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Painting Borges installation view

Painting Borges installation view


Painting Borges: Art Interpreting Literature

Cuban Artists' Books and Prints, 1985 - 2008

Cantor Art Gallery Displays Argentinian and Cuban Artists

The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery at the College of the Holy Cross will feature two exhibitions of artwork by Argentinian and Cuban artists beginning in late January.

Painting Borges: Art Interpreting Literature, will be on view from Jan. 31 - March 21, curated by Jorge J.E. Gracia, the Samuel P. Capen Chair of Philosophy at the University at Buffalo and organized by the UB Galleries at Buffalo New York. Cuban Artists' Books and Prints, 1985 - 2008, curated by Linda S. Howe, director of the Wake Forest Cuba Project, will be on display from Jan. 31 - April 13 in the newly- named Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation Resource Gallery, located adjacent to the main gallery in O'Kane Hall. An opening reception for both exhibitions is planned for Tuesday, Jan. 31, 5 -6:30 p.m.

Painting Borges is a collection of paintings, drawings, etchings and mixed media works created by 16 artists in response to stories by Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges. According to Gracia, who teaches philosophy at the University of Buffalo, "Jorge Luis Borges is one of the most prominent literary figures whose work is also profoundly philosophical... his stories are filled with conceptual puzzles that prompt the reader to face the most fundamental questions concerning human existence."

In consultation with the artists, Gracia chose 12 stories by Borges, which he organized according to three topics: identity and memory, freedom and destiny, and faith and divinity. Two visual interpretations by different artists are given of each story.

Artists represented in Painting Borges include a number of Cuban-born artists who now reside in the U.S.: Luis Cruz Azaceta, Carlos Estévez, José Franco, Alberto Rey, and Paul Sierra.  Numerousartists were born and currently live in Argentina: Alejandro Boim, Miguel Cámpora, Ricardo Celma, Laura Delgado, Héctor Destéfanis, Claudio D'Leo, Etienne Gontard, Mirta Kepferminc, Nicolás Menza, Mauricio Nizzero, and Estela Perada.  Some of the artists will be showing in the U.S.for the first time, while others, such as Luis Cruz Azaceta, Carlos Estévez, José Franco, Alberto Rey and Paul Sierra, regularly show in the U.S.and internationally.

The initial showing of the exhibition was accompanied by a symposium, "Interpreting Borges: Art, Literature, and Philosophy," that took place in Buenos Aires in 2010. It gathered a group of international philosophers, literature scholars, and some of the artists whose work is being exhibited, to explore the artistic interpretation of literature in the context of Borges' work. Following the showing at the Cantor Art Gallery, the exhibit will travel to several other institutions before opening at the Anderson Galleries at the University of Buffalo in 2013.

Fifty years after the revolution: art reveals complexities of Cuban life

For many years, there have been two primary images of Cuba, cigars and Castro.  A collection of handmade books, prints and objects created by Cuban artists and writers from a small press called Ediciones Vigía, highlights the complexities of modern Cuba and will be on display at from January 31 - April 13.

Cuban Artists Books and Prints: 1985-2008, shown previously at the Charlotte and Philip Hanes Art Gallery on the Wake Forest campus, the prestigious Grolier Club in New York City with a related symposium hosted by the Museum of Modern Art, and a number of other venues across the country, was curated by Linda S. Howe, professor of romance languages at Wake Forest University, and organized with the help of dozens of Wake Forest faculty, staff, and students.

According to Howe, Cuban Artists' Books and Prints is an opportunity to celebrate a vibrant culture. "These artists have survived cultural politics, difficult living conditions, and, at times, resource shortages that limited their access to the most basic materials, like paper."

Ediciones Vigía is a collective of accomplished young artists and writers who produce remarkably sophisticated and technically inventive works featuring writing by "once-censored or controversial national and international authors as well as children's books and musical compositions." Ediciones Vigía, a collaborative artisans' press, was founded in 1985 in Matanzas. Its limited editions of works by leading Cuban and foreign authors, like García Lorca, Szymborska, Rilke, Dickinson, and Rimbaud, are designed and illustrated primarily by Rolando Estévez. Many are collaged with cloth, leaves, or wood scraps, making them unique; some are made as scrolls for hanging.

"These works comment on daily existence, reflect awareness of international art currents, and draw on Cuban history and its traditional and popular cultures. Adaptation means making art despite privations, especially since the dissolution of the Soviet Union ended subsidies to Cuba," Howe says.

The show at Holy Cross will feature about 40 of the original 120 pieces, including handmade books and other objects created by contemporary Cuban painters, sculptors, photographers and printmakers Sandra Ramos, Rocío García, Sandra Ceballos, Ibrahim Miranda, Olympya Ortiz, René Peña, Iván Capote, Yoan Capote, Danilo Moreno, Jose Ángel Vincench, René Bravo Quintana, and Antonio Eligio (Tonel). These artists and artisans expand definitions of the book to express their fluctuating Cuban identities and a mixture of avant-garde ideas, international trends, and national sensibilities.



Opening, Painting Borges: Art Interpreting Literature, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Opening, Cuban Artists' Books and Prints 1985 - 2008, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 10 am. - 5 p.m.

Opening Reception with remarks by Jorge J.E. Gracia, Painting Borges and Cuban Artists' Books exhibitions, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 5 - 6:30 p.m.

Talk by artist Carlos Estévez, Wednesday, Feb.1, 4:30 - 6 p.m., Stein 120

Exhibition Walk-Through with Curator Linda S. Howe, Tuesday, Feb. 28, noon - 1 p.m.

Curator's Talk by Linda S. Howe, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 5:30 - 6:30, in the Gallery



Cuban Artists' Books and Prints 1985 - 2008 is supported in part by a grant from the Worcester Arts Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.




Cuban Artists' Books installation views