Zilia Sánchez Afrocubano (1957) Oil on canvas, 27 ½ × 21 ½ in., Private collection, Madrid
The Phillips Collection presents the first museum retrospective of Cuban artist Zilia Sánchez (b. 1926, Havana). This long-overdue exhibition examines the artist’s prolific yet largely unknown career that spans almost 70 years, featuring more than 60 works including paintings, works on paper, shaped canvases, and sculptural pieces, alongside illustrations, design sketches, and ephemera. The exhibition traces Sánchez’s artistic journey from her early days in Cuba to her extended visits to Europe and residence in New York, and finally her move to Puerto Rico, where she now lives and works. Many of Sánchez’s works reference protagonists from ancient mythology (such as Trojans, Amazonians, and Antigone—all warriors and female heroines). Others have reoccurring motifs of lunar shapes, erotic topologies, and tattoo drawings that map physical and psychological spaces and add another dimension to her curvilinear geometry, rich with metaphorical meaning. The exhibition title, Soy Isla (I Am an Island), serves as a personal metaphor for Sanchez’s experience as an islander—connected to and disconnected from both the mainland and mainstream art currents.
The Cuban artist Tania Bruguera (born 1968) has been selected to create the 2018 Hyundai commission for Tate Modern’s central four-stories high Turbine Hall. She is best known for her socially and politically engaged installations, which have in the past addressed topics of migration, border control and institutional power structures. She has created a unique concept for her political approach to art – Arte Util (useful art) – which is developed in her new work for the Turbine Hall. In 2012 Bruguera was also in residence at Tate Modern with her ongoing project Immigrant Movement International, in which visitors were required to line up and pass a lie detector test based on questions from the UK immigration form before being granted access to the Tate Tanks display. The installation is curated by Catherine Wood, Senior Curator of International Art (Performance) and Isabella Maidment, Assistant Curator of Performance, and accompanied by a new book from Tate Publishing (forthcoming March 2019).
Brings together models, drawings and archival photographs as well as new photography of key buildings, not only those by the Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer and Mexican Luis Barragán but also less well known structures by Cuban architects, such as Hugo d’Acosta.
The exhibition is accompanied by two major publications: a catalogue and an anthology of primary texts translated from Spanish and Portuguese.
Retrospective (organised by the McMullen Art Museum, Boston College) of the Cuban twentieth-century artist Wifredo Lam (1902-1982) alongside responses to his legacy by contemporary artists. Traces his career from his early studies in Madrid, his move to Paris in 1938 where he became a member of the Surrealists in the 1940s before he developed his signature fusion of Cubism, Surrealism, Santería imagery and vivid Afro-Caribbean symbolism.
The exhibition will transfer to the Pompidou Centre, Paris, in September 2015.