exit-popup-close
Still can’t find what you need?

Order custom paper and save your time
for priority classes!

Order paper now

The History Of Art In Cuba

Download
Download PDF

While somewhat unrecognized, Cuba has a rich history when it comes to the visual (and literary) arts that are unique to the country. The history of art in Cuba is influenced largely by European artists, such as Picasso. Modernism, surrealism, and cubism, as well as a vivid cultural background, is reflected greatly in the country’s current art.

Want to receive an original paper on this topic?

Just send us a “Write my paper” request. It’s quick and easy!

La Vanguardía was a group of artists from the early half 20th century who were credited for introducing modernism to Cuba. Their names were Jorge Arche (1905-56), Victor Manuel Garcia (1897-1969), Wifredo Lam (1902-82), Carlos Enrique (1900-57), Antonio Gattorno (1904-80), Marcelo Pogolotti (1902-88), Fidelio Ponce de León (1895-1949), Domingo Ravenet (1905-69), and Amelia Peláez del Casal (1895-1968) the only woman in La Vanguardía. Many of these artists studied at San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts (the first fine arts academy in Cuba) in the 1920s.

Wilfredo Lam, a member of a group of artists referred to as “La Vanguardía” and famous Cuban painter was born in December of 1902. He left to study in Europe when he was 23, starting in Spain and then leaving 14 years later to study in Paris. During this time his first wife and child died of tuberculosis, which led to many paintings of mother and child. Soon after moving to Paris however, he met and became friends with the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso. Lam was an influential part of Cuban art history, with a style mixing African and Caribbean symbolism, merged with modernism and surrealism.

Jorge Arche was a modern Cuban oil painter. Although his paintings were quite realistic, he had a mix of a modern and expressionistic art style. He began his studies at age thirteen at the Fundación Villate of the Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País. He later studied at San Alejandro in 1923 but did not graduate. In the 1930s he discovered a personalized style of simplified naturalism.

Victor Manuel Garcia was born in 1897 and he also studied at San Alejandro, however, he did this around ten years before Arche. His art was often portraits of women and landscapes. One of his more famous pieces “Gitana Tropical”, it shows a young country girl with a window behind her showing a Cuban Landscape. Manuel Garcia’s style had pieces of surrealism and modernism that he picked up in Paris during his visit in 1925.

Wilfredo Lam, a member of a group of artists referred to as “La Vanguardía” and famous Cuban painter was born in December of 1902. He left to study in Europe when he was 23, starting in Spain and then leaving 14 years later to study in Paris. During this time his first wife and child died of tuberculosis, which led to many paintings of mother and child. Soon after moving to Paris however, he met and became friends with the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso. Lam was an influential part of Cuban art history, with a style mixing African and Caribbean symbolism, merged with modernism and surrealism.

Carlos Enriquez died in 1957 at age 57. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts but was considered largely self-taught. Enriquez was considered one of the best and most authentic Cuban artists of the time. His style was modern, stylized, and surrealistic, most of the art he made was portraits of peasants and nude women.

Antonio Gattorno, born in 1904, graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts in Havana when he was 16. Because of this, he was granted a scholarship to study in Europe. During the five years he spent there, he studies alongside many artists including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Joan Miro. He returned on the cusp of the Cuban Revolution (1923-34) and although he wasn’t necessarily involved with the politics of the time his art was considered part of the moment prompting the revolution. Because of modern European style he had, he was often criticized by others.

Marcelo Pogolotti was born in 1902, he briefly studies philosophy before studying art at the Art Students League in New York. He liked surrealism and futurism and used both in his art. He exhibited his art many European cities and was even invited to join the Italian Futuristic Movement. His characters were simple and often faceless, he drew many groups of people and people at desks often depicting people in pain or poverty. He died in 1988.

Born in 1895, Fidelio Ponce de León studied at San Alejandro but did not graduate. He disappeared twice in his life, once in 1918 and again in 1940. According to some reports, he left Havana and went to live in some inner villages and made a living by doing commercial decoration work. He returned in 1923 to live anonymously on the outer parts of the city. The second time was seven years before his death in 1947. During that time he painted very intensely. His art is made with a sense of continuity and unity, he created art depicting landscapes, the human figure, and some still lifes.

Domingo Ravenet was a Painter, writer, sculptor, illustrator, teacher, and curator. He studied in Cuba but felt that education was limiting, so he studied in Paris and Madrid to expand his learning. He developed a personal expressionistic style with vivid accents. His style was realistic as well as surrealist and simplistic.

Amelia Peláez del Casal, the only female member of La Vanguardia. She studied at San Alejandro in 1816. As a woman she had a very different insight on the movement, she saw the Cuban lifestyle differently and lived a more private life than the other Vanguardia painters. Her modern style was also not necessarily accepted at the time and it was very hard for her to make a living as an artist. Her style was very centered around cubism but with different modern additions, using different shapes to create her pieces but also different designs and patterns.

La Vanguardia painters all had modern styles centered around cubism and surrealism. They opened Cuba up to new and modern styles while also incorporating the Cuban styles that were relevant at the time. Many of them received backlash but in the end, they are some of the most influential artists in Cuba and opened up more possibilities for art in the future. Many artists take the surrealist and cubist nature of the art from La Vanguardia into their own art.

The painter, sculptor, and illustrator, Roberto Fabelo is part of a generation of Cuban artists that emerged in the 80s. His art is also influenced by European artists such as Velasquez and Goya. His main medium is watercolors and explores surrealism and expressionism in his art. He has illustrated in books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and in albums buy Silvio Rodriguez Fabelo which has made him known as not only and Cuban artist but also as Latin American Artist.

Another artist whose art reflects the art from the Vanguard period is Alexandre Arrechea. He graduated from Instituto Superior de Arte. His art is made up of sculptures, illustrations, and prints that are shapely and modern. His art does not depict people or landscapes but instead, he creates intricate art with themes of control and power. He is a founding member of the Cuban artist collective, Los Carpinteros.

Yoan Capote is a Cuban sculptor who creates surrealist sculptures. He was born in 1977 and graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte. His creations have been exhibited extensively in Cuba, the U.S. as well as Europe. His art is detailed and modern and somewhat realistic.

The artists of the Vanguardia period opened Cuban up for current artists to create modern and surrealist art. Artists from La Vanguardia remain the leading artists then and now but leave room for the newest artists to create more, ever growing creative art.

Cuba’s rich history, artistic and not, contribute to the new artists impressive and creative art. La Vanguardia gave a new platform for current Cuban artists influenced by European and historical Cuban art. They opened the door for artists to express themselves in their art more and more original art. 

09 March 2021

⚠️ Remember: This essay was written and uploaded by an average student. It does not reflect the quality of papers completed by our expert essay writers. To get a custom and plagiarism-free essay click here.

close
Sorry,
Your Email

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and  Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close thanks-icon
Thanks!

Your essay sample has been sent.

Order now