Surrealism of Dali & African American Abstraction in Cuba


HT Photo Feature

daliHAVANA TIMES — Within the growing cultural exchanges taking place between artists and personalities of Cuba and the United States, the Museum of Fine Arts in Havana recently opened two exhibitions “Memories of Surrealism” and “Abstraction and African American artists.”

“Memories of Surrealism” exhibits a hundred lithographs of Spanish artist Salvador Dalí on loan from private US collections, including that of Alex and Carol Rosenberg.

Meanwhile, Ben Jones, curator, sculptor, painter and politician, has brought to Cuba an important collection of abstract art from his country. Titled “Abstraction and African American artists” the showing includes 38 works of small and medium format by nine US artists.

Both exhibitions can be visited throughout the summer at the museum located in Old Havana.

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2 thoughts on “Surrealism of Dali & African American Abstraction in Cuba

  • Our friends who traveled to Cuba from the US for this important show,“Abstraction and African American artists,” have done more to open the door to a new era of amistad between our two countries than any President or politician. Artists, by their nature spread information like seeds, they tend to drop their potent work where it is likely fertile ground, immediately interest grows and change begins to reshape the landscape. We bless you, Ben Jones, Mansa K.Mussa and all of the others whose interest and creative spark will encourage a spiritual garden to erupt spreading both roots and branches that will bear the fruit of freedom. Be encouraged mi gente, to go into the land and make changes, we are the farmers, we can move all stones from our fields. Alliance is ours to harvest.

  • A few years ago when staying in the Cathar country in France, I drove down over the Spanish border to visit the Salvador Dali museum at Figures. It was a rewarding experience and one which I would recommend to anyone interested in art and with the opportunity. Quite a lot of Dali’s work is displayed in the streets nearby and the museum itself reflects his work as well as containing a wonderful collection. Most of his work can be found on postcards – I sent one of Gala his wife and model for very many years, gazing out of a window at a distant island, to my wife in Cuba as it reflected the isolation of so many Cubans within their own country separated by the imposed political system.
    The outstanding Dali work not represented by postcard and not within the museum, and in my view one of if not THE masterpiece, is Christ of St. John of the Cross which was sold to the City of Glasgow in I think 1952 for 5,000 pounds stg. I had the pleasure of seeing it in 1953. Remarkably Dali chose to show Christ hanging on the cross from above, with fishermen drawing in their nets on the shore of the sea of Galilee below. The cobalt blue is astonishing. Glasgow City Council was much divided by the purchase which was made upon the recommendation of a Mr. Honeyman. It was undoubtedly the best investment they ever made. I imagine that as Glasgow owns the copyright that the museum in Figures is unable to show a replica or copy of that work, which is a shame as it merits dsplay to the world at large.

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