The first retrospective in the United States of the Cuban painter Mariano Rodríguez (1912-1990) opens its doors to the public this Friday at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami (PAMM) with works from six decades, from museums and private collections.
“Mariano: Variations on a Theme”, a project of the Boston College McMullen Art Museum in collaboration with the Mariano Rodríguez Foundation, brings together canvases, watercolors and drawings by this painter considered to be one of the most important and influential of the second avant-garde in Cuba.
The second generation of Cuban modernists (1938-1950) used his work to build and express their vision of cuban national identity from rural life, everyday life and culture of African origin.
The rooster is a figure present in many of Mariano’s works, as he was known in artistic circles, and this is how it can be seen in this exhibition.
Opening August 6—“Mariano: Variations on a Theme”!
🖼️ Mariano Rodriguez. “Mujer con gallo” (Woman with Rooster), 1941. Collection Silvia & Emilio M. Ortiz. © Mariano Rodriguez Foundation
— Perez Art Museum Miami (@pamm) July 10, 2022
Elizabeth Thompson Goizueta, curator of “Mariano: Variations on a Theme,” told EFE that Miami is the second leg of this exposition initiated in Boston, whose antecedent is in another carried out more than a decade ago in Monaco.
“There he became well known in Europe, especially in Spain, where there are great collectors of his works,” said Thompson Goizueta, who considers that “Cuban modernists deserve continuous examination.”
The curator highlighted the period that is cataloged in the exhibition as “black paintings and the grotesque”, corresponding to the 1960s, when the cuban painterwho frequently visited Madrid and the Prado Museum, broke with his rich color palette and established a “dialogue” with Francisco de Goya.
It is one of the stages in the art of Mariano Rodríguez, a painter who studied at the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts, in his native Havana, and later expanded his training in Mexico and Paris before settling in New York.
Rodríguez returned to Cuba after the triumph of the 1959 revolution, after passing through India to work in a position assigned to him by the revolutionary government. All those trips had a clear influence on his work, as can be seen in the PAMM exhibition.
“This exhibition expands the set of known works by the artist, demonstrating that his dedication to ‘what is Cuban’ and his ever renewed interest in modes of artistic expression from other parts of the world positioned him as a painter of universal importance,” the text states. inscribed on a panel at the beginning of the exhibition.
The work of plastic artist Mariano Rodríguez can be found in museums such as the MoMA in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris and in private collections.