Artist's Opening Reception, Saturday, September 13, 6:00–8:00pm
Couturier Gallery is pleased to present the first United States solo gallery exhibition of one of Cuba’s premier and highly decorated contemporary artists, Roberto Fabelo (b. 1950, Camaguey, Cuba). The exhibition, Fabelo – New Work, features paintings, drawings and sculpture by this multi-disciplined avant-garde artist who honed his unique style and fertile imagination in Cuba’s post-revolution period. He is known internationally for his compelling allegorical repertoire of images which include: robust figures; nautilus and bird accouterments; Kafkaesque insects; casuelas (cook pots) and domestic tools, to cite a few. A hardbound color catalog of the show will be available. Robert Fabelo – New Work will be on display from September 13 to October 18, 2014. Join us for the Artist’s opening reception, Saturday, September, 13; 6-8pm.
Revered as a prolific painter, sculptor and illustrator, the source of Fabelo’s influence is rooted in European masters such as Velázquez and Goya, while at the same time retaining his Cuban identity helping to launch a new Cuban aesthetic with a modern Western slant. Underneath his lavish creations with provocative themes lies an existential framework which speaks to his world consciousness and sociopolitical beliefs. Fabelo appears unapologetic in his depiction of these farcical compositions and wry observations, but the intended effect is not only to challenge the viewer, but to champion the human condition through a surreal resolve.
Surface material has always been an important component in Fabelo’s work. He won an award at the first Havana Biennial in 1984 for the piece, Fragmentos vitales, which consisted of drawings done on irregularly cut Kraft paper and glued directly to the wall, revolutionary in its approach. This type of innovation and modernization helped define him as a leading figure in the Cuban avant-garde movement. Fabelo stands out as a master draftsman as evident in the design of his noteworthy sculptural works and in his recent sardonic anatomical drawings done using re-appropriated pages of anatomy textbooks. The interplay between imagery and text creates an oddly poetic narrative, suggesting a torn page from some distorted illuminated manuscript. Yet another example of his unique artistry is his 3-dimensial reductive drawings on large used blackened metal pots with heavily etched portraits conveying a sense of artistic alchemy.
Awards & Honors: National Arts Award, Ministry of Culture, Havana, 2004; Self portrait in the permanent collection of the Gallery degli Uffizi, Florence, 2002; First Prize at the First Ibero-American Biennial Watercolor, Vina del Mar, Chile, and UNESCO Award for the promotion of the arts, Paris, 1996; First Prize at the XI International Biennial of Drawing of Cleveland, Great Britain, 1993; International Drawing Prize Armando Reveron in the First Biennial of Havana, the Ninth Prize Exhibition Drawing, Rijeka, Yugoslavia and Intergraphik '84 Drawing Award, Berlin, 1984; Acquisition Prize III Triennial of Contemporary Art, New Delhi, India, 1978; and First Prize for Painting at the First National Exhibition Of Professors And Instructors Of Art, Havana, 1973.
Principal Collections: Casa De Las Américas, Havana, Cuba; Centro Wifredo Lam, Havana, Cuba; Fondo Cubano De Bienes Culturales, Havana, Cuba; Galería Del Retrato Yugoslavo, Tuzla, Yugoslavia; Hotel Santiago, Santiago De Cuba, Cuba; Museo De Arte Moderno, New Delhi, India; Museo De Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico; Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba; Museo Universitario Del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico; Nordylland Kunstmuseum, Aalborg, Denmark; Taller Experimental De Gráfica (TEG), Havana, Cuba.