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Iván de la Nuez’s entry for the exhibition catalog Cuba siglo XX: Modernidad y sincretismo [Twentieth-Century Cuba: Modernity and Syncretism] focuses on Cuban art made on the island as well as art made in exile from the onset of the 1959 Cuban Revolution through the Mariel boatlift in 1980. De la Nuez examines Cuban cultural policy at the onset of the revolution by looking at the two factions that existed concurrently in the 1960s and the1970s— one very conservative and harkening back to Soviet Socialist Realism and the other anti-Soviet yet devoted to Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and that sought to further cultural projects aligned with the original ideals of the revolution. (This accounts for the establishment of numerous cultural institutions and artistic innovation at this time.) The author additionally discusses “external Cuban” artists who had emigrated from the island since 1959, with an emphasis on Miami-based, Cuban-American artists and the theme of exile.
Iván de la Nuez was born in Cuba in 1964 and migrated to Spain, where he is a professor, art critic, and curator. This succinct and informative essay is included in the exhibition catalogue for Cuba siglo XX: Modernidad y sincretismo, a comprehensive exhibition that toured Spain in 1995 and included art by Cuban artists living on the island and abroad. This is one of very few essays that analyzes and contextualizes Cuban art produced on and off of the island from the 1960s to the 1980s in relationship to each another.
For the Spanish version of this document, see doc. No. 847599.