October 16 – November 22, 2014
Painting on Canvas: Glexis Novoa’s Return to Form and Context
Painting on Canvas is specifically noteworthy for the following two revisionist’s aspects: first the artist’s re-examination of an early period of his own work that was interrupted by exile in the mid 1990s and second, the place where the works were executed, which was Havana, where Novoa recently set up a studio after a twenty-year hiatus. His return to the formal qualities of the Etapa práctica [the Practical Stage] and to the specificity of the Cuban context reveals poignant aspects of contemporary Cuban art today and the artist’s place in it.
Glexis Novoa has been a pioneering figure in contemporary Cuban art since the late 1980s. As a younger member of that generation ushered in contemporary art practices, Novoa, pushed the envelope further by employing performative and interventionist strategies that contest the strictures imposed by the Cuban government about the role of art in a socialist society. In his personal work, he created an artist persona and planned the development of two bodies of work: Etapa Romántica [the Romantic Stage] (mid 1980s) and Etapa Práctica [the Practical Stage] (late 1980s to mid 1990s), which follows the artist’s transition from one who intentionally created “bad” works of art to one who purposefully displayed technical dexterity and commercial savvy. These strategies guaranteed his place in the then-burgeoning art market of Cuban art in the late 1980s and early 1990s, while unequivocally maintaining the works’ subversive dimension as commentaries about a communist ideology that was rendered vacuous and bankrupt by the end of the Cold War. Thus, from the Etapa Práctica were borne the fundamental elements that have characterized Novoa’s work form that point throughout his artistic career: the use of apocryphal symbols to comment on structures of power or what the artist himself refers to as “la arquitectura del poder.”
About Juan Ruiz Gallery
Juan Ruiz Gallery was established in 1993 in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and in 2012 in Miami, US, to encourage artistic innovation and provide a platform for contemporary art of all media. Committed to the promotion and understanding of contemporary art, Juan Ruiz Gallery, with locations in Maracaibo and Miami, envisages its spaces as an artistic laboratory where artists with conceptual proposals and political inquietudes can find a conducive atmosphere free of any reductive commercial ties.
Juan Ruiz Gallery 301 NW 28th St.
Miami, Fl. 33127