belongs to the 1980's generation of Cuban artists.
existential language is based on the use of the stylized human figure; the treatment and context of which transmits an array of messages ranging from the political denunciation to the purely poetic.
Humberto Castro, Mis ideas determinan tus limitaciones, 1988
: The Paris Years, is his
first individual exhibition in a US museum.
The collection presents a retrospective vision of Castro's work, which includes a selection of the artistic production completed during his
stay in the City of Light (1989-1999), as well as a painting done in Cuba and various recent pieces done in Miami.
During the first years in Paris, Castro
completed two series based on the Minotaur and the zodiac signs.
The pieces chosen for the exhibition show how all the characteristics already mentioned consolidate as the artist explores the effects of time on human existence.
The Parisian elegance and glamour are tacitly shown in the figures of the early 1990's.
Strong tones are combined with fluidity of line, creating sensual and even erotic images.
For instance, in La luna más alta (The Highest Moon) (1990), the fire-red hues make the main figure, a nude woman lying in a provocative pose, look more aggressive.
, Sea Horse, 1998, Museum of Fort Lauderdale
After a transitory period, when he
produced earth-colored works with more universal symbols, like La luna y la espiral (The Moon and the Spiral) (Equinox, 1991), Castro
develops a series based on the Minotaur.
, Minotauro, 1994
In 1995, as the massive exodus of Cuban balseros went on, Castro
develops a new theme.
New organic forms appear in his
canvases, specifically the snail, a symbol of the home and of the traveler who carries his
home on its shoulders (Bleu [Blue], 1998).
Cuba's map, as well as the balsero , also appears in some of the pieces (Fuga nocturna [Night Escape], 1995).
They are symbols that avoid being anecdotal due to Castro's contextual treatment of them in each individual painting.
From the marine theme forward -and surely influenced by the pneumatic inner tubes used by the balseros- Castro
develops several paintings where figures appear enclosed in circular spaces.
It is obvious, Castro
has reached maturity in his
These pieces, like Invasión (Invasion), 2001, and Cuerda Floja (Tight Rope), 2001, show total technical as well as thematic mastery.
, Como los peses, 1998
Perhaps this is the reason why he
explores the realms of sculpture and installation.
The exhibit presents various works in bronze: Minotauro, 2001, a torso that makes reference to the work done in Paris; Maredón, 2001, a character sitting on a chair with his
hands tied and strangled by an oar; and El muro de los lamentos (The Wailing Wall), 2001, a character with an incrusted oar placed in front of a wall painted with skulls.
These tridimensional pieces are of great force, but they lack the sensuality of the pictorial works.
No doubt, the theme of exile is too strong to be represented in a form other than the hard image Humberto Castro
depicts in his
, Learning to Share, 2007