Aldo Menendez/1 June, 2016
(…) Since November 6, 2015, the Selby Gallery took in part of one of the most important repertoires of Cuban art, the Jorge Reynardus Collection, belonging to this habanero who arrived in the United States when the decade of the 1960s had just begun and, as time ran by, he became a successful publicist in New York. Today, retired from business, Reynardus lives in one of the several keys which draw a second coast outline on the surrounding area of beaches, facing downtown Sarasota, above the Gulf of Mexico.
The curator of this exhibition has been the outstanding and experienced art critic Mark Ormond, who patiently chose a group of first line works from the Collection, demonstrating some of the main thematic aspects of Cuban visual arts (social and political criticism, urban environments, nostalgia, Afro-Cuban elements, certain human passions, and so on) and equally in the field of affiliations and formal assimilations, in which the extensions of photographic realism (Rogelio López Marín, Gory, Gustavo Acosta and Ofill Echevarría) to entirely conceptual pieces (Consuelo Castañeda, Marta María Pérez, Aldito Menéndez, Juan-Si González, Elsa Mora, and so on) appear.
The exhibition incorporates, on another hand, contributions coming from Neo Pop (Ciro Quintana, Ivonne Ferrer, Néstor Arenas…) and from Neo Expressionism (Humberto Castro, Tomás Esson…) Among the paths exemplified in this sense, a marked naïf trend draws attention to itself, a conception which merges primitivism with Pop (Israel León, Pepe Herrera, Ana Albertina, Adriano Buergo, Carlos Luna and so on).
It is essential to highlight two pieces of recent production signed by two classics of the Avant-garde and of the 1950s: The Nest (2004) by Agustín Fernández and Pintura Negra (Black Paint, 1994) by Guido Llinás. It is also worthwhile to mention the sculpture Ícaro (Icarus) by the recently deceased Gay García, and celebrate a trio of the eighties: Galaxia Espiral (Spiral Galaxia) in stainless steel by Carlos González, Helical Work no. 1, in steel and wood by Armando Guiller and Artesanía del Sur (Craftwork of the South), wood carving by Alejandro Aguilera.
In a so solid collection numerous works are representative of the trends with which their authors reached acknowledgement and a personal seal they unalterably keep—Pepe Franco, Segundo Planes, Carlos Estévez, among others. Even when divorced from what he before did, I believe it important to mention Armando Mariño’s piece, linked to a type of experimental realism that does not entirely abandon the photographic influence.
It is difficult to overlook the quality of works—in my opinion predestined to end up in a museum—as strong of Vititi Mensu (2006) by José Bedia; Help, a silk-screen by Carlos Cárdenas printed in 1994, and Linaje Forming Light (2003) by Arturo Cuenca. I discover an equivalent quality in the photos Espejo Barroco (Baroque Mirror, 1988) by Mario Algaze and In Camera no. 9 (2001) by Luis Mallo. (…)
Curated by Aldo Menéndez, Ivonne Ferrer and Henry Ballate
Kendall Art Center (KAC) is proud to present “Artists in Purgatory” an exhibition of Jorge Reynardus Collection.
The renowned New York advertising executive, Jorge Reynardus, raised in Cuba, will exhibit more than 50 works of art between paintings and sculptures. Additionally, he will present under the same title a book especially dedicated to explaining what all of these creatives, currently living outside of their homeland, and in particular in the United States, represent as well as the fundamental contribution they started in the decade of the ‘80s in Cuba.
The English volume is published under the seal of the Cuban Art Alliance, an institution founded and headed by Reynardus himself. The editor, Aldo Menendez, includes the analysis of other important critics, intellectuals, academics, galleries, etc. In the early pages, Reynardus tells how and why he committed to collecting modern Cuban art. In the beginning of the 346 pages and 326 reproductions appear introductory words from the distinguished American writer and Pulitzer Prize winner William Kennedy.
Curated by Aldo Menendez, Henry Ballate and Ivonne Ferrer, is now being presented in Miami by Leo Rodriguez, a well known collector, founder and director of the KAC. The exhibition “Artists in Purgatory” is forging new recognition to these artists within the contemporary art world and a new definition of their artistic status that end the collective isolation.
“Artists in Purgatory” brings together work of Cuban artists such Adriano Buergo/Adrián Menéndez/Agustín Fernández/Aldo Menéndez/Alejandro Aguilera/Ana Albertina/Alonso Mateo/Ángel Delgado/Antonia Eiriz/Armando Guiller/Armando Mariño/Arturo Cuenca/Carlos Cárdenas/Carlos Estévez/Carlos González/Carlos Luna/Carlos Sanjurjo/Clara Reynardus/Consuelo Castañeda/Ciro Quintana/Elsa Mora/Fernando García/Flavio Garciandía/Gay García/Glexis Novoa/Guido Llinas/Gustavo Acosta/Heriberto Mora/Humberto Castro/Ileana Villazón/Ismael Peralta/Iván Cañas/Ivonne Ferrer/José Bedia/José Franco/Juan-si González/Julio Antonio/Luis Cruz Azaceta/Luis Mallo/Magdalena Campos/Maldito Menéndez (Aldito)/Mario Algaze/Mario Almaguer/Mario García Joya/Marta María Pérez/Néstor Arenas/Ofill Echevarria/Pablo Carreño/Pedro Vizcaíno/Rafael López Ramos/Ramón Grandal/Robaldo Rodríguez/Rogelio López Marin (Gory)/Rubén Mendoza/Rubén Torres Llorca/Sandra Ramos/Sergio Payares/Tomás Esson/William Castellanos/Yovani Bauta.
Kendall Art Center (KAC), is dedicated to promoting the work of contemporary artists, and to the exchange of art and ideas throughout the Miami region and internationally. Through an energetic calendar of exhibitions, programs, and its collections, KAC provides an international platform for the work of established and emerging artists, advancing the public appreciation and understanding of the art.
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