Contemporary Afro-Cuban art. Collection von Christierson, National Museum of Fine Arts. July 28 - October 1st 2017

This exhibition explores some issues and problems related to Cuba's black population and how Cuban art has reflected them: issues such as the presence of the racial identity or conscience of Cuban blacks and mulat@s in the face of the daily exercise of "white privilege"; criticism and sarcastic commentary on the prejudices, stereotypes, discrimination and racism that still exist in Cuba despite the practices of equity and social justice carried out by Socialism since 1959; and the recognition of the important cultural heritages that Cuba has received from Black or sub-Saharan Africa, as demonstrated in music, dance, and above all in the massiveness and vitality of the religions of Yoruba, Kongo and Carabalí origin known as Regla de Ocha and Ifá, Palo Monte and Abakuá respectively. Some artists also comment in their works - sometimes critically - on Cuba's political-military presence in the Angolan war (1975-1991), which made it possible to secure and maintain the recently conquered independence of that African country, achieve the liberation of Namibia and defeat apartheid in South Africa, but where around 3,000 Cubans lost their lives.

Nevertheless, this is an exhibition of Cuban art and therefore deals mainly with art made in Cuba and anywhere in the world by Cubans who have known how to seek, interpret, transform and use information on these issues with total freedom and frankness and express it in a complex, dense, reflective, imaginative, humorous way from the perspective of art.

The collection was initiated by London-based South African businessman and collector Chris von Christierson and his wife Marina during a visit to Havana in November 2007, and currently has 450 works by 41 Cuban artists and is the property of the Watch Hill Foundation, which belongs to the von Christierson family.

Hopefully, in addition to aesthetic enjoyment, the Cuban art exhibited in this room will also have some social utility.

by: Orlando Hernández (Curator)

List of artists:
Wifredo Lam / Ruperto Jay Matamoros / Gilberto de la Nuez / Bernardo Sarría / Belkis Ayón / Pedro Álvarez / Roberto Salas / Manuel Mendive / Julián González / Eduardo Roca «Choco» / Gloria Rolando / Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal / Ricardo Rodríguez Brey / René Peña / Moisés Finalé / José Bedia/ Marta Ma. Pérez / Rubén Rodríguez/ Ma. Magdalena Campos-Pons / Juan Carlos Alom / Manuel Arenas / Lázaro Saavedra / Elio Rodríguez / Andrés Montalván / Carlos Garaicoa / Oswaldo Castillo / Alexis Esquivel / Armando Mariño / Reynerio Tamayo / Ibrahim Miranda / Rolando Vázquez / Alberto Casado / Alexandre Arrechea / Juan Roberto Diago / Douglas Pérez / Frank Martínez / José Ángel Vincench / Eric Corvalán / Yoan Capote / The Merger