On March 7, 2014, the Wifredo Lam Center for Contemporary Art celebrated the opening of Vittorio Garatti: Obras y Proyectos [Vittorio Garatti: Works and Projects]. The exhibition, which is still on view in Havana, showcases the work done by the architect and retrace his trajectory. Vittorio Garatti worked with architects Ricardo Porro and Roberto Gottardi designing and building Cuba’s National Schools of Art in the early 1960s. Garatti designed the School of Music and the School of Ballet. The Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center is located at Plaza de la Catedral, 51 Avenue, between 120 and 122.
Presently, theVittorio Garatti Committee, a non-profit organization, is working towards renovation, preservation, and finalization of three of the five schools that constitute the National School of the Arts—the School of Music, the School of Ballet, and the School of Dramatic Arts.
[Shown above: (first) Garatti photographed by Alejandro Ramírez Anderson and, (second) Garatti with leading expert in Caribbean architecture and decorative arts Michael Connors; also see Dr. Michael Connors: A Brief Interview with Repeating Islands, Book Presentation: Michael Connors’ “Splendor of Cuba”, and New Book: British West Indies Style.] Below are excerpts of the article “Vittorio Garatti, un proyecto, un viaje siempre” by Mónica Rivero Cabrera:
Vittorio Garatti arrived once again in Cuba with sketches and a new piece in mind, just like 40 years ago, with the desire to see his project-dream come true at last. Garatti, along with Roberto Gottardi and Cuban Ricardo Porro, conceived Art, Ballet and Music Schools in Havana. Porro’s was finished in 2009; while Gottardi’s and Garatti’s are still between ruins and construction. Spaces damaged by time and indolence, but filled with the hopes of its many lovers.
[. . .] The exhibition is a tour through his work: “his drawings with a special erotic feeling, some 3D molds of the school, the new mock-up he made for the Music Theater, which is a cathedral. He says he dreams about enjoying some day the piece Altagracia, by Carlos Fariñas, at that theater, which is not any play: it is a parade and it is dedicated to Ernesto Che Guevara.”
This architect affirmed to Prensa Latina that this is one of the biggest exhibits he has ever had because it brings together all the stages in his career. “I’m thrilled with this homage which sets my work so high, giving details for those that are familiar with it and introducing it to the new generations”, he said.
Now he is working on a project called El Anillo del Caribe (The Ring of the Caribbean) which will connect islands and Caribbean countries by sea and train. He worked in Cuba until 1974. And he must have left the country “dreaming about the culmination of his work”, Fernandez states. The schools are extremely transgressing as they have been outlined with that concept of organic architecture, which regenerates itself; they have been outlined from the structural and the social perspectives; that’s why he found some inspiration in Wifredo Lam’s pieces: El tercer mundo, La jungle. Garatti’s architecture also anticipated many things: postmodernism, many concepts that are handled today in architecture”. [. . .]
For the original article (in Spanish) and top photo of Garatti, see http://www.oncubamagazine.com/cultura/vittorio-garatti-un-proyecto-un-viaje-siempre/
For more information, see https://www.facebook.com/ComitatoVittorioGaratti