Exhibition by Gertrudis Rivalta. CENTRO DE DESARROLLO DE LAS ARTES VISUALES. San Ignacio street Nr. 28 corner Teniente Rey, Plaza Vieja, Old Havana. May - June 2017
by: Tania Parson, mayo 2017
Exactly 20 years ago I met Gertrudis Rivalta (Las Villas 1971), a recent graduate of the Instituto Superior de Arte, when she made her first personal exhibition at the Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales. Those convulsed 90's passed and she invited us, with her already presumed vehemence, to A walk with Walkers Evans. Today she returns to Con Razón (With Reason), converted into an experienced artist, without whom it would not be possible to write the history of Cuban plastic art of the last two decades.
In another creative dimension but in not so distant conceptual parameters, Gertrudis presents us with a new and elaborate way of expressing in his creations, a conception of the world that cannot be detached from intense emotions and feelings. She has already said it and I quote: "I'm not a cold artist, but I belong to the emotional type, which doesn't mean that I don't think about my thematic presuppositions".
Dreams, desires and fears converge in his dissimilar works, full of autobiographical references, but at the same time, indissolubly linked to other territories of reality. With a notable difference of intentions, he tackles recurrent themes of his own existence, which allow him to explore others that are more general but no less close: power, racial and gender discrimination, identity.
Con Razón (With Reason) is another return to the obsessions of the artist. From the same title he plays with the words "reason" and "heart" as a way of investigating this eternal dichotomy between the authentic and the false, the fundamental and the superfluous. The heart appears as the protagonist of her representations and through it explores the universe of affections and dialogues with herself and with others.
Another of the constants of this artist's trajectory is evident in the sample from the inclusion of paintings, installation works and video mapping that denote her interest in entering the most dissimilar techniques, from the most traditional to the most current.
Con Razón (With Reason) is a visually attractive exhibition, enigmatic, at times strident, with a permanent sense of search and questioning of the statutes of the real, a critique of pure reason.