Art Exhibition: Pedro Pablo Oliva


The Scarfone / Hartley Gallery at the University of Tampa is showing “Pedro Pablo Oliva’s Cuba: HiStories”until December 12. The gallery is located at the R.K. Bailey Art Studios at 310 North Boulevard, Tampa, Florida.

Under the title Pedro Pablo Oliva’s Cuba: HiStories, the Scarfone / Hartley Gallery of the University of Tampa in the United States, hosts until December 12, the first monographic exhibition of the National Prize of Plastic Arts of Cuba in 2006, Pedro Pablo Oliva.

This series demonstrates his evolution as an artist and the perspective on some of Cuba’s social processes through paintings, drawings and sculptures, made during the first four decades of artistic work, which is why some label him as a chronicler of his time. The exhibition includes an impressive selection of 45 works of art spanning four decades of Oliva’s career, including several works never before seen in the USA. The exhibition will highlight its most significant themes and showcase its diverse artistic techniques, such as oil on canvas, watercolor, colored pencil on paper and mixed media.

Exceptionally prolific in vivid images, colors and stories, Oliva’s art testifies to the fact that only from our specific situation, place and point of view can we extend our gaze to the universal truths of human existence: birth, love, hope, despair, disease, desire, tenderness, memory, fantasy, creation, injustice, victory, courage to protest.

Although it never represents places, Oliva enchants the viewer with a visual narration that evokes Cuba, as a place engraved in the souls and characteristics of its people. As part of the exhibition, the gallery is publishing a fully illustrated catalog, the first produced about this artist’s work in English. It will include an integral critical analysis of his career, interviews, biographical information and contextual essays on his legacy and interactions with the Cuban art scene.

Within the celebrations planned to celebrate the seven decades of life of the creator, and half a century of his graduation from the National School of Art of Cuba, this monographic exhibition was chosen as the standard-bearer of the tribute to this artist, who has stood out for his so visionary, abundant, poetic and controversial work.

During the opening that took place in the lobby of Bailey Art Studios, copies of a special series were removed. It is planned that the prints, as well as a fully illustrated catalog, will be available for purchase in the gallery and all proceeds will go to future exhibitions and educational programs, such as artist talks and Camp SpARTan. [. . .]

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