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Cuba in Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America (featuring artist Tania Bruguera)

Feb 4

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2/4/2016 10:47 AM  RssIcon

We are dedicating this week’s post to Cuban artist Tania Bruguera (b. 1968). In her essay “La mujer artista en America Latina” [The woman artist in Latin America] —written for the catalogue of the exhibition Desde el cuerpo: alegorías de lo femenino: una visión del arte contemporáneo, presented at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Venezuela, in 1998—, Chilean curator Carmen Hernández (b. 1963) offers an analysis of the visual discourses used by Latin American women artists with regards to issues of gender and national identity. By investigating Bruguera and over twenty other Latin American women artists, Hernández offers a valuable foresight into what this artist’s generative and ground-breaking practice would become in the next 17 years. Created at the time Hernández wrote this essay, Bruguera’s work Estadística [Statistics], 1995-2000, is part of the permanent collection of the MFAH —made from cardboard, fabric, and woven human hair, this version of the Cuban flag stands as the artist’s cutting statement about Cuban emigration during the 1990s.  As a recognized visionary artist, Bruguera is currently the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs’s first artist-in-residence, focusing on projects that further her own concept of arte útil [useful art]. Notably, Tania Bruguera recently delivered this year’s prestigious keynote address at the 104th College Art Association’s Annual Conference, titled “Aest-ethics: Art with Consequences” (Feb. 3-6, 2016).


Other Cuban artists in the exhibition include Yoan Capote (b. 1977) and Los Carpinteros, formed by the duo Marco Castillo (b. 1971) and Dagoberto Rodríguez (b. 1971). We are regularly adding new documents to our digital archive, so please visit us often for additional research materials on Cuban artists.


Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America brings together major works by 21 artists who have made significant contributions to the global art scene within the past thirty years. Developing cutting-edge techniques and daring proposals, the artists intertwine aesthetic refinement with biting critiques of timely issues grounded in Latin American social and political realities. The works, most of which are from the Museum’s permanent collection, employ conceptual, sensory-based, and interactive strategies that elicit the viewer’s active participation. Artists include Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Johanna Calle (Colombia), Yoan Capote (Cuba), María Fernanda Cardoso (Colombia), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), José Gabriel Fernández (Venezuela), Magdalena Fernández (Venezuela), Víctor Grippo (Argentina), Carmela Gross (Brazil), Guillermo Kuitca (Argentina), Grupo Mondongo (Argentina), Óscar Muñoz (Colombia), Roberto Obregón (Venezuela), Gabriel Orozco (Mexico), José Alejandro Restrepo (Colombia), Miguel Ángel Ríos (Argentina), Miguel Ángel Rojas (Colombia), Teresa Serrano (Mexico), Regina Silveira (Brazil), Javier Téllez (Venezuela), and Tunga (Brazil). The exhibition is organized by Mari Carmen Ramírez, Wortham Curator of Latin American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Rachel Mohl, Curatorial Assistant. It runs November 22, 2015 to February 28, 2016 at the Caroline Wiess Law Building Modern and Contemporary Art Galleries at MFAH.

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