Harn Museum of Art opens 'Under the Spell of the Palm Tree: The Rice Collection of Cuban Art'

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Harn Museum of Art opens 'Under the Spell of the Palm Tree: The Rice Collection of Cuban Art'
José Bedia, "Más de lo mismo y uno de necio (More of the Same, and One Being Foolish)," 2000, Collection of Susie and Mitchell Rice.

GAINESVILLE, FL.- The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, in collaboration with The Cuban Arts Group, is presenting a new exhibition offering a glimpse into the complex culture and history that has inspired Cuban art throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century. Under the Spell of the Palm Tree: The Rice Collection of Cuban Art is on view from July 11, 2023 to Jan. 7, 2024.

Under the Spell of the Palm Tree presents the narrative of a “crossing”—a virtual crossing of the seas as well as a crossing of generations, of artists living or having lived both in Cuba and in the Diaspora. Guest Curators Gabriela Azcuy and David Horta, working with Harn Chief Curator and Curator of Modern Art Dulce Román, selected 79 paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, mixed media, art books and sculptures to provide a comprehensive view of Cuban Art organized along six themes: The Language of Forms and the Forms of Language; The Prophet’s Dream; The Great Journey: Archives; The Sensory Landscapes of Memory and Desire; The Musings of Narcissus; and The Spirit of the Real, the Reality of the Spirit.

“Susie and Mitchell Rice are dedicated to expanding and enhancing their collection’s ability to represent the breadth and richness of Cuban art,” said Guest Curator Gabriela Azcuy. “They wish to share their collection with the public through thoughtfully curated exhibitions and a diverse educational arts program.”

Under the Spell of the Palm Tree: The Rice Collection of Cuban Art includes the work of 54 artists representing modern masters, members of the so-called “generation of true hope” of the 1970s, the “Cuban renaissance” generation of the 1980s, the generation of the 1990s, as well as younger artists who have gained international visibility. A full list of artists follows at the end of this release.

“We are honored to present to the University of Florida and Gainesville community a vibrant and diverse collection that is a testament to the immense talent, creativity and resilience of the Cuban people,” said Harn Museum of Art Director Dr. Lee Anne Chesterfield. “Through this exhibition, we hope to showcase the beauty, complexity and variety of Cuban art and artists, and to provide a platform for their voices to be heard.”

A fully-illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition, with essays by Curators Gabriela Azcuy and David Horta, and edited by Harn Chief Curator and Curator of Modern Art Dulce Román. Multiple public programs will be offered providing an opportunity for visitors to engage in conversation about the works on view. These include talks by the collectors and artist José Bedia. Visitors can also view the exhibition in the evenings on Thursdays until 9 pm as a part of the Harn’s Art After Dark program.

Artists whose work is on view in the exhibition include Belkis Ayón, Abel Barroso, José Bedia, Cundo Bermúdez, Tania Bruguera, Iván Capote, Salvador Corratgé, Mario Carreño, Liset Castillo, Carlos Enríquez, Roberto Fabelo, Carlos Garaicoa, Pedro de Oraá, Juan Roberto Diago Querol, Roberto Diago, Adrián Fernández, Ernesto Javier Fernández, José A. Figueroa, Inti Hernández, Alex Hernández, Ricardo Miguel Hernández, Jesús Hdez-Güero, Wifredo Lam, Alberto Lago, Jorge Lavoy, Ernesto Leal, Glenda León, Kadir López, Jacqueline Maggi, Manuel Mendive, Frank Mujica, Chino Novo, Pedro Pablo Oliva, Mabel Poblet, Eduardo Ponjuán, René Portocarrero, Ángel Ramírez, Sandra Ramos, Enrique Riverón, René Francisco Rodríguez, José Rosabal, Lázaro Saavedra, Emilio Sánchez, Tomás Sánchez, Esterio Segura, Rafael Soriano, Alfredo Sosabravo, Stainless (Alejandro Piñeiro, José Capaz and Roberto Fabelo Hung), José A. Toirac, Alexi Torres, Antonio Vidal and José Ángel Vincench.

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