Cuban Art Exhibition at Avondale Bricks Gallery
We’d like to welcome you to the first exhibition of the Avondale Bricks Gallery. The Birmingham Weekly sponsors all exhibitions at the gallery. The first exhibition is a collection of Cuban art brought back by Stephen Humphreys from his friends in the country over the course of 15 years. It also includes Ancestor sculptures by Dick Jemison and Cuban photography by Stephen Humphreys
Carlos del Toro is a renowned print maker in the experimental printmaking workshop in Havana. He creates mythological-mutant beings that blend evolutionary theory with the animism of the Afro-Cuban Santeria religion.
Jorge Luis Marrero recreates his childhood drawings as an adult. By conceptual exploration of the nature and roots of identity, he questions whether his childhood artwork is the same as an adult, and is the maker the same person.
Noel Morera Cruz’s Un Minuto de Silencio is a minimalist work that explores the nature of recognition and identity. At first glance the shapes in the triptych appear to be a crowd of people, but are actually abstract shapes created by the artist’s fingerprints in ink.
Isolina Limonta is a famous colography print maker. Her work reveals depths of animism in Cuba with human figures made out of other natural organic shapes such as vines, leaves, and seashells. On the other end of the spectrum, some are human forms created out of abstract concepts such as music, arithmetic, and architecture. Some of her work is ambiguous as to whether the figures are formed of abstract or organic elements.
José Bedia is perhaps the most famous of all contemporary Cuban artists. Stephen Humphreys met him in his home in Havana in the early 1990’s when he was just back from two years living with a tribe in the Amazon. His works are in collections of museums all over the world, including the Birmingham Museum of Art.
His art is based on the mythologies of indigenous peoples from around the globe. He has lived with primitive tribes in Africa, South America, and even on a Navajo Indian reservation in the U.S.A.
Vladimir de Leon paints zany mazes of algorithms and platonic forms, and creates humanoid creatures from appliances and electronic apparatus that nonetheless display human intention.
Katarzyna Badach does oils and water colors of abstracted architectural interiors--usually of artist studios--and the interiors transform from geometrical shapes and angles to painterly forms, from walls, easels, and canvases into skies and clouds.
Olimpia Ortiz in contrast to the Afro-Cuban Santeria influences of other Cuban artists, paints in an almost mythic Spanish tradition with allegorical shapes and the palette of Velasquez, Goya, and El Greco. She has shown in prestigious galleries and museums around the world including the MOMA in NY.
Dick Jemison’s painted wooden totem-inspired sculptures are reminiscent of the Afro-Cuban influences in the featured paintings. He was actually inspired by aboriginal rituals in Northern Australia.
Stephen Humphreys’ award winning photographs were taken on approximately 50 trips to Cuba over the last 15 years. Along with publishing the Birmingham Weekly, he represents and collaborates artistically with all artists in the exhibition.
SCHEDULED EVENTS AT AVONDALE BRICKS:
Friday March 23, 5:30-7:30. Wine tasting. Light fare by your favorite, Cosmo’s in 5 Points South. Wines from Birmingham importer Athens Imports. View the Cuban art exhibition. $10
Saturday March 24, 1:30. Gallery talk on Dick Jemison’s Ancestors sculpture. Shirley Osband, UAB Department of Art and Art History. Free Friday April 13, 6:00 reception - 7:30 dinner. Dinner in honor of the late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth for what would have been his 90th birthday this March. Sephira Shuttlesworth will prepare the Reverend’s favorite meal assisted by Birmingham Weekly Food Memory columnist Chef Franklin Biggs. Oxtail stew, baked chicken, rice and gravy, collards with hamhocks, Sephira’s special squash and onions, blackberry and peach cobblers. $35 reception, $75 dinner. Proceeds benefit the Shuttlesworth Foundation.
Avondale Bricks Gallery / Event Space Event space at Avondale Bricks Gallery is available for lease to host your dinners, parties, or gatherings of your choice. The preferred caterers for the event space are Yellow Bicycle Catering, by George Sarris (chef of the Fish Market), Mix/Café DuPont, Cosmo’s, Saw’s, and Legends Barbeque. There will be rotating art exhibitions in the space, and we can help provide music through artists that we represent. Contact Helen Catherine Smith at 205-991-4440 to book your next event.