Cuban Art: Choco and “El silencio de Duchamp” among winners


Cuban Art News reports several awards for visual arts, curatorship and criticism in Havana, Cuba.

Visual Arts Award. The 2017 Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas was awarded to Eduardo Roca Salazar, known as “Choco.” A master of the collographic print as well as a painter and sculptor, Choco trained at the Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA) and the University of Havana. His early awards and recognition included the Premio de Grabado in the National Youth Salon for Visual Arts in Havana, 1977, and the medal of honor in the Graphic Salon, Bulgaria, in 1982. In Cuba, he was recognized in 1995 with the Orden por la Cultura Nacional.

The Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas generally includes a solo exhibition presented at or by the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana.

Curatorship. The 2017 national prize was awarded to Meira Marrero and Concha Fontenla for El silencio de Duchamp, presented late last year at Factoría Habana.

“El silencio de Duchamp is a discreet ‘whisper’ with an essentially balanced intent,” wrote Marrero in an email to Cuban Art News, “pointing towards the neurological center of Duchamp’s attention: language, its uses, abuses and disuses. It is the first part in a trilogy that, from an art-historical perspective, ponders the paths of those who have consciously devoted themselves to the art of thinking and directing the ‘traffic’ of information in one way or another–not better or worse, but different. After all, art is the ideal tool for creating new platforms and dismantling the walls that surround ideas.”

Artists in the exhibition included Humberto Díaz, Eduardo Ponjuán, Elio Rodríguez, and Ariamna Contino and Alex Hernández, among many others. [. . .]

The three jurors for curatorship were Corina Matamoros, Hilda María Rodríguez, and Chrislie Pérez. In addition to El silencio de Duchamp, they also singled out for mention Sonique, a sound-art exhibition curated by Yarisley Medina Abreu (LeyMa); Memorias. Grabado 80’ 90’, a group show curated by Lisset and Lisandra Yllañez; and Herbaria, a show of Cuban and Puerto Rican artists at the Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales (CDAV) curated by Guillermo Rodríguez and Caridad Blanco. [. . .]

Art criticism. In the Essay category, the winner of this year’s Guy Pérez Cisneros prize is Nahela Hechavarría Pouymiró for La ficción y la memoria (estrategias para penetrar el contexto). In making the award, jurors Margarita Mateo, Magaly Espinoza, and Erick González cited Pouymiró’s profound approach to reading the history embedded in contemporary Cuban art.

The Guy Pérez Cisneros prize for art review was shared byLuis Enrique Padrón for Pecio para una travesía aplazada, and Laura Magela Garcés for Coitus reservatus.

[Eduardo Roca (Choco), “Cojido con presilla.” Courtesy Latin Art Space.]

For full report, see

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