Showcasing around seventy works by Cuban artists from several generations, the exhibition inspires dialogue regarding the physical, social and political landscape of the island and its diaspora. The artists include Yoan Capote, Los Carpinteros, Teresita Fernández, Enrique Martinez-Celaya, and Zilia Sánchez. Maria, art professor at Vanderbilt University Madeleine Campos Pons, which won the prestigious Pérez Prize in 2021 in honor of his powerful explorations of history, race and culture, features two large triptychs in the exhibition.

The skyline functions as a motif and symbol of personal desire, existential desire, or geographic confinement throughout the exhibition – though always visible and alluring, it remains perpetually distant and inaccessible. The works in the exhibition show how artists can incorporate political commentary into their practices, providing insight into the sophistication of creative expression that is possible even in an authoritarian system. These artists working in exile offer a different perspective, exploring memories, political contrasts and personal identity through the prism of displacement. “Due to the tense history of Cuban-American relations and the current unrest in Cuba, especially in artistic and intellectual circles, the timeliness of the exhibition cannot be overstated, ”said the chief curator of the Frist Art Museum Marc Scala. “In these works, guests will see hardships and humor, despair and hope, spirituality and political criticism.”

Organized thematically, three sections explore various meanings and associations related to the horizon. The first section, Internal Landscapes, begins with works that find emotional power in seascapes, landscapes and images linked to the Afro-Cuban experience. In that of Yoan Capote The painting Island (see-escape) (2010), a perilous sea made of hooks appears like a prison wall and recalls the ideological barrier separating the Communists Cuba United States Threats are popping up everywhere in Luis Cruz Azaceta Caught (1993), in which a terrified and demonized man is stranded with no good options – only rough water, imprisonment by the Cuban government for attempting to leave, or interception and return by US officials.

The next section, Abstracting History, examines abstraction used both as a formalistic strategy and as a tool for critical and subversive thinking. Geometric abstraction, as seen in the works of Waldo Díaz-Balart, José Ángel Rosabal, Zilia Sánchez and others, shows how cosmopolitan Cubans of the 1950s and early 1960s adopted modernist European styles such than neoplasticism, constructivism and suprematism. “Such styles quickly fell out of favor in the early years of the Castro regime, when art with a clear social message was officially preferred, as it had been in the Soviet Union since the reign of Joseph Stalin, ”said Scala. Despite the government’s position, artists like Glenda León and Reynier Leyva Novo continued to develop personal approaches, creating social or political critiques as well as poetic abstractions.

The artwork in the final section, Domestic Anxieties, relates to the anxieties and stress felt by many Cubans today on the island and elsewhere. The apparently utopian image of René Francisco paradise (2007) offers an ironic commentary on collectivism, in which individuality and personal freedoms are subordinated to the greater diktats of society. Word paradise hovers above a crowd like giant propaganda assuring them of the quality of their life. On closer inspection, however, prison bars are visible in the letters, suggesting that the masses could be imprisoned if they do not accept this vision of community happiness.

“Encourage dialogue on Cuba and its diaspora, the artists in the exhibition link their own experiences to historical, political and psychological realities to create works that can resonate with anyone grappling with issues of freedom, identity and displacement, ”says Scala.


January 27
Curator’s perspective presented on Zoom by Tobias Ostrander, expository Comissioner
6.30 p.m.
To free; registration required

Join the curator Tobias Ostrander for a discussion on the development of the exhibition, which was originally presented in three parts at the Pérez Art Museum Miami in 2017 and 2018. In this hour-long lecture, Ostrander will address the theme of the horizon as a organizational strategy. Ostrander is Estrellita B. Brodsky Assistant Curator of Latin American Art at Tate. He is the former Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (2011-19).

Details on additional programs will be posted on and @FristArtMuseum on social media.

Exhibition credit

Organized by Pérez Art Museum Miami

Thank you from the supporters

Platinum Sponsor: HCA Health / TriStar Health

Support for education and community engagement: Windgate Foundation

Supported in part by the The sponsors of the first 2022 gala.

The Frist Art Museum is supported in part by the Frist Foundation, the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Connect with us @FristArtMuseum #TheFrist #CubanArtattheFrist

About the Frist Art Museum

Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Frist Art Museum is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) art exhibition center dedicated to presenting and creating high-quality exhibitions with programs related educational and community outreach activities. Located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., The Frist Art Museum features the best visual art from local, regional, national and international sources in exhibits that inspire people through art to look at their world of art. ‘a new way. Accessibility information can be found at Entrance to the gallery is free for guests 18 and under and for members, and $ 15 for adults. For current hours and additional information, visit or call 615.244.3340.

SOURCE Museum of Frist Art

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