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  • Personales | Belkis Ayón

    SOLO EXHIBITIONS Barker Gallery at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, Oregon, United States. ​ February 6, - September 5, 2021 Nkame : A Retrospective of the Cuban printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967-1999) Read more Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois, United States. ​ February 29, 2020 Read more Nkame : A Retrospective of the Cuban printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967-1999) Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona, United States. October 13, 2018 - January 20, 2019 ​ ​ Nkame : A Retrospective of the Cuban printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967-1999) Read more Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, Texas, United States ​ June 2, - September 3, 2018 ​ ​ Nkame : A Retrospective of the Cuban printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967-1999) ​ After the successful presentations in different cities of the United States while traveling through this country, the exhibition Nkame. A retrospective of the Cuban engraver Belkis Ayón (1967-1999), arrives at the Station Museum in Houston, Texas. The exhibition (...) Read more Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, United States January 25 - April 29, 2018 ​ Nkame : A Retrospective of the Cuban printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967-1999) Read more Museo del Barrio, New York, United States ​ June 13 - November 5, 2017 ​ Nkame : A Retrospective of the Cuban printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967-1999) Read more NEXT

  • Miradas | Belkis Ayón

    GLANCES Factory Havana, Old Havana, Havana, Cuba. ​ May 23 - August 23, 2014 From May 23 to August 23, 2014, the exhibition Glances, curated by Dr. Concha Fontenla, took place at the Factory Havana exhibition space. The exhibition brought together works by nineteen artists representing Contemporary Cuban Art, including the printmaker Belkis Ayón, from which three of his large-format works La Familia, Nlloro, and Resurrección could be appreciated. As a whole, the works of the selected artists, according to the curator, trace a possible journey through Contemporary Cuban Art, highlighting a past that distinguishes it, without neglecting its intimate relationship with the latest creative proposals to which they undoubtedly contribute with decisive notes of deep repercussion. Participating artists: Aimeé García, Antonio Eligio Tonel, Belkis Ayón, Carlos Montes de Oca, Eduardo Pónjuan, Ernesto Leal, Felipe Dulzaides, Ibrahim Miranda, Jorge López Pardo, José Angel Toirac, José Manuel Fors, Lidzie Alvisa, Luis Enrique Camejo, Pedro Pablo Oliva, Roberto Fabelo, Sandra Ramos, Santiago Rodriguez Olazábal.

  • Recordando Isbel Alba | Belkis Ayón

    Remembering Belkis Ayón, on the 10th anniversary of her physical disappearance ​ Isbel Alba February 4, 2015 ​ A Date that Cannot Be Forgotten ​ September 11 has become a date of loss and pain in our collective imagination after the terrorist attacks against the twin towers, in New York, 2001. However, although we share the grief of thousands of people for whom this day represents a tragedy, a before and an after, we have another motive to write these words. Today, I am writing about another departure, perhaps more intimate because it is ours, perhaps more questionable because it was intentional, leaving behind a mystery and the terrible sensation that accompanies bitter, inexplicable gestures. I am speaking of the Cuban artist Belkis Ayón Manso (1967-1999), who one day, ten years ago, took her own life. Belkis Ayón was an exceptional woman, with unparalleled energy and talent. Together with artists Sandra Ramos and Abel Barroso she implemented La Huella Múltiple (1996) (The Multiple Print), a project that would change forever the appreciation of Cuban print-making, an art expression that after its splendor in the 19th century due to the booming commerce of sugar and tobacco, had practically fallen into oblivion in the Cuban artistic milieu after the rise of Modernism in Cuba. Regarding the work and legacy of Belkis Ayón ​ In some previous lectures and writings in which I have introduced the work of Ayón, I have not doubted in classifying her prints as palimpsests[3]. Using the collographic technique the artist would superpose layers of various textures to create reliefs that represented a very personal iconography, inspired in the expressions of the intangible legacy of the Abakuá[4], the different parts of the initiation ritual of the said religion or the characters of their foundational myth. In my opinion, what she did was a remake of something that had already been assimilated through oral tradition thanks to the intellectual and historical-anthropological approach allowed by books such as El Monte and Abakuá Secret Society by Lydia Cabrera, “The Ñáñigos tragedy”, by Fernando Ortiz or Los ñáñigos, by Enrique Sosa. Interpreting these works that reproduce an oral tradition, Ayón created her own imaginary graphic work. A world elegantly portrayed in the images of her prints. Although representing the Afro-Cuban legacy in our painting is constant since colonial times, her work may be considered a rarity from multiple viewpoints, since Belkis Ayón rescued printmaking in the midst of the Special Period. Engraving allowed her, among other things, to produce more with less and to exhibit a chromatic minimalism bordering on exquisiteness. During the last stage of her life, Belkis Ayón combined her work as an artist with that of being a professor at the Higher Institute of Art (ISA) and with her position as a vice president of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC). Whenever she had the chance she disseminated the work of her students and colleagues. Thus, she became an active promoter of Cuban culture on a national and international scale. However, the factor that made her work deserve recognition, beyond the Cuban intellectual circles, is the Abakuá topic around which she articulated her poetic language and the refinement of her collographies and prints in general. According to Alex Rosenberg, a prestigious specialist of international graphic arts and renowned collector, the results achieved by this artist with the collographic technique had no match in the world of art up to date [5]. This gives her demise another dimension. Thus, we may affirm that Belkis Ayón had the merit of having taken the Abakuá culture to its highest form of recognition in the world of visual arts and of introducing it into the museum spaces. It is a paradox that thanks to a woman, this centuries-old, sectarian culture achieved universality in the most demanding circles of international art of the 20th century. At present, the works of Belkis Ayón are part of fourteen cultural centers and museum collections, among which are the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, the Van Reekum Museum, Apeldoorn, Holland, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, the Museum of Fort Lauderdale, USA, el Museum of Latin American Art of California, USA, Ludwig Forum Fur Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany, the State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg, among others. Her works are also in numerous private collections in various countries. Nobody has been able to explain the reasons for such an abrupt death at a moment in which her career was in full growth and when she had the acceptance of critics and other art professionals. Her physical disappearance left a void in the Cuban artistic milieu. Many of her colleagues coincide in pointing out that seldom the human and artistic values have combined in such a special way in a single person. Perhaps such departure is the only reproach that can be pointed out. However, in her gesture, there is a certain coherence with the myth that fascinated her. This allows us to draw a parallel with the philosophy of the romantic poets or other artists who have committed suicide. The figure of Belkis Ayón, therefore, is fused with the myth of Sikán giving place to a circle of meanings with a certain aura of mystery, offering thus great research material for historians and anthropologists. The Belkis Ayón Estate ​ After her death, her legacy became protected by the Belkis Ayón Estate, an institution directed by her sister, Dr. Katia Ayón, with the advice of prestigious specialists in Cuban art. This institution, in which the family legacy and the cultural legacy of the nation coexist, has a model of management that is not widely known in the current socioeconomic context of the island [6]. Thus, self-managed for ten years by Dr. Ayón it has been developing a superb job which includes the preservation of Belkis Ayón’s works and the dissemination of her legacy by organizing exhibitions, publications, and other cultural activities. According to an invitation that I received recently, the Belkis Ayón Estate has programmed Nkame, the first retrospective exhibition of the artist to commemorate the 10th anniversary of her demise. The show was officially opened last Friday, September 11, at 6 p.m., in the Convent of San Francisco de Asís, in the historical center of Old Havana. The exhibition includes some 83 works such as collographies, lithographs, and chalcographs made from 1984 to 1999. Likewise, other graphic documents of shows in which Belkis took part, as well as texts and photographs of the artist printed on large canvases are on display. Organized by Dr. Katia Ayón and with the curatorship of Cristina Vives, the Nkame exhibition shall remain open to the public up to November 28th. During those two months and as part of the cultural program accompanying the exhibition, the halls of the convent shall take in lectures on the work of Belkis Ayón, the launching of the magazine La Gaceta de Cuba, and the launching of the projects of six young printmakers, some of them former students of the artist. Nkame is a deserved homage to the work of Belkis Ayón, a great exponent of printmaking in the history of Cuban art. [1] This fish was the embodiment of Abasi, supreme deity of the Abakuá. See SOSA RODRIGUEZ, Enrique, Los ñáñigos, Casa de las Américas 1982 Award, Ediciones Casa de las Américas, Havana, 1982. [2] Sikan’s sacrifice, which will appear in her works as a leitmotif, will bring about the Abakuá tradition in the ancient ethnic groups of Nigeria (the Efik and Efor peoples). It is, doubtless, a foundational myth that afterward, as Ortiz pointed out, during slavery – through a transculturation process-, gave origin to the Abakuá fraternity in Cuba in the towns of Havana and Matanzas (1830). See : ORTIZ, Fernando, La “tragedia” de los ñáñigos, Poligraf, Havana, 1993. [3] ALBA DUARTE, Isbel (2009) The myth of Sikán in Cuban culture: tangible and intangible heritage in the work of Belkis Ayón. Reflections on the strategies for preservation and the methods for recovering her legacy. The lecture was given in the framework of the 28th International Congress of the Association of Latin American Studies, Río de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 13, 2009. [4] An example of the expressions of intangible heritage is the figures in the parades, such as the little devils or iremes as well as the signatures or anaforuanas covering the bodies of the practicing Abakuás, the animals that will be sacrificed, and the musical instruments that take part in the various sections of the initiation ritual of this brotherhood (Author’s note). [5] In ROSENBERG, Alex and Carol, Belkis Ayón in memoriam, 2005 BACK TO CRITIQUE next article

  • Al calor del pensamiento | Belkis Ayón

    AT THE HEAT OF THE THOUGHT. WORKS FROM THE DAROS LATINOAMERICA COLLECTION Santander Group City Art Room, Madrid, Spain . February 3 - April 30, 2010 Director Daros Latinamerica Collection: Hans Michael Herzog ​ The Daros Collection, one of the most important contemporary Ibero-American art collections in the world, arrives in Spain with an exhibition of 70 works and 22 artists presenting the current Ibero-American art from the aesthetic, conceptual, and allegorical aspects. The exhibition proposes a permanent interaction between the work and the public in a true challenge for the senses. “At the heat of the thought. Works from the Daros Latinamerica Collection ”, is the title of the exhibition that, from February 3 to April 30, 2010, is being organized by the Banco Santander Foundation in the Santander Group City Art Room. The Director of the Banco Santander Foundation, Borja Baselga, and the Director of the Daros Latinamerica Collection, Hans Michael Herzog, accompanied by several artists participating in the exhibition such as Julio Le Parc, Humberto Vélez, Oswaldo Macia Gómez, or Los Carpinteros inaugurated the exhibition together with the Commissioner, Katrin Steffen. “It is not just another exhibition,” said Borja Baselga, Director of the Banco Santander Foundation at the press conference, “each of the pieces has an intellectual, social background, a different way of approaching reality, the imaginary, to the extreme situations of our society ”. There are twenty-two artists and seventy creations that not only make up a selection of the highlights of the Daros Latinamerica Collection - the most important in Europe in contemporary Ibero-American art - but also reflect its essence in a spectacular assembly that continuously dialogues with the public through each and every one of his proposals from the conceptual to the aesthetic and allegorical, as Liliana Porter proposes so that we become transformers of her work by tearing it off and throwing it to the ground, constituting capricious forms. Also, noteworthy, for the first time in the Daros Collection is the exhibition of the work of José Damasceno, The Next Presage, Leandro Erlich, The Doors, various engravings by Liliana Porter, and the performance drawings by Marta Minujín. This is a journey through the classical masters of contemporary art from the Ibero-American continent from Mexico to Argentina passing through Brazil in a space of three thousand square meters. Prestigious authors not only aesthetic but also symbolic and committed, such as Carlos Amorales, Belkis Ayón, Los Carpinterios, José Damasceno, Gonzalo Díaz, Leandro Erlich, León Ferrari, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Jorge Macchi, Oswaldo Macia Gómez, Marco Maggi, Cildo Meireles, Marta Minujín, Vik Muniz, Óscar Muñoz, Julio Le Parc, Liliana Porter, José Alejandro Restrepo, Miguel Ángel Rojas, Betsabé Romero, Doris Salcedo and Humberto Vélez. A review of the extensive range of proposals that includes contemporary Ibero-American art - visual and auditory arts, virtual reality, social symbolism, modes of cognition and perception - from the most veteran present authors, León Ferrari (1920) and Julio Le Parc (1928 ) to the youngest such as Leandro Erlich (1973), Los Carpinteros (1971) or Carlos Amorales (1970). The title of the exhibition, At the heat of the thought, comes from a fascinating work by Chilean Gonzalo Díaz inspired by the 18th-century German poet, Novalis, specifically in the words which he begins his collection of fragments known as Blütenstaub (Pollen grains): "We look everywhere for the unconditioned and we find only things." The appointment is written by means of electrical resistances placed on ceramic tiles and it is heated at regular intervals until it turns red hot. This continuous interaction is what makes this show and its assembly unique. ​ A TOUR THROUGH THE EXHIBITION Ayate Car, by the Mexican Betsabé Romero, part happening and part installation is a Ford Victoria car decorated and upholstered in dry roses that dialogues in the foreground of the Room with the majestic tapestry of Brussels, The exaltation pf the Arts, woven at the end of the reign of Felipe IV in the workshop of Jan Leyniers and belonging to the Santander Collection. Ayate Car develops that committed aspect of Ibero-American art, by sending the artist this car from the 1950s from Mexico City to Tijuana, causing the illegal entry of the vehicle into the United States and immediate deportation, leaving the car in "no man's land" of the border as a symbol against the mistreatment of illegal Mexican immigration. Julio Le Parc, one of the classic voices of Ibero-American art, was inspired by sources outside the art system, using movement and artificial light as materials in his Lumières alternées, a rhythmic pulsation of lights and shadows with a view to transforming architecture in a moving force field. His photokinetic experiments allow him to analyze the visual process. Leandro Erlich, one of the youngest Argentine authors in the show, investigates optical illusions from a new perspective, using them as an artistic medium. In his installation The Doors, the public is faced with a series of locked doors, through whose cracks and keyholes the light filters in abundance. One can only open them. In Superficial Tension, the Mexican Rafael Lozano-Hemmer confronts the audience with a gigantic human eye that, through a monitoring system, records the movement that occurs around him, representing the intimate exchange between the work and the person who is contemplating it. The engravings of the Argentinean Liliana Porter show that the interaction between the public, the work, and the artist constituted the fundamental element of an aesthetic that emerged in the 1960s, whose purpose was to develop new forms of art beyond institutions and categories. In the middle of that decade, Porter founded the New York Graphic Workshop, a collective initiative aimed at disseminating works of art in series. The most paradigmatic example of this concept was To Be Wrinkled and Thrown Away where the title itself is responsible for providing instructions for use. Of the different artistic fields handled in the exhibition, another Argentine, Marta Minujín, presents several drawings of her most relevant public activities - known internationally for her performances and happenings - with which since the 1960s she has been radically questioning the relationship between art and public. Thus, in 1983, for example, he built a scale model of the Parthenon in Buenos Aires, his hometown, using books that had been censored during the Argentine dictatorship, whose drawing is exhibited in this exhibition. León Ferrari, the oldest artist on the tour, is often inspired by political motives, and his projects reveal another aspect of rampant urbanization and the resulting chaos. The series exhibited includes traffic arteries, cars, and stereotypical figures such as visions or caricatures of reality and was created in the early 1980s in São Paulo. Brazilian Cildo Meireles captures the symbiotic relationship of madness and reason in an enigmatic and global image mounted with rings and chains. Vik Muniz's WWW (World Map) —a world map made up entirely of out-of-date computer parts— wants to warn us in his work that the global network becomes the mere sum of its unconnected, useless components, ultimately seeking new definitions of the photographic media. The Cuban artists that form Los Carpinteros cooperative, resort to crazy drawings and objects to sketch a private world as a paraphrase of the present, sprinkling it with humorous allusions and abounding in sarcastic comments about everyday life in Cuba, such as their Wooden and Metal Umbrella. For its part, the also Cuban Belkis Ayón is inspired by the realization of her engravings as artistic meditations on the legends of the Abakuá, an Afro-Cuban secret society dedicated exclusively to men. The radio transmission of the exhibition space itself of a fictitious horse race incites the Panamanian Humberto Vélez in La Carrera (classic VII Biennial of Panama) to criticism and parody of competitive social systems. For his audio installation, titled Something Going On Above My Head, Colombian Oswaldo Macia Gómez composed a symphony based on the song of two thousand birds from four continents. He is interested in the development of a universal language as a challenge to perception. The installation on the Hotbed floor, by the Uruguayan Marco Maggi, resembles instructions to perceive slowness and silence, a kind of Zen garden with minimal creations from microscopic precision incisions made on snowy paper. The work invites the viewer to discover a new sculptural universe. Carlos Amorales has been working on his own language to express speech coding and intuitive perception, continually expanding the digital archive of images that have become his iconographic background. The Liquid Archive motifs — hybrid creatures, masks, airplanes, etc. — produce surreal and threatening parallel worlds. In his O presságio Seguinte (experience on the visibility of a dynamic substance), José Damasceno addresses the changing dimensions of a world in constant motion. The installation gives priority to proximity and encounter using physical stimuli (space, shapes, materials) to lead its viewers to the nodal point of the interpretive threads. Another Colombian, Oscar Muñoz, carries out an exhaustive analysis of the processes of perception and our ability to remember with Breath, where when we exhale our breath on glass the face of a disappeared person in Colombia emerges. Likewise, in the work of José Alejandro Restrepo, the role of death as a counterpart of life and co-architect is also revealed. Jorge Macchi fights against oblivion by providing press articles on murders in a fragile collage and emphasizing that news that readers often forget as soon as they turn the page. Placed horizontally, the articles finally enjoy space to narrate their tragedies. Marginalization and hegemony, as well as the effects of war, are the main artistic concerns of Miguel Ángel Rojas and Doris Salcedo. Rojas presents in large format black and white photographs a mutilated soldier of the Colombian army, whose posture reminds us of the famous David by Miguel Ángel. Doris Salcedo transforms political and social processes into disturbing sculptures - November 6 - that speak about desire and loss, of presence and absence, like this spectacular assembly of chairs and a room. ​ THE DAROS LATINAMERICA COLLECTION More than 1,300 pieces and 100 artists make up the Daros Latinamerica Collection, with a European headquarters in Zurich and an American branch in Rio de Janeiro. The collection was instituted in 2000 under the direction of Hans Michael Herzog and it includes the majority of contemporary artists from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego who have or will have an important impact on contemporary art from twenty years ago until now. Also, the collection presents emblematic pieces from the sixties and seventies and both Latin Americans residing in Europe and Europeans who have their definitive residence in Latin America. The oldest work in the Collection is a Torres García from 1938. Herzog affirms “the collection is as varied as the age of the artists, and what we want is to contribute to a better understanding of Ibero-American art outside its borders” since what fascinated him is that in these countries, "You think more intensely." Ruth Schmidheiny is the owner of this Collection. ​ Participating artists: Carlos Amorales, Belkis Ayón, Los Carpinteros, José Damasceno, Gonzalo Díaz, Leandro Erlich, León Ferrari, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Jorge Machi, Oswaldo Macia, Marco Maggi, Cildo Meireles, Marta Minujín, Vik Muniz, Oscar Muñoz, Julio Le Parc, Liliana Porter, José Alejandro Restrepo, Miguel Angel Rojas, Betsabeé Romero, Doris Salcedo, Hunberto Vélez.

  • cena subasta | Belkis Ayón

    DINNER - AUCTION WITHIN THE EVENTS OF THE SIXTHAND LAST EDITION OF THE LEO BROUWER INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL Havana Cuba. ​ ​ October 5, 2014 Within the events of the Leo Brouwer International Chamber Music Festival in its sixth and last edition, a Dinner-Auction was held on Sunday, October 5, 2014 in the Scepter Salon of the Hotel Meliá Cohiba, a Dinner-Auction with the noble objective of raising funds for the Children's Room of the Oncological Hospital. In it, works by Cuban visual artists were put up for auction: Belkis Ayón, Eduardo Roca (Choco), Manuel Mendive, Roberto Fabelo, Alfredo Sosabravo, Alexis Leyva "KCHO", Esterio Segura, Moisés Finalé and Nelson Domínguez. Of which only with the sale of the works of Mendive, Fabelo and Finalé, it was possible to contribute with such a laudable purpose.

  • news Chicago | Belkis Ayón

    FEBRUARY, 2020: NKAME ARRIVES AT THE CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER January 2020 Yadira Leyva Ayón © Belkis Ayón Estate ​ The traveling exhibition Nkame: A Retrospective of the Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967-1999) will be inaugurated on February 29, 2020, at its sixth venue, the Chicago Cultural Center. A project developed by this prestigious institution and the Belkis Ayón Estate, Havana, Cuba. The exhibition is curated by Cristina Vives. Tour Management by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA. PREVIOUS NEWS NEXT NEWS

  • news curso inglés | Belkis Ayón

    AN INTERDISCIPLINARY COURSE IN ORDER TO IMPROVE ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS February 6, 2015 Humberto Figueroa. Director of the Museum of Cayey, Puerto Rico © Belkis Ayón Estate This year the Museo de Cayey from Puerto Rico was the place selected to take the final exam of an interdisciplinary course to improve skills in the English language. On this occasion, the exam consisted of choosing and speaking in English about a piece in the exhibition from the Antonio Martorell art collection. This exhibition responds to the concept of the artist-collector, developed by Martorell, who affirms that for different reasons, artists are sometimes the people with the most important art collections in their countries. The mysterious character in the image is a student who selected the piece by Belkis Ayón and covered his face, alluding to the work it represented. In this case, the young man spoke about the work and its author, describing his opinion about the representation of the mystery, the hidden or the unknown in Belkis's work. PREVIOUS NEWS NEXT NEWS

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