Visions and Imagination: Cuban American and Argentinian Art

Carlos Estevez (Cuban, b. 1969) Forging People, 2007.

Carlos Estevez (Cuban, b. 1969) Forging People, 2007

On January 31, 2019, the Binghamton University Art Museum opened the exhibition, Visions and Imagination: Cuban American and Argentinian Art. The show features paintings and drawings by leading contemporary Argentinian and Cuban-American artists who address various aspects of their personal experience, identity and philosophy, as well as cultural history, literature, politics and music in their work. 

The opening included a public reception and a discussion held by curator Lynette Bosch, a professor of art history at SUNY Geneseo. Many pieces in this collection were donated by Jorge and Norma Gracia, each of whom spoke to the audience about some of the works they permanently gifted to the museum.

See more: Binghamton University Art Museum

Themes explore philosophy, self-discovery, culture and religion

The art in this exhibition is comprised of exclusively contemporary Argentinian and Cuban American artists. It includes various mediums like oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas, ink and composite photo collage and explores themes of philosophy, self-discovery, culture, religion and spirituality. The works are all connected through their shared cultural background and historical narratives.

Jorge Gracia, a SUNY distinguished professor at the University of Buffalo, discussed his love of collecting Cuban art as a Cuban American. Jorge and Norma Gracia donated 13 of the pieces on display from their own private collection. 

Jorge Gracia said that he was always looking for places that wanted to accommodate these kinds of artists and works, and Binghamton was the ideal location.

“This particular exhibit was created because I was looking for a place that would actually have interest in this material — in other words, Latin American works,” Gracia said.

Apart from the artists and themes explored throughout the paintings, the art of collecting art is in itself celebrated here.

“I’ve lived with these pieces for a very long time,” Gracia said. “So it was extremely difficult to part with them. You have them on top of your desk, or your living room, and now […] But overall, it’s been fun. I feel very good, very grateful, that [people are] interested in this collection.”

Excerpts, above, from a news article published by Pipe Dream, by Alisa Darson. Read the full article here.

Selected work from the exhibition

Lius Cruz Azaceta (Cuban, b. 1942) The House of Asterion, 2013.

Lius Cruz Azaceta (Cuban, b. 1942) The House of Asterion, 2013

Emilio Falero (Cuban, b. 1944) Across, 2006.

Emilio Falero (Cuban, b. 1944) Across, 2006

Mauricio Nizzero (Argentinian, b. 1958) El Evangelio según Marcos (The Gospel According to Mark).

Mauricio Nizzero (Argentinian, b. 1958) El Evangelio según Marcos (The Gospel According to Mark)