Cuban Art and Architecture at Architecture Omi

September 16, 2012 – May, 2013

Artists Reception: Sunday, September 16, 12 noon-3pm
* The artists will give a presentation on their work at 1:30 during the opening

Architecture Omi presents SKYLINE ADRIFT: Cuban Art and Architecture, a politically and aesthetic ground-breaking show of multi-disciplinary, site-specific installations by two Havana based architects and two internationally established Cuban artists. SKYLINE ADRIFT will be on view September 16, 2012 through May, 2013 at Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, New York. An artists reception will be open to the public on Sunday September 16th from 12 Noon to 3 PM.

SKYLINE ADRIFT is curated by Rachel Perera Weingeist, Advisor and Curator, The Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection and Peter Franck, Director, Architecture Omi, with Ricardo Porro, the seminal Cuban architect and educator who provided unparalleled access to the brightest young architectural talent in Havana.

SKYLINE ADRIFT presents large-scale architectonic installations by Cuban architects Yilena Lourdes Feitó Echarri and Yoandy Rizo Fiallo and internationally renowned Cuban visual artists Alexandre Arrechea and Armando Mariño Calzado. The two architects, who had never before left Cuba, were awarded a six-week residency at the Vermont Studio Center for creative development and production of their site-specific installations. They travelled to Omi early in the summer to survey the site for their installations, which will be transported and installed on the grounds of Architecture Omi in early September.

Artists Alexandre Arrechea and Armando Mariño Calzado are well known on the international arts scene. Mariño recently took up residence near Omi in Athens, New York. Arrechea splits his time between Madrid and Havana. They both participate in global art fairs and exhibit in elite museums and galleries around the world and will contribute sophisticated sculptural pieces to the exhibition.

SKYLINE ADRIFT reflects current Cuban creative sensibilities across a broad spectrum of sculpture, architecture and installation art. Although the artists and architects emerge from very different professional pressures, they share the centuries-old traditions in which Cuba’s visual arts are deeply rooted. In creating four site-specific works in the picturesque landscape of Omi International Art Center’s 300-acre campus in New York’s Hudson Valley they will confront the quintessential rural context of New England, far removed from the ecological, political and cultural praxis of Havana. According to Architecture Omi Director Peter Franck, “this exhibition will introduce the current state of architectonic discourse in Cuba to the world outside Havana.”

“We wanted to offer Cuban architects the same opportunity more commonly granted to painters, ballet dancers and musicians in their country.  This program is a great example of the power of international cultural exchange and we expect for it to have a ripple effect on Cuba’s architecture community upon their return” added Weingeist.

Reflecting on the project, Ricardo Porro remarked “in architecture, we always begin with the problem of function and add poetry to that function. For this project, the architects are being asked to respond poetically to the landscape without the restriction of function….I do believe that an architect should be a painter and a sculptor and this, in essence is what this show is asking these young architects to be.”

SKYLINE ADRIFT is made possible by the JM Kaplan Fund, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown, The Vermont Studio Center and Omi International Arts Center. Very special thanks to Francis Greenburger, Jon Gregg, Roxana González, María Elena Martín Zequeira, Alysa Nahmias, Mario’s Home Center (Valatie, NY), Ricardo Porro and Shelley and Donald Rubin.

Alexandre Arrechea sketch

Yoandy Rizo Fiallo