Cuban Printmakers at Childs Gallery, Boston

  • BOSTON, Massachusetts
  • /
  • July 16, 2013

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Sandra Ramos, "Cuadrimomentum", 2011. Aquatint.

Childs Gallery's - 169 Newbury Street, Boston, MA -  exhibition Cuban Printmakers presents a selection of prints by two contemporary Cuban artists, Osmeivy Pacheco Ortega (b. 1980) and Sandra Ramos (b. 1969). These two printmakers work within the traditions of art – either through subject or technique – to both further the craft of printmaking and to create thoroughly modern works that speak to their current condition under Castro’s communism. Ortega is a master wood engraver influenced by Albrect Dürer (German, 1471-1528), and Ramos is the master of the aquatint, as seen in her work Cuadrimomentum, an homage to M. C. Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972). This exhibition highlights Childs Gallery's effort to juxtapose their extensive traditional print offerings with the work of contemporary artists who engage with and reinvigorate these traditions.

Sandra Ramos lives and works in Havana, Cuba and is one of the country’s best known contemporary artists. Through a compelling visual dialogue, Ramos has gained an international reputation by expressing her personal relationship to Cuba’s political and social realities regardless of the state’s official party-line. Her prints use familiar characters from literature, history, and folk-lore to make political and social statements and to build context within her work. One such character is a self-portrait that has appropriated the dress of Alice in Wonderland.  By remaking her own image into that of Alice, Ramos pointedly comments on the surrealistic aspect of every-day life in Cuba.

Osmeivy Ortega Pacheco, "Paisaje", 2011. Woodblock print.

Ramos studied at the prestigious San Alejandro Art Academy and the Superior Institute of Art, both in Havana. She has exhibited and curated in several Havana Biennales, and won the grand prize in the National Printmakers Salon in Havana in 1993. She has exhibited extensively for over twenty years at venues which include Museo Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba; Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria; Sheldon Museum of Art, Nebraska; Lyman Allyn Art Museum, New London, CT; Ringling Museum, Tampa, FL; Miura Museum of Art, Matsuyama, Japan and Urasoe Museum, Okinawa, Japan. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Fuchu Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, among many others world-wide.

Osmeivy Ortega Pacheco is one of Cuba’s great emerging printmakers. After studying at the Manero Workshop, Ortega graduated in 2003 from the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts in Havana. He was hired as a professor from his alma mater and has taught there intermittently since 2003. He is thoroughly committed to using traditional printmaking techniques to convey his artistic principles, feeling that new techniques would “destroy his concepts”. One can see the direct influence of Dürer in his woodcuts and Michelangelo in his anatomical studies. His textures are exquisitely rendered, and stark in their simplicity.

Osmeivy Ortega Pacheco, "Horse and Thistle". Wood engraving.

Ortega insists that his work rarely addresses politics directly, and instead focus on social issues. However, it is difficult not to read into the stark imagery of his works, such as Paisaje which depicts a group of turkeys behind a chain-link fence. Ortega often uses animals within the lexicon of his iconography. Another animal that appears frequently are zebras, which point to Cuba’s African heritage. 

While his work has been exhibited extensively in Cuba, including at the tenth and eleventh Havana Biennales, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the London Print Studio, and in Sweden, Mexico, Panama, his work is still relatively undiscovered in the United States. Childs Gallery is pleased to introduce this talented young artist to a wider American audience.

View the exhibition on-line at:

Stephanie Bond
Childs Gallery

Childs Gallery
169 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts
About Childs Gallery

Established 1937. Fine American and European Paintings, Prints, Drawings, Watercolors and Sculpture.

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