artist / participant
The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) will present a solo exhibition by Gustavo Pérez Monzón at the CIFO Art Space in Miami, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States. Gustavo Pérez Monzón: Tramas brings together nearly 70 works created between 1979 and the late 1980s, providing a close look at the artist’s practice during the final decade that he lived and worked in Cuba. The exhibition, which is organized by CIFO, first opened at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana, where it was on view in conjunction with this year’s Havana Biennial.
Curated by Elsa Vega and René Francisco Rodríguez, the anthological exhibition traces Pérez Monzón’s career through one of his most prolific periods. The exhibition will include a series of drawings, installations, and site-specific works reflecting Pérez Monzón’s interest in exploring Geometric Abstraction, Abstract Expressionism, and Spatialism. Demonstrating an interest in logic and meaning that runs through his practice, works in the exhibition include Pérez Monzón’s well-known series Tarot (1983, 1985 and 1986)—decks of tarot cards that depict the traditionally representational figures in the deck through abstract, geometric drawings on cardboard—as well as works from his series of drawings Configuration and 15 625 cm3 de relaciones (1981/2015), which derive their internal logic from underlying mathematical principles. The exhibition will also feature emblematic examples Pérez Monzón’s site-specific works, including both Vilos (1981/2015) and Hilos (1984/2015), which form dense matrices of wire and thread, reflecting the artist’s exploration of line and form in space. Each site-specific work will be re-created by the artist for this exhibition.
While Monzón’s work is grounded in a conceptual framework, he takes inspiration from sources as diverse as mathematics and numerology. “In a general sense,” says Pérez Monzón, “I created works that functioned like systems sustained by a logical order and that were at the same time perceived emotionally with all the arbitrariness and depth that a work of art allows… I don’t see that the works I made are based on parameters associated with science or technical knowledge, but on arithmetical concepts, or rather, on numerological concepts. In numerology, numbers do not only express quantities; they also enclose meanings and, consequently, relations that give them an ordering.”
Gustavo Pérez Monzón (b. 1956), began to gain recognition in the late 1970s, and participated in several group exhibitions including: Pintura fresca; Sano y Sabroso; De lo contemporáneo; and Trece artistas jóvenes, among others. Pérez Monzón’s first solo exhibition, Luna Llena, took place at the Casa de Cultura de Jaruco in 1980. A year later, his Serie A – Serie B was presented at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, and he participated in the legendary 1981 exhibition Volumen Uno as well. In 1982 he represented Cuba at the Paris Biennial.
Pérez Monzón decided to give up painting in the late 1980s, and began to focus his attention on teaching art. In the early 1990s he moved permanently to Mexico, where he still resides. Today he is the director of the Academia Morelense de las Artes (Fine Arts Academy in Morelos State) in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Curated by Elsa Vega and René Francisco Rodríguez
A comprehensive catalogue will be presented by CIFO during the opening of the exhibition at CIFO Art Space in Miami, Florida, featuring images of all the artworks included in the exhibition. The publication includes an introduction by Ms. Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, as well as essays by Néstor Diaz de Villegas and Corina Matamoros, an extensive section with archive photos, and an interview between the artist and the exhibition’s curators, Elsa Vega and René Francisco Rodríguez.