Report from Havana: Printmaking and the “State of the Art” By Steven Daiber, October 5, 2019
Thirteen years after its final exhibition, La huella múltiple continues to influence younger printmakers in Cuba. The collective Haciendo presión and the Taller Experimental de Gráfica create opportunities for exhibitions and dialogue. Cuban print artists struggle with supplies, equipment, and working conditions. Yet through it all they continue to create compelling, evocative work. The “state” of printmaking is strong in Cuba.
Our recent chat with curator Cristina Vives about the increased international interest in Belkis Ayón reminded us of the important role that printmaking has played in contemporary Cuban art since the 1980s. We asked Steven Daiber—director of the US-based print organization Red Trillium Press and a longtime friend of the Cuban printmaking community—for a report on his most recent trip to the island. His article reflects on the current state of printmaking in Cuba as a form of artistic expression, as well as the history of some well- known printmaking studios and artists’ print collectives.
The conditions are good for printmaking in Cuba, says Anyelmaidelin Calzadilla Fernández, director of printmaking at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro, the acclaimed art school that recently celebrated its 200th anniversary. . . .