TOPICS FROM NELSON IN AUSTRALIA ON MARCH 2013

Nelson Dominguez 106 pieces of artworks was exhibited for first time at Megalo in Watson. In this occasion, Nelson Dominguez instilled a monumental sculpture at Latin American Plaza in Canberra City on March 2 at 10:30am., as well as the big exposition titled "Made in Cuba: Contemporary Cuban Art in Australia" was held from April 15th to May 15th., 2013 at the Public Hall of the High Court of the Commonwealth of Australia in Canberra, Australia.

2013年4月15日(日) 〜5月15日(火)、オーストラリアのアートシーン史上初めてのキューバ現代アート展、”Made in Cuba: Contemporary Cuban Art in Australia"に、プロモ・アルテギャラリーから作家ネルソン・ドミンゲスのドローイング大作4点と油彩画4点を出展いたしましたその他にはキューバを代表する作家6名の作品が展示されました。







Made in Cuban Art in Australia



Made in Cuba: Contemporary Cuban Art in Australia

Cuba is not an economic powerhouse, but culturally it is an international Super Power.

We know its music, it is instantly recognised throughout the world, with its driving beat and polyrhythmic percussion. It gave birth to the salsa, contributed to the emergence of jazz, to the Argentinean tango, the West African Afrobeat and the Spanish Nuevo flamenco. It is a great and inspiring living tradition which continues to rewrite the history of contemporary music Cuban dance has been like a shot of Viagra into international dance culture − just think of the Cuban Bolero, Mambo, Conga, Son, Rumba − and the list goes on. The Ballet Revolucio´n from Havana has recently toured Australia to considerable acclaim. I always find this simple statistic breathtaking, that in a country with a population of some 11 million people, there are over 50 professional dance companies.

In Australia we have more than twice the population and fewer than half the number of professional dance companies. The same is true about contemporary Cuban visual art. It is an immensely rich heritage that is widely known and immediately recognised throughout the world. Cuban artists, including Wifredo Lam, Agusti´n Ca´rdenas, Amelia Pela´ez, Alberto Korda, Eduardo Abela and Antonio Gattorno, have all attained international reputations. They have been the subject of major international exhibitions and have had their names inscribed into the history of world art. Yet, none of the major Cuban visual artists has exhibited in Australia as part of a major national exhibition, at least until now, when on the initiative of the Cuban Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Pedro Monzon Barata, we are having this major exhibition of contemporary Cuban art. To my knowledge, this exhibition of Cuban art is the first in Australia’s history. My colleague, Anita Pisch, knowledgeable and passionate about Cuban culture, has ably curated this exhibition and contributed to the catalogue an engaging essay.

Made in Cuba is a very significant, pioneering exhibition which presents a rich tradition of art that is virtually unknown in Australia. It brings to the fore the art of the new generation of Cuban artists with their vibrancy, diversity and immense richness of expression. Most of these seven artists are celebrated internationally, however they have never been seen ‘in the flesh’, in original works as a collective in this country. The beautiful and haunting imagery of Belkis Ayon, the startling original work of Ernesto Garcia Pena, nelson Dominguez, Gilberto Frometa and Vicente Rodrigez Bonachea and the lyrical narratives of Angel Ramirez and Zaida del Rio. The calibre and diversity in this exhibition speaks of a very rich, living visual culture. It is an art which has not been swallowed up by a generic cosmopolitan ‘world art’, but remains conscious and proud of its national identity. There is a strong sense of rhythm throughout this exhibition − the dynamism of the beat of Cuban music.

When I first saw some of the work in this exhibition I was struck by the fact that this is one of the few exhibitions where you can ‘hear it’ as well as ‘see it’, where the sound and dynamism are impossible to divorce from the brilliant and inventive imagery. The art is neither shallow nor frivolous, but in most instances involves itself with the great themes of life and being. There is mystery, colouristic vibrancy, visual curiosity and a great boldness in mark making which is not common in contemporary art practice. Although each artist has his or her own individual personality, they are also part of a Latino, and a specifically Cuban, cultural identity.

Congratulations to the artists, the Cuban Embassy and all of those involved with this exhibition for having the clarity of mind and the boldness of purpose to bring this exhibition to fruition.

For me, it is a humbling honour to officially declare this exhibition open.

Professor Sasha Grishin AM, FAHA
The Sir William Dobell Professor of Art History,
Australian National University, Canberra

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