Fluid Ecologies: Hispanic Caribbean Art from the Permanent Collection is an exhibition of thirteen works on paper by seven of the most celebrated Hispanic Caribbean artists of the last five decades. Organized by the Art Center and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, Professor of Hispanic Studies on the Sarah Tod Fitz Randolph Distinguished Professor Chair, the exhibition will be on view through May 8.
The Caribbean region’s historical role as crossroads of the world has engendered cultures, literatures, and art born of dynamic intellectual and creative networks connecting writers, artists, and ideas across the Caribbean Sea, its islands and continental shores, and the world beyond. “Like a fluid ecology forever interacting to generate the whole—rooted in a particular geographic environment in which no place or person is ever too far from the sea that defines it—Caribbean art is protean, hybrid, mercurial, yet always anchored in its historical and cultural environment,” says Paravisini-Gebert.
The artists represented echo in their work many of the key issues in the region’s history: momentous European encounters, the slave trade and the sugar plantation, a costly reliance on tourism, the slow violence of environmental mismanagement, and the ever-repeating cycles of human migrations. The artists include Wifredo Lam, Marisol, Rafael Ferrer, Tomás Sánchez, Luis Fernando Roldán, José Bedia, and Enoc Perez. Each has sought in unique ways to disavow the reduction of the tropical landscape to a tourist’s paradise and to offer instead intense renderings created at this crossroads of the world, emerging from a history of fluid navigations of a multifarious space.
The exhibition was supported by Vassar’s Environmental Studies Program and by the Creative Arts Across Disciplines initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Groups can reserve guided tours of the exhibition in English or Spanish by calling 845-437-7745.