In the Center of April
Mariano Rodríguez - Raúl Martínez - Servando Cabrera Moreno
Historical painting as a genre is inspired by scenes or events from mythology, recreations of literature and manifest events in history, it also proposes noble and credible examples. It thus expresses an interpretation of life or conveys a moral or intellectual message. They are usually large-format paintings where the allegory is included. Some works base their discourse not only on the story they tell, but also recreate them from the tradition, iconography or idiosyncrasy of a place or an event that marks a milestone in a country or region. That is to say, it is called "historical" not only because it represents historical events, but because it narrates the times, their protagonists, their essences, their contexts and their repercussions. En el centro de Abril is a curatorial thesis project with a historical character, which articulates his discourse through the treatment of the revolutionary epic in the visual arts of the sixties in Cuba. It takes its title from the song “Preludio de Girón” by Cuban troubadour Silvio Rodríguez. The works that make up this exhibition are all part of the heritage of our nation, and come from the funds of the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Government Palace of the State Council. The corner of 23 and 12 is a city icon of Havana. It was the place where, in the middle of April 1961, a transcendent event in our national history took place: the Declaration of the Socialist Character of the Cuban Revolution. Coincidentally, this is our physical location as a cultural space; our Gallery is located here and it owes its name to it. These are reasons that today allow us to conceive this exhibition, with six pieces and three essential artists of the pictorial production of those historical years. Our allegorical speech, with a resounding intellectual message, puts Raúl Martínez, Servando Cabrera and Mariano Rodríguez in a dialogue, at the founding epicenter of a lavish decade for the art and life of Cuba. The selected pieces have as a unifying element or common thread the handling of themes of the social reality of that period. The exhibition oscillates between the presence of the human figure of Mariano Rodríguez, the intertwining of the bodies of Servando Cabrera and the recreation of the popular imagination of Raúl Martínez. All have a powerful visual and semantic impact, establish a parliament between the different trends of the time: abstraction, new figuration and pop, while, from their discursive diversity, they braid a declaratory alliance of history and culture in the Cuban nation.