Luis Cruz Azaceta - New Now New York Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, California (acquired directly from the artist)
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Luis Cruz Azaceta left Cuba for the United States at the age of 18 after experiencing both the Batista regime and the post-1959 Revolution under Fidel Castro. The violence, human cruelty, alienation and injustice he witnessed would become central tenants of his work, which spans more than 40 years. With his expressionist style and his visceral subject matter, it comes as no surprise that the artist credits the influence of artists like Francis Bacon, Egon Schiele and Francisco Goya. The present work comes from a period when self-portraits dominated his compositions and the AIDS epidemic was rampant. In Self-Portrait with Ring, the emaciated figure symbolizes the fear and ambiguous dread of exodus and migration, in a way reminiscent of Leon Golub’s paintings. Yet, the purposefully distorted self-portrait enveloped by a large floating ring also has a mystical quality that may also harken back to an understanding of Santería from his native Cuba. Cruz Azaceta’s work has been widely exhibited and is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Blanton Museum of Art, among other important institutions.

Contemporary Cuba: Works from a Private Collection


Self-Portrait with Ring

signed, titled and dated "Self-Portrait with Ring May 19, 1986 #26 AZACETA" lower edge
oil, watercolor and pastel on paper
40 x 26 1/8 in. (101.6 x 66.4 cm.)
Executed in 1981.

$2,000 - 3,000 

Sold for $2,500

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