Pop Art Show in Cuba

By Irina Echarry, Photos: Caridad

Traveling Pop Art Show at the Havana Fine Arts Museum.
Traveling Pop Art Show at the Havana Fine Arts Museum.

HAVANA TIMES, Feb. 7 – With a cold front blowing in the afternoon of February 5 promised to be cooler than previous days; however the vivid colors of the works in the traveling exhibit “Pop Art” made the day a little warmer, at least at the Havana Fine Arts Museum.

In the 1950s, the term “pop art” came to be used for those works of art that had daily-life elements, characteristics and images that emerged from consumer society and political conflict.

Likewise, this exhibit brings a profusion of politics and satire.  Works with names like “Aislamiento” (Isolation), “El amor verdadero del rey del petróleo” (The true love of the king of petroleum), “Salto” (Leap) or “El látigo de Polke” (Polke’s whip) allow us to get closer to the aesthetic perspectives assumed by their creators.

The exhibition has been shown in several Ibero-American capitals, with its itinerary through the Americas having been organized by Spain’s State Society for Foreign Cultural Action (SEACEX) and the Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM).

Traveling Pop Art Show at the Havana Fine Arts Museum.
Traveling Pop Art Show at the Havana Fine Arts Museum.

For the Cuban public it’s a chance to enter into contact with this movement which, while born in England, on this occasion presents works by Europeans and North Americans who participated in that artistic trend.

Highlighted in the selection are the works by Spanish artists Anzo, Eduardo Arroyo, Equipo Cronica, Juan Genoves, Equipo Realidad, Josep Renau, Manuel Saez, Antonio Saura, Juan Antonio Toledo, along with works by Gilles Aillaud, John Chamberlain, John Baldessari, Richard Bosman, Alberto Greco, Richard Hamilton, Jasper Johns, Yves Klein, Richard Lindner, Claes Oldenburg, Sigmar Polke, Richard Prince, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, James Rosenquist and Cindy Sherman.

Oils, silk-screen prints, lithographs, watercolors, photomontages, installations, and diverse other techniques allow us to explore the influences of these artists (many Valencians).

The exhibit includes a whip with photos of its creator on its tips (smiling, screaming and serious), as if he had been flogged by his ego; potatoes that have been eaten-away (by bugs, people or time?); a pop version of “Guernica”; as well as modern icons along with soccer players, the devil, budas, Venus de Milo, Christ, medieval knights and people dancing the twist.

Pop Art is considered as one of the first examples of postmodern artistic practice. With these 59 works, Cubans and visitors alike can appreciate one of the most outstanding periods in the development of the artistic language of the 20th century. It is a great opportunity to learn and admire the fine arts.

The Havana Fine Arts Museum is welcoming this exhibition until March 30.

Click on the tumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery