Among the must see events during Miami Art Week is Gustavo Pérez Monzón Tramas presented by the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO). This is the first exhibition by the Cuban artist in the United States. It opens Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at CIFO's art space (1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami) This is the second time this particular exhibition has been on display.
"It is a touring exhibit it was the National Museum of Fine Art during the Havana Biennial. It is the second time it has been brought before the international public." says Eugenio Valdés Figueroa, director and chief curator of CIFO
Monzón himself stopped creating art in 1989. He left Cuban and founded a school in Morelos, Mexico. Figueroa says that Ella Cisneros found and purchased a number of pieces which is, in essence, the genesis of this exhibition.
"This is a 7 piece installation and it is really complex. It covers all the parts of his history. One of the ideas of the exhibition is that the collection is not just about having an artist represented but well articulated," says Figueroa. "...It brings connection between Gustavo and many Cuban periods."
Within this exhibit you will find spatialism, geometrism, abstract expressionism. Figueroa believes it is important to show this work to the younger Cuban generation and that this exhibit is also a bridge to learn more about artists of Monzón's generation.
"It is difficult to find information on the artist in books." says Figueroa.
"I see that art value scales or places are constantly being rebuilt according to the revisions of each generation. The exhibit at CIFO is an 'almost' complete look not only to all my work during the 80s, but to a complete look of a time in Cuban art that has not been fully reviewed," says Monzón. " After being away for over two decades, I hope this exhibit is well received and that a new more definite value comes out of it."
Why did he stop making art and move into teaching it?
"I am curious for new experiences and I like to focus on different things. In the end I am not really sure of what brings you to one or another experience and if one is the one that completely “decides” one’s level of participation in the events that happen in your life," says the artist. "To teach and produce artwork is something that I loved doing and I did it at the same time. With the passing of the years, I see that I have dedicated more time but I see that I have dedicated more time to working with others in formative processes than to my own artistic production. Now I feel that time to take care of my own production has arrived."
He is returning to working on his own art but he does so with the satisfaction that he contributed to the education of many young artists and, all the while, learned from the process of being a teacher.
"After him art started to become more explosive and political. Metaphor became a form of protection in the artist's relationship with the state in the 90s," says Figueroa."In the 80s it was more romantic and naive but they still had difficulties."
CIFO was founded by Ella Cisneros in 2001 and it aims to gain visibility for Latin American Art.
"She has a very important collection, more than 2000 works. The focus is on an international audience. It is about putting the art before that audience," says Figueroa. ""The aim is education, study and conservation of the collection but there is major interest in promoting are in Latin America."
CIFO awards grants to artists but also sponsors exhibitions like this one. It is an exhibit that is unusual in Miami this time of year; it isn't about making money.
"The opening of the exhibit is in context of art week but it is not commercial at all," says Figueroa. "This is about an audience seeing this great artist's work."
Wed., December 2-- 11:30 a.m- 4:00 p.m
Thur., December 3--9:00 a.m- 4:00 p.m
**Fri., December 4 (by invitation only)
Sat., December 5--9:00 a.m- 4:00 p.m
Sun.., December 6--9:00 a.m- 4:00 p.m