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  • ICAA Record ID
    847827
    TITLE
    Two currents : the life and work of Carlos Alfonzo = Dos Corrientes : la vida y la obra de Carlos Alfonzo / Olga M. Viso
    IN
    Carlos Alfonzo : triumph of the spirit : a survey, 1975-1991. -- Miami, FL : Miami Art Museum, 1997
    DESCRIPTION
    p. [21]-43
    LANGUAGES
    English; Spanish
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Viso, Olga M. "Two currents : the life and work of Carlos Alfonzo = Dos Corrientes : la vida y la obra de Carlos Alfonzo." In Carlos Alfonzo : triumph of the spirit : a survey, 1975-1991,  [21]-43. Miami, FL : Miami Art Museum, 1997.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

In this bilingual overview of the life and art of Carlos Alfonzo, curator Olga Viso provides biographical information about the artist, with an emphasis on the impact his immigration to the United States had on his life and work. Viso first discusses Alfonzo’s childhood, artistic training, while still in Cuba, where Cuban writers and Cuban themes (such as the sea) influenced his production. She additionally notes that while in Cuba, he began to use innovative materials of personal preference and out of necessity—the Cuban economy was weakening). Viso then covers a brief exhibition history of Alfonzo’s work on the island before explaining his difficulty in living as a homosexual male in a repressive environment. She explains that this served as the impetus for the artist’s immigration to the United States in 1980, during the Mariel boatlift. Viso continues by explaining how traumatic emigrating was for Alfonzo and that it took two years before he would begin producing work again. Viso then describes Alfonzo’s work as a commercial designer in Florida; his representation by United States galleries; the fellowships he earned; some of his monumental works; and the exhibitions that featured his work. Viso concludes the essay by discussing the artist's final series (Blood), which coincided with his ailing health, and his eventual premature death from the AIDS virus.

Annotations

Carlos Alfonzo (1950–1991) was an academically trained painter from Havana who immigrated to the United States in the 1980s, and lived in Florida. Following his exile from Cuba, his painting style became more abstract as he felt freer to express himself in the United States. He is best recognized for his powerful use of abstraction and is considered a member of the Post-Miami Generation. Cuban-American art historian and curator, Olga Viso, was the guest curator of the 1998 exhibition, Carlos Alfonzo: A Survey 1975-1991, held at the Miami Art Museum. Her essay appears in the exhibition catalog of this significant retrospective exhibition of the late artist’s work.

Another essay published alongside Viso’s was by César Trasobares, “Public Voices and Private Transcendence/Voces Públicas y Transcendencia Privada” (see doc. no. 847846).

Researcher
Rosenblum
Team
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
Credit
Courtesy of Olga Viso and the Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL
This essay was first published in the exhibition catalogue Carlos Alfonzo. Triumph of the Spirit" A Survey (1975 - 1991), Miami Art Museum, 1997