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Samuel Cherson, the Cuban critic living in exile in Puerto Rico, reviews the 1986 Ocho de los Ochenta [Eight from the Eighties] exhibition held at the Arsenal de la Marina [Navy Arsenal] in Old San Juan. The exhibition featured the work of eight young artists (four men and four women) who had distinguished themselves during the 1980s, and were representative of a new generation of Puerto Rican artists who were deeply committed to the visual arts. Cherson briefly reviews each artist’s aesthetic contribution, noting that many of them use waste materials in a direct nod to the French artist Marcel Duchamp. Cherson concludes that, while none of these artists rejects their Island roots, they feel no sense of obligation to any particular trend, and keep an open mind, vis-á-vis the ideas flowing from the major centers of universal art.  


The members of the selection committee for this exhibition were Mari Carmen Ramírez, Teresa Tió, and Jaime Suárez. The exhibition was held at the Arsenal de la Marina [Navy Arsenal] from April 18 through June 20, 1986.

The participating artists were: Carlos Collazo (Ponce, PR, 1956–San Juan, 1990), Carlos Marcial (Caguas, PR, b. 1954), María de Mater O’Neill (San Juan, PR, b.1968), María Antonia Ordoñez (Havana, Cuba, b. 1952), Nick Quijano (New York, NY, b. 1953), Arnaldo Roche (Santurce, PR, b. 1955), Gloria Rodríguez (New York, NY, b. 1952), and Joyce Ann Wlodarczyk (New York, NY, b. 1952).


Flavia Marichal Lugo
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico