Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rare Cuban posters to go on display in New York

February 24, 2010


The Center for Cuban Studies has a collection of Cuban poster art that is the largest in the United States, and perhaps the largest outside Cuba itself. Since its beginning, in 1972, the Center has collected every conceivable kind of poster in Cuba, posters meant to instill revolutionary consciousness in the public ("Emulación," "Mas productividad," "Reparación consciente," "Limpieza, una tarea permanente"), posters that call people together for important gatherings ("Todos a la Plaza con Fidel!"), posters in solidarity with liberation movements around the world, posters that revile (Nixon was a favorite) and posters that praise, posters that advertise film, theater, dance and art exhibits, posters
that commemorate historical moments, posters in celebration of women, children, students -- and much more. Most of the earliest posters were hand silk-screened.
With this exhibit, the Center is presenting about 100 posters that cover the last 50 years. It is not an exaggeration to say that the history of the Cuban Revolution could be told graphically, were there a museum large enough to hold the entire collection. It is unfortunate that no U.S. museum has presented the full range of Cuban poster art. Except for the exhibits that relate to Che Guevara and the poster art inspired by Che, little of Cuban graphics is known in the United States. McGraw Hill published The Art of Revolution, a large book of 96 Cuban posters, edited by Dugald Stermer and with an introduction by Susan Sontag in 1970, and Lincoln Cushing published his Revolución: Cuban Poster Art, in 2003. Several years ago the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) did a small traveling show of Cuban posters, but it was put together by Miami collectors who preferred to stay away from the strongest works, and there was almost nothing of poster art aimed at creating and shaping a collective revolutionary consciousness on a daily basis. This exhibit includes many of those posters, a collection unique to the Center.
Our hope is that this relatively small show (how does one choose 100 posters from several thousand?) will provoke, enlighten and educate. Come see for yourself! The Center is located at 231 West 29 St, 4th floor, between 7th and 8th Avenues. Gallery hours: 11-7, Mon.-Fri., 12-6, Saturday.

for further information:
sandra levinson

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