Equally attention-grabbing are works by Tonel, who splits his time between Canada and Cuba, and Angel Delgado, who still lives on the island.

Tonel's dishrag-size watercolor of himself shows the artist ready to make a meal of a rat, conveying the scarcity of food during the economic deprivation of the '90s.

Delgado speaks to the realities of being an irreverent critic of the regime and risking becoming the victim of a government crackdown.

Armando Mariño's The Raft
Armando Mariño's The Raft

Location Info


University of Miami Lowe Art Museum

1301 Stanford Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Category: Museums

Region: Coral Gables/South Miami


"Cuba Avant-Garde: Contemporary Cuban Art From the Farber Collection": Through April 4. Lowe Art Museum , 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-3535; lowemuseum.org. Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.

According to wall text, on May 4, 1990, during the opening of a group exhibit called "The Sculptured Object" at the Center for the Development of the Visual Arts in Havana, Delgado provoked authorities to close the show. In his performance Hope Is the Last Thing to Go, he took a dump on the pages of Granma, the Cuban Communist Party's newspaper of record.

Promptly sentenced to prison, he continued making art using common handkerchiefs.

In one untitled work on display, it's apparent his spirit wasn't crushed behind bars. It shows three faceless men connected by their ribbon-like, intertwined tongues. The simple image conveys the notion of a prison snitch or perhaps conspiratorial plotting.

Plumbing this provocative exhibit, one can't help but be swept away by the scope of imagination and depth of thought reflected in these artists' work. It's a first-rate eye opener on the nature of Cuban art over the past several decades, and a show you'll want to visit again and again.

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