Vicente Hernández - Latin America New York Thursday, November 21, 2013 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Cernuda Arte, Coral Gables
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Hernández’s body of work seems to bear the stamp of Hemingway’s adage: 'Every artist owes to the place he knows best to either destroy it or perpetuate it.' Born in Batabanó, a small coastal town southwest from Havana where he still lives, Hernández has devotedly made that geographic and sentimental space the focus of his works. His approach is not far removed from the way in which Gabriel García Márquez fictionalized his hometown of Aracataca, reincarnated as Macondo in his famous novel One Hundred Years of Solitude... Opus Habana had its predecessor in a 2005 painting, Vuelo memorable sin rumbo (Memorable Aimless Flight), where Batabanó—streets, church, residents and all—was portrayed while taking flight, swollen and transformed in a dirigible similar to the Hindenburg, navigating the stormy clouds. It is a metaphor for mobility, for flying without plan, because in Hernández’s images nothing stays grounded, everything seems ready to take off. In Opus Habana, the dirigible Batabanó drags along not only its docks and mills with smoking chimneys, but two long-gone landmarks of the town: the Dos Hermanos and Cervantes hotels, which perished due to the state’s neglect of its historic patrimony. Hernández proposes in his painting a unique rescue maneuver: the dirigible travels toward Old Havana (minutely depicted as it appears in a lithograph circa 1863), where intensive restoration efforts are taking place, in order to take refuge there and be saved from ruin. Seldom does a contemporary painter pay such celestial tribute to the place where he was born and where he abides.
    Abelardo Mena Chicuri, Curator, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana



Opus Habana

oil on canvas
78 1/2 x 58 in. (199.4 x 147.3 cm.)
Signed and dated "Vicente 08" lower right.

$5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for $13,750

Contact Specialist
Laura González
Head of Latin America Sale
+ 1 212 940 1216

Latin America

New York 21 November 2013 4pm