Cuban artist Tonel carries the Cuban tradition of satirical illustration into an ongoing interrogation of the condition of the individual in contemporary Cuba, started by the American blockade and called to account by the revolution (now in its 41st year). Tonel has been active in the Havana art world since 1981, when he participated in the artist-organised exhibition, Volumen I. He was trained as a commercial illustrator (as were many of the Group of Seven, Andy Warhol and Ray Johnson), but in a communist country when illustration was directed toward popular images of political events, literature & film. For the Belkin Art Gallery, he is mounting an installation referring to the food crisis of the Special Period (1989-) in addition to drawings and sculpture, many of them self-portraits. Cuban curator Eugenio Valdes has chosen drawings that foreground the theme of a vexed and anxious, masculine self-image. The exhibition catalogue includes writings by Tonel. The exhibition will tour to the Wifredo Lam Centre, Havana, Cuba in January 2001. Curated by Scott Watson and Eugenio Valdés.
We gratefully thank Cubana de Aviación / Air Cubana and the UNEAC (Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba) whose support made this exhibition possible.
Tonel: Lessons of Solitude. Exhibition Catalogue.
Cubana de Aviación / Air Cubana, UNEAC (Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba)