Photo montage courtesy: Rogelio López Marín (Gory)
CIFOTalks: The generation of Volumen Uno: The scene of the production of Cuban art during 1978-1984
Aldo Menéndez, Gustavo Pérez Monzón & Rubén Torres Llorca, in the context of the ongoing exhibition: Gustavo Pérez Monzón: Tramas
The generation of Volumen Uno: The scene of the production of Cuban art during 1978-1984 - CIFO will be hosting the first CIFOTalk of the year in the context of the ongoing exhibition Gustavo Pérez Monzón: Tramas. The CIFO talk, The generation of Volumen Uno: The scene of the production of Cuban art during 1978-1984, will focus on different perspectives and narratives lived by world renown artists and/or art critics Aldo Menéndez, Gustavo Peréz Monzón and Rubén Torres Llorca, whom were important figures of the artistic scene during that period.
The artist and art writer, Aldo Menéndez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1951. From 1983 to 1986 he studied at the Academia Elemental de Artes Plásticas ’20 de octubre’ in Havana, and from 1986 to 1988 he studied at the Academia San Alejandro. From 1994, he has lived in Miami, Florida. In 1973, he founded the magazine ‘Revolución y Cultura’ where he took the role of Artistic Director and journalist, also making him a very prominent promoter of photorealism in the island. From 1975, his work has been permanently integrated in museum collections such as the Museo Nacional de Cuba. His work also belongs to many other collections like: Centro Cultural de la Villa de Madrid (Spain), Casa de América (Spain), Museo de Huelva (Spain), Museo Zambrano (Colombia), Museo Gabarrón (Spain), Museo de arte Moderno de Salamanca (Spain), y Museum of Latin American Art (California), entre otros. Menéndez is currently and art critic for the Miami newspaper, El Nuevo Herald, the art magazine, Art on Cuba, and Art Wynwood.
“The seventies in Cuba were not as grey as it is portrayed. Ultimately, that was the period in which the first generation of artists educated during the revolution emerged, particularly a young group that with Volumen Uno brought a disruption; a change in the approach to art in the following years.” - Aldo Menéndez
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the asrtist
Gustavo Pérez Monzón
Gustavo Pérez Monzón was born in 1956 in the city of Sancti Spíritus, a native province in Cuba formally known as Las Villas. He belongs to the generation of artists that introduced significant changes to Cuban visual arts both formally and conceptually. Like his colleagues from Volumen Uno, Pérez Monzón became influential for introducing experimental practices, new themes, and different ways of incorporating various possibilities and references. His last exhibition in the island was in 1989 at the height of his success, when he decided to stop producing art and moved to Mexico in 1990, where he currently lives and works as an art teacher. Today he is one of the founders/directors of the Centro Morelense de las Artes, in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
“During that period, my generation was mostly focused on cinema, music, and books like in other parts of the world (…) we expanded our minds through a combination of anthropology, archeology, political ideas, mysticism and occultism (…) I believe without a doubt, that eleven young men brought radiance by artistically expressing their differences against the narrow, rigid and the esthetically pretentious and boring world in which we lived in.” -Gustavo Pérez Monzón
Photo credit: Pericles Lavat
Rubén Torres Llorca
The artist, Rubén Torres Llorca, was born in Havana, Cuba in 1957. He graduated from the Academia San Alejandro in 1976, and from the Instituto Superior de Arte in 1981. He has lived in Miami, Florida since 1993. Between 1980 and 2016, he has been part of 35 solo exhibitions, his work can also be found in the following collections: Museo del Barrio (New York), Pérez Art Museum Miami (Florida), Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (Mexico), The Art Nexus Foundation (Colombia), Harn Museum of Art (Florida), among many others.
“The most important aspect that the Volumen Uno generation brought was the notion of artists as an intellectual, - half idea, half form – introducing continuity from the work of the fifties and sixties of pivotal artists such as Raúl Martinez and Antonia Eiriz.” Torres Llorca continued – “the Cuban art changed radically during that period, from art dictated by the state to experimental art, which later became one of the avant-garde movements of Latin America.” - Rubén Torres Llorca
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the artist