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  • Provenance

    Barbara Gillman Gallery, Miami
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Contemporary Cuba: Works from a Private Collection

    Phillips has a longstanding reputation for identifying emerging talent and underappreciated movements by creating a platform for their international recognition at watershed moments. For this iteration of New Now, we have chosen to shine a spotlight on Cuba—a country that radiates a tantalizing mystique and draws collectors from all over the world to experience its art and culture firsthand. This selection of 15 lots has been culled from a pioneering private collection and carefully curated to include 13 Cuban artists, each of whose work gives voice to an individual experience of Cuban history and society.

    The artworks span from 1936 to 2010, showcasing a multiplicity of aesthetic and political approaches, thereby challenging the notion of any single national perspective emanating from this complex and intriguing country. At various times, these artists have been supported, censored, embraced and restricted by a Cuban government that has often used their art as a vehicle for diplomatic relations and political projections to the outside world. However, through their artistic practices, the artists represented here have responded in thoughtful and sometimes critical ways to outside opinions of their country as an exotic utopian—or dystopian—destination at the periphery of conventional capitalism and democracy.

    International recognition of modern and contemporary Cuban art took center stage in 2017 with the exhibition Adiós Utopia: Art in Cuba Since 1950 at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston followed by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Many of the artists in this sale were represented in these lauded institutional exhibitions, including Yoan Capote whose sculpture (lot 103) and watercolor (lot 104) present viewers with ironic visual poetry, as well as Carlos Garaicoa (lot 116), whose light box illuminates two indifferent Cuban pedestrians as they pass a crumbling façade, so typical of contemporary Havana. Also included here is the late Belkis Ayón, who participated in the 1993 Venice Biennale and whose recent retrospective at El Museo del Barrio received critical acclaim and praise for her elegant representation of secrecy and exclusion particularly of women in the Afro-Cuban Abakuá society. The selection presented here is in no way comprehensive, but rather a means of whetting the palate for collectors interested in delving into the uncharted waters of a creative nation on the rise.

Contemporary Cuba: Works from a Private Collection



signed and dated "89 Alfonzo" lower right
acrylic on paper
32 x 50 in. (81.3 x 127 cm.)
Executed in 1989.

$8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for $25,000

Contact Specialist
Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219
[email protected]

New Now

New York Auction 28 February 2018