picasso to Keith Haring; European and Cuban Landscapes: XV-XX Centuries; and French Engravings, XVI-XX Centuries. In 1992, Mena co-founded the alternative art collective Banco de Ideas Z. He has written extensively about Cuban contemporary art and artists, and is the author of Cuba Avant-Garde: Contemporary Cuban Art from The Farber Collection (University of Florida, 2007).

LaCa Projects opened on March 21, 2013 with poetics of erratic materialism, a solo exhibition featuring the works of pop-surrealist artist Juan Dolhare (Argentina). Located in the heart of the revitalized FreeMoreWest neighborhood, LaCa Projects is a platform dedicated to the presentation, development, and promotion of Latin American art and culture within the United States. The gallery encourages cross-cultural dialogue by representing a small group of influential and thought-provoking contemporary, emerging and mid-career artists, as well as exhibiting a broader range of work by established and Master Latin American artists. The gallery, which has expertise in a number of different art media with a significant focus on paintings, is part of a larger planned expansion that includes artist studios and a food concept.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call Neely Verano at 704/837-1688 or visit (www.lacaprojects.com).

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