Artwork

African Abstract / Pedro Álvarez

2010
Pedro Álvarez, African Abstract, 2002
Views
Identifier

IWC.2002.328

Materials

oil on canvas, polyptych, sex paintings, 138" x 27"

Description
Collection of Chris Chistierson
About the Artist
Pedro Álvarez was a native of Havana, Cuba, who studied art at the Academia de Artes Plásticas “San Alejandro” and the Instituto Superior Pedagógico Enrique José Varona. He is best known for his work combining pop culture references with traditional Cuban images. For example, in The Romantic Dollarscape Series, painted entirely in shades of green, American historical figures and monuments appear alongside stereotypically dressed representatives of the ethnic groups who have resided in Cuba at various times--Africans, Spaniards, indigenous people, etc.

Álvarez lived during Cuba's "Special Period," a time of economic crisis that began in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistances (Comecon), on which Cuba's economy depended. The period had a lasting impact on Cuba's society and economy. Cuba experienced serious shortages of food and consumer goods (note the presence of dated 1950s automobiles in The Romantic Dollarscape Series), and the government opened the country to tourism and legalized the U.S. dollar. Ultimately, then, Álvarez's work tackles a number of issues, from the sweeping changes of the Special Period to the diverse cultures that converge in Cuba.
October 15, 2010 - February 27, 2011
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