Collective exhibition. National museum of Fine arts (Building of Cuban Art), Trocadero street between Monserrate and Zulueta, Old Havana. October-December 2017

The current exhibition directs its attention towards the main plots tackled by the Cuban plastic avant-garde in the turbulent twenties of the last century, through drawing and graphics, since it is precisely in these artistic expressions that the essential lines of development are manifested that will mark the evolution of movement, in many cases anticipating its emergence in the painting or sculpture of the time. (...) The exhibition La mirada inédita presents the public with the socio-cultural context of the first avant-garde that changed, through graphics and drawing, the visuality of an entire era. But over and above this sensory seduction towards modernity, these artists seriously confronted the search for a national identity through their different sensibilities and particular points of view and felt the need for self-recognition that would come fully years later...

The artists who burst into full consciousness during the 1920s and 1930s and introduced expressions of modernity into the context of the visual arts on the Island modified the visual appreciation of the public, and did so in a variety of ways, from the covers and advertisements of periodicals of the era of mass reach, to more exclusive manifestations such as painting and sculpture. With a foolproof intellectual honesty, they concentrated on exalting an art that constituted a vehement search for the Cuban. The sections established in the exhibition have an evident didactic character since in many cases they are intertwined, thus we find the Afro-Cuban theme intimately related to an art of social commitment, or Afro-Cubanism and Creoleism converging in the same sense. Beyond these symbiosis of the time, all these artistic expressions awoke the admiration of progressive intellectuals, not only in Cuba but also in Latin America, where similar movements were taking place. They were the pioneers, and left open the way for a faster and more solid ascent of the next generation of creators. Then the Cuban avant-garde will acquire its full maturity, will reach the full splendor of its golden age and will project itself, from solid nationalist roots, to the conquest of the universe.

by: Roberto Cobas Amate