Farber Foundation Cuban Art Awards FINALISTS

CONTACT: Nadine Covert

2015 Cuban Artist of the Year


Alexandre Arrechea (b. 1970, Trinidad, Cuba). Arrechea graduated from Havana’s Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) and was a founding member of the collective Los Carpinteros (1994–2003). Recent projects and exhibitions include Alexandre Arrechea: The Map and the Fact, 2014, at Magnan Metz Gallery, New York; and NOLIMITS, 2013, ten monumental sculptures installed along Manhattan’s Park Avenue malls. Arrechea was among the artists selected to represent Cuba in the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011. He is the subject of the bilingual book Alexandre Arrechea: El Espacio Inevitable / The Inevitable Space, with text by Cristina Vives (Turner Publicaciones, 2014).

Nominator Comment:
— For successfully demonstrating on an urban scale the cultural play implicit in his studio work. His level of creativity and recently ambitious projects are meritorious, carving a particular placement on the international contemporary art scene.

Luis Cruz Azaceta (b. 1942, Havana, Cuba). At the age of 18, Cruz Azaceta emigrated from Cuba to New York, where he studied at the School of Visual Arts. Recent exhibitions include Painting Out Loud, 2014, Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans; Dictators, Terrorism, Wars & Exile, 2014, at Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, New Jersey; Louisiana Mon Amour, 2013, Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, Louisiana; and Up*Side*Down, 2013, Pan American Art Projects, Miami. He is the subject of the scholarly monograph Luis Cruz Azaceta by Alejandro Anreus (University of Minnesota Press, 2014).

Nominator Comment:
—One of the most prolific, consistent artists. His works range from intimate drawings and monumental paintings, sculptures to intricate installations that convey the individual drama in contemporary global society. He has visualized with a critical eye a wide range of personal and social themes in his paintings.

Teresita Fernández (b. 1968, Miami, Florida). Fernández holds a Bachelor of Fine arts from Florida International University and a Masters of Fine Art from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the recipient of prestigious awards, including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and American Academy in Rome Affiliated Fellowship. From 2011 to 2014, Fernández served on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts under an appointment by President Obama. Recent projects and exhibitions include As Above So Below, 2014, at MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts; Nishijin Sky: Teresita Fernández + HOSOO, 2014, Kyoto University, Japan; and Nocturnal (Navigation), 2013, a commissioned wall work permanently installed in the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She is the subject of Teresita Fernández: Blind Landscape by Dave Hickey and David Norr (JRP/Ringier, 2010).

Nominator Comment:
—Fernández has been steadfast in developing an artistic production that is innovative while being rooted in a highly formal and structural language. Her international presence, projection, and media attention have not overshadowed her Cuban roots, exposing the complexities of being an artist strongly invested in her personal history.

Glexis Novoa (b. 1964, Holguin, Cuba). Novoa attended the National School of Design, the Atelier of Experimental Graphics, and the National School of Art in Havana, Cuba, from 1980 to 1984, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine, in 1998. Among his awards is a Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Recent projects and exhibitions include Glexis Novoa: Painting on Canvas, 2014, Juan Ruiz Gallery, Miami; Curadores, Come Home! Ejercicio #2, 2013, Espacio Aglutinador, Havana; and Wipala / Annica: Surveying / William Cordova & Glexis Novoa, 2013, at Bridge Red Studio Project Space, North Miami.

Nominator Comment:
—Since the late 1980s, Glexis Novoa produces art in many different media, including painting, performance, and installation. His artistic inquiry addresses the subliminal manipulation implicit in different ideological, religious, or financial systems.

Lázaro Saavedra (b. 1964, Havana, Cuba). Saavedra graduated from Havana’s Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in 1988. He is the recipient of the 2014 Cuban National Award for Visual Art. Recent projects and exhibitions include Bajo presión (Under Pressure), 2014, for the 31st São Paulo Biennial; and the group exhibitions Permission to Be Global/Prácticas Globales: Latin American Art from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, 2014, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and The Spaces Between: Contemporary Art from Havana, 2014, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Saavedra was among the artists selected to represent Cuba in the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.

Nominator Comment:
—Over a more than thirty-year career, Lazaro Saavedra's work has been the most clever chronicle of Cuban everyday life. His solid and consequent path through art and pedagogy is charged with a thoughtful and sharp discourse, channeled always through the most efficient iconoclast language.

2015 Young Cuban Artist of the Year

Alejandro Campins (b. 1981, Manzanillo, Cuba). Campins graduated from the El Alba Professional Academy of Fine Arts in Holguín, Cuba in 2000, and from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in 2009. Recent exhibitions include the group show Avalanche, 2014, at Galería Villa Manuela, Havana; and the solo exhibitions Nómada (Nomad), 2013, at the Liceo Carmelita, C. del Carmen, Mexico; Herencia (Heritage), 2013, Knoerle & Beattig, Winterthur, Switzerland; and Reliquia (Relic), 2013, Raymaluz Art, Madrid.

Nominator Comment:
—A painter with masterly command who has revitalized painting in Cuban contemporary art, breaking with figurative traditions and sites that have weighed down much of this artistic movement. He handles both large and small-scale projects.

Celia y Yunior (Celia Irina González Álvarez, b. 1985, Havana; Yunior Aguiar Perdomo, b. 1984, Havana). The artists have worked as a duo since graduating from Havana’s San Alejandro Fine Arts Academy in 2004; they graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in 2009. Recent exhibitions include Sala Discontinua, 2014, Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales (CDAV), Havana; the group show Experience 07: STING, 2013, at the El Segundo Museum of Art, El Segundo, California; and Curadores, Come Home! Ejercicio #2, 2013, at Espacio Aglutinador, Havana.

Nominator Comment:
—The duo create highly conceptual works that function as commentaries about social issues, particularly aimed at uncovering broader social and political systems. They use performance, video installations, interaction with community members and recordkeeping mechanisms as part of their artistic practice.

Elizabet Cerviño
(b. 1986, Manzanillo, Cuba). Cerviño graduated from the Carlos Enriquez Fine Arts Academy, Manzanillo, in 2003, and from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in 2009.
Recent exhibitions include Paisaje 360°, 2015, Galería Villa Manuela, Havana; and Hálitos, 2013, Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales (CDAV)

Nominator Comment:
—Her works exhibit extreme delicacy and poetry, both in painting and in open-air exhibitions that link nature and art history. She elegantly masters all stages of drawing, painting, installation.

Rafael Domenech (b. 1989, Havana, Cuba). Domenech graduated from Havana’s San Alejandro Fine Arts Academy in 2009. He relocated to the U.S. in 2010. Recent exhibitions include Time / Memory / Context, 2014, at Frederic Snitzer Gallery, Miami; and Sympleptic Structures, 2013, Artseen Gallery, Miami.

Nominator Comment:
—His recent abstract work is a creative re-readying with a highly contemporary vision of 20th-century Russian Avant Garde constructivist ideals, in line with the Modernist vision developed later in Latin America. His artistic proposal stands out for its maturity and consistency.

Carlos Martiel (b. 1989, Havana, Cuba). Martiel graduated from Havana’s San Alejandro Fine Arts Academy in 2009. His awards include the CIFO Grants & Commissions Award, 2014, Miami; the Arte Laguna award, 2013, Venice; and the Close-Up Award, 2012, Vallarta, Mexico. Recent exhibitions and performances include Plegaria Muda, 2014, at Steve Turner Contemporary gallery, Los Angeles; Sentence, 2014, a performance developed and presented during a residency at the arts organization Cannonball, Miami; and Hijo Pródigo, 2013, Galería Teatro LUX, Guatemala City.

Nominator Comment:
—Carlos Martiel is an emergent force in performance art. He exposes his body to often painful and painstaking processes to call attention to both personal and broader social issues. In the end, his performances have a lyrical quality that subverts the seemingly extreme ends he goes to in order to achieve his performative goals.

For additional information, contact Nadine Covert, coordinator for the Farber Foundation Cuban Art Awards, at thefarberfoundation@gmail.com.



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