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Raul Enmanuel Pozo (Cuba) bio

Posted by Mark Schneider on February 29, 2012 0 Comments

Born in San Luis, Santiago, Cuba, 1958


Studies
1980-1985 Higher Institute of Art “CUBANACAN”, Havana, Cuba
1976-1980 National School of Art “CUBANACAN”, Havana, Cuba
1973-1976 School for Plastic Arts Jose Joaquin Tejada, Santiago de Cuba

Solo Exhibitions

2004 – La locomotora de mi papa, Canvas Gallery, San Juan, Puerto Rico

2002 – Buscando Caminos, Galeria Juan Marinillo, Institute for the Friendship

with People, Havana, Cuba

2000 – Mi Tiempo Vegetal, Casa de Teatro, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

1999 – Mi Tiempo Vegetal, Casa de Arte, Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican

Republic

1999 – Acrilicos sobre Telas, Galeria Oriente, Santiago, Cuba

1994 – Galeria Coral, Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia

1993 – Tropico, Center of Applied Studies, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

1991 – Amuletos Recuerdo de mis abuelos, Galeria Oriente, Santiago, Cuba

1989 - Dibujos sobre Cartulinas, Galeria Cine Cuba, Santiago, Cuba

1988 – Dibujos sobre Cartulinas, Festival of Cuban Culture, Burdeo, France

1987 – 2nd annual Festival of Cuban Culture, Havana, Cuba

1987 – Apuntes para un Proyecto, Galeria de Arte Universal, Manzanillo, Cuba

1986 – De lo Nuestro La Vegetacion, Galeria de Arte Universal, Santiago, Cuba

1985 – Muntu, Galeria Galeano, Havana, Cuba

Collective Exhibitions

Participated in over 50 group shows in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Colombia,

Portugal, France, and the United States.

2008 – The Americas Collection – Coral Gables, Florida

2008 – Featured artist - Spring Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2008 – Spring Brewery Artwalk, LS Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA

2007 – Fall Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2007 – Outstanding new contemporary artists, LS Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA

2007 – Elements of Abstraction, Gallery on State, Santa Barbara, CA

2006 – Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2005 – Crosscurrents, Soho Gallery, Studio City, CA

2005 – Contemporary Visions, Audis Husar Fine Art, Beverly Hills, CA

2005 – Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2004 – Tropical Profundo, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2004 – Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2003 - Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2003 - Cuban Artists, Gallery Nader, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

2002 – Brewery Artwalk, MLA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2002 – Cuban Painters, Naipe Museum, Havana, Cuba

2001 – Cuban Artists, Gallery Nader, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

2000 – Four Abstract Painters, Galeria San Ignacio, Havana, Cuba

2000 - Participant in the 7th Havana Biennial

1999 - End of the Century Hall, Emilio Bacardi Museum, Santiago, Cuba

1999 - Serigraphy Workshop, Taller Rene Portocarrero, Havana, Cuba

1999 - Cuban Painters, Museum of the Americas, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1998 - Galeria de Arte Universal, Santiago, Cuba

1998 - Galeria Oriente, Santiago, Cuba

1997 - Salon de 30 de Noviembre, Santiago, Cuba

1996 - The Gallery of the Hotel Melia Cohiba, Santiago, Cuba

1995 - House of Culture Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal

1994 - Art Center Gallery, Nelva, Colombia

1994 – Five Cuban Painters, Viva del Arte Galeria, Bogota, Colombia

1993 - Four Cuban Painters, Art Gallery of the Dominican Institute of Applied

Studies( IDEA),Santo Domingo,D.R.

1990 – Contemporary Painting, Center for Dominican Architecture, Santo

Domingo, Dominican Republic

1988 – Cuban Painters, Centro de Arte 501, San Francisco

1988 - Cultural Assets Hall Fund, Santiago, Cuba

1987 - Salon 30 de Noviembre, Santiago, Cuba

1987 - Galeria de Arte Universal, Santiago, Cuba

1986 - Seven Cuban Painters, Gallery of the House of Culture, Havana, Cuba

1986 - Participant in the 2nd Havana Biennial

1985 - Students Hall of the Hermanos Sainz Brigade, Galerie Oriente, Santiago,

Cuba

1984 – Students Hall, Higher Institute of Art, Cubanacan, Havana, Cuba

1984 - Participant in the 1st Havana Biennial – A Tribute to the Triumph of the

Cuban Revolution, Lobby of the Carl Marx Theatre, Havana, Cuba

Murals

Restaurant of Melia Cohiba Hotel, Santiago, Cuba

Railway Terminal, Santiago, Cuba

Executive Airport, Santiago, Cuba

Awards

1999 - National Prize of Serigraphy, Workshop “Rene Portocarrero”

1998 - Cuban Cultural Assets Fund, 1st prize for painting

1998 - Salon Fin de Siglo, National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC)

1997 - Honorable mention – Emilio Bacardi Museum, Santiago, Cuba

1997 - First Prize, Acquisition for Permanent Collection, Emilio Bacardi Museum,

Santiago,Cuba

1989 - National Award for the Painting on Canvas, TELARTE Vll, Cultural assets

of Cuba Fund

1987 - Honorable mention, Painting, City Hall, Santiago, Cuba

1986 – 1st Prize for the Carnival Poster, San Luis, Santiago, Cuba

1985 - Honorable mention, Students Hall of the Hermanos Sainz Brigade,

Galeria Oriente, Santiago, Cuba

1984 – 1st Prize for the Carnival Poster, San Luis, Santiago, Cuba

Distinctions

1998 - Shield of Villa de San Luis de las Enramadas, Santiago, Cuba

1997 – Official Key of the Cultural Assets of Cuba Fund, Santiago, Cuba

Member of UNEAC (National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists)

Member of the International Association of Plastic Artists

Collections

His works can be found in many permanent and private collections.

Emilio Bacardi Museum, Santiago, Cuba

Museo Polivalente, Santiago, Cuba

Center of Art Ceballo Estrella, Santiago, Cuba

MLA Gallery Collection, Los Angeles, CA

Banco de Reservas, Santo Domingo, D.R.

In addition to many private collections throughout Cuba, the Dominican Republic,

Colombia, Mexico, Jamaica Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, and the

United States

Some excerpts from an essay written by the renowned art critic Carlos M. Luis

Despite its late entrance in the realm of Cuban painting, Cubism was applied with evident originality by a number of the main representatives of the first generation of its vanguard. Among them, Amelia Peláez (1) used a structural system drawn for the cubist aesthetics. By applying cubist principles to her personal view of reality, Amelia Peláez distanced herself from analytical cubism incorporating, at the same time, the more sensual shapes of George Braque’s paintings of the 30’s. In that sense, this artist could merge a series of striking images into a context closer to a nationalistic pictorial language much in vogue in Cuba during her time.

It is not by chance that I make a reference of Amelia Peláez as a component of Raúl Enmanuel Pozo’s work. The same should be applied also to Wifredo Lam (2) with whom this painter maintains close affinities. In spite the fact that Pozo’s process of maturity had manage to elaborate a language of his own, his work obeys a tradition that cannot be discarded. In that sense his paintings represent icons that renders homage (consciously or unconscious- ly) to a past that remains in many ways alive in Cuban art. Raul Enmanuel Pozo’s icons originate as images that arise from a past that is being brought to a modern scenario. I refer to a cultural history that saw its first lights in Cuba during the nineteenth century until the present time, passing through the great moment of the vanguard during the first decades of the twentieth century. Raúl Enmanuel Pozo is the actor of an intense artistic process that has witnessed numerous ramifications inside and outside Cuba, since the advent of the revolution in 1959.

Let’s enter then, into the world of this painter taking into consideration two concurring points of his work: form and color. Form in the first place gives us the opportunity to recognize different aspects of his pictorial imagination. One of these forms suggests the structures of Cubism, reminding us of ancient dolmens whose volumes weigh as sculptures inside his paintings. There is a tendency in some of his paintings to create sculptural elements such as in “Silla de Otra Forma” (2004) or in “El Reposo” (2004). Both of these paintings executed in mixed media, offer us the opportunity to disco- ver his concern with an expression that reaches its peak in the art of Wifredo Lam. In this sense, his debt with the richness of Lam’s world is unquestiona- ble. Every artist is always in the process of assimilation of other legacies, and Raúl Enmanuel Pozo is not the exception to the rule. The question resides though, in how and also through what means an artist incorporates the discoveries of the other, transfiguring it in one of his or her own. In Pozo’s case I believe that his strategies of assimilation are the result of an acculturation of the different elements that eventually he will place at the disposal of his work.

If the dolmens are an essential part of his paintings, other forms tend to be converted in totems, as the artist identifies them in paintings such as “To- tem Simbólico”. The totem is one of the most rich and complex manifesta- tions of the so called primitive cultures. The surrealists and along with them Wifredo Lam, felt attracted by the presence of these objects with their carved images representing the history of their clans. On the other hand, from Sigmund Freud to Claude Levi-Strauss, the totem has been the subject of studies of different nature that eventually helped to enrich the poetical arsenal of numerous artists. Whether or not Raúl Enmanuel Pozo has read these authors, is beside the point, since their findings are “in the air” ready to be aspired by any sensitive spirit. On the other hand, it is quite possible that he could be familiar with the writings of the great Cuban ethnologist Fernando Ortiz, who wrote an important monograph on Wifredo Lam.

Another important element in the art of this painter is the use he makes of the mask. Masks are an essential component of modern art. As is well known, the cubists adopted it in opposition to the classical models of Grece and Rome. The surrealists also adopted the masks but with the purpose of discovering in them a magical/poetical force. The presence of the masks in some of the avant garde painters in Cuba such as René Portocarrero (3) or Wifredo Lam, was more inclined towards the surrealist quest. Raúl Enma- nuel Pozo instead, attempts to realize a synthesis between both tendencies. In paintings like “Son Varias Señales” (2004), “La Familia del Caballo” (2003) or his series “Los Detalles”, we can distinguish both aspects: the cubist structure plus the surrealist poetry acting like a visual palimpset within the composition. By achieving this, he allows suggestion to prevail over evidence freeing the imagination of the spectator to do the rest.

I have pointed out three main aspects of Raúl del Pozo paintings related to form. However these forms are created within a rich gamut of colors. It is not my intention to follow the well known stereotypes pertaining to “tropical” color etc. Cuban painting had witness masters such as Fidelio Ponce or Rafael Blanco that refused to fall into that category while others like Rene Portocarrero or Amelia Peláez made a vast use of all the possibilities offered by color. The expressiveness of Pozo’s color is an indication that he followed the steps of those masters. The way, though, of how he crystallized them is entirely his personal doing as well as his treatment of textures. What is important in my opinion is that his “ars combinatoria’ with color, succeeds in creating a number of chromatic variations that place him as a colorist to be reckoned with. In that sense his entire opus adds to the already intense developing of Cuban painting, a new and original component

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