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Cuban Art History

Posted by Mark Schneider on January 21, 2014 0 Comments

Cuban artists incorporate different styles of contemporary influences to their artwork including European and North American styles, traditional tribal arts from African and Native American cultures, and visual styles, which are popular in the Caribbean.

Large part of the Cuban Art history was dominated by Spanish-European styles including painting, architecture, and sculpture. For the last 100 years, the Cuban artwork traditions have been overwritten with new styles.

Cuban Art History: Cuban Artwork during the Colonial Years

Form 150 up to 1900, Spain controlled Cuba and its surrounding islands in the Caribbean. Spanish leaders ruled that only the wealthy people can make commissions to landscapes, portraits, buildings, and busts. Spanish schools of arts are established in the island influencing Cuban artwork. Classicism, Neoclassicism, realism, and romanticism became the major hallmarks of Cuban artwork that time.

Cuban Art History: Independence of Cuban Artwork

In 1898, Cuba won its freedom from Spain, which allowed Cuban artists to challenge the status of the island’s cultural scene. Ten years later, the major break of Cuban art came from Vanguardia artists – a revolutionary cause that illustrates Cuban life through cubism and surrealism instead of conventional workings taught in Cuban Art Schools.

In 1950, the Cuban art prints and paintings lay at crossroads. Some Cuban artists left the island to pursue better career opportunities since the large amount of revenue of Cuban art that time comes from tourists visiting the island.

Other artists stayed in the country to produce Cuban art works and Cuban art prints sponsored by the government. Socialist revolution was embraced by Cuban artists that time, allowing them to paint the life of Cuba when it’s under the Spanish empire colony. The socialist party of Cuba censored the art in the country, and non-revolutionary arts were discouraged. In 1980, Cuban artists began to create artworks with no pressure from state influence.

Cuban Art History: Modern Art of Cuba

Today, restrictions on Cuban artistic license were lifter even if the socialist party of Cuba remains as the primary source of employment and funding for Cuban artists. Contemporary Cuban folk ark, paintings, and art prints are recurring themes made by Cuban artists to keep the culture alive during the ear of globalism and homogeneity.

The organization of Cuban non-western artists, the Grupo Bayate, has portrayed the works of Cuban tradition communities that are rarely seen by tourists through art collections in the island as well as in the South and North America.

During the 1970s and the 1980s, conceptual arts became a trend in Cuba. This has become a means of expressing the ideas of artists rather than defining their subject. This type of Cuban artwork requires viewers to make great emotional investments before they can define the message of the art instead of having the artist speak the subject of the artwork.

Cuban art is a diverse blend of European, North American, and African culture. Cuban artists use their artistry skills to portray the diverse demographic of the island as well as the life of the Cuban people during the time ruling of the Spanish empire. Today, you can find plenty of Cuban art for sale, and they are highly expensive because of their unique theme.

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