Calligraphic bricks, gunshot sunflowers, and an underwater scream set up a dialogue at PAMM
Ah, that you escape in the instant
you had come upon your best definition.
José Lezama Lima, The Death of Narcissus, 1937
The horizon, that tangible ideal plane, palpable promise and infinite utopia, always within reach of the eyes, is perhaps the most accurate mirage. Perhaps it is also the most effective metaphor for contemporary Cuban society, marked by more than half a century of unfulfilled promises and utopias that have devolved into deception and cynicism.
With this trope as a starting point, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) presents On The Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection. Comprising more than 170 works by contemporary Cuban artists living in and beyond the island, the exhibition is structured around the notion of the horizon. It serves as a guiding principle for the three-part show, organized under specific themes—Internal Landscapes, Abstracting History, and Domestic Anxieties—that follow each other in three three-month cycles, closing in April 2018.
On The Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection celebrates the most recent $15 million donation that the art patron and real estate developer Jorge Pérez made in December, 2016. Distributed over ten years, the donation stipulates that $5 million be marked for the acquisition of Latin American art, with $1 million of that total marked for the acquisition of contemporary Cuban art.
Under the subtitle Interior Landscapes, the first part of On The Horizon includes 30 works: painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and video. Placed in the museum’s permanent collection galleries, some of these works function as a prelude and a conceptual hiatus between the exhibition’s chapters, as well as setting up a dialogue with other pieces from the permanent collection.
Luis Cruz Azaceta´s Caught, 1993, is among the show’s most powerful works. Azaceta has been one of the artists to most effectively interpret the immigrant´s drama. Notions of abandonment, violence, and renunciation are constants in his work. Caught summarizes the tragedy of the immigrant who has already fought nameless dangers (abandoning home and family, crossing the perilous Florida Straits) for the sake of the freedom, only to be besieged on the high seas.
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