From Sept 4th through Nov 7th, 2009.
The Miami Dade College (MDC) Art Gallery System officially opens its art gallery season by paying tribute to one of Cuba’s greatest artists: the late master Cundo Bermúdez, with the exhibition Under a Brilliant Sun: Cundo Bermúdez into the 21st Century at its national historic landmark the Freedom Tower.
The exhibition will honor this master’s fertile career and his contribution to modern art by highlighting an outstanding selection of more than one hundred paintings, drawings and sculptures, including an important part of his latest artworks never shown in an exhibition of this magnitude.
Cundo Bermúdez, one of the last members of the important Cuban Vanguard movement, died on October 30th, 2008 at the age of 94. He had called Miami home for the last twenty years of his life and was painting and drawing up until the end. Cundo was one of the first Cuban Modernists to be collected by the Museum of Modern Art as two of his nine paintings exhibited in the landmark Cuban Paintings exhibition in 1944 were accessioned.
He was a very prolific artist who lived for his art. Only music rivaled this passion of his and he was known to paint and draw while listening to favorite works by famous Cuban composers. It is, therefore, not surprising that one of the works for which Cundo is best known – at least in Miami – is the wonderful mural he designed for the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Designed during the years 1997-1999, it heralded a new phase for Cundo as he entered the 21st century determined to create a body of work for a new era. Approximately half of this exhibition is devoted to these works – a testament to the artist’s remarkably strong will to create.
Over the more than 70 years of a long and illustrious career, Bermudez had accomplished so much. From participation in the groundbreaking MoMa exhibit of 1944 to the completion of major public commissions to representation in major public and private collections, Bermudez was one of the leading figures in 20th Century Cuban art.
“We are honored to be the site of the first major exhibition of Cundo’s work following his passing. It’s especially moving to pay tribute to this great artist at the Freedom Tower,” said MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón. “I want to thank Bank of America and the college’s art gallery system team for making this exhibition possible.”
Under a Brilliant Sun: Cundo Bermúdez into the 21st Century honors the prolific career of Bermúdez and his contributions to modern art by showcasing a selection of works that includes some of his latest and featuring pieces never shown in exhibitions.
This exhibition highlights a considerable body of work created by Bermúdez in the last decade of his life when he called Miami home. “Meeting Cundo and watching him work was one of the highlights of this author’s curatorial career and I am honored to have had the opportunity to spend time with him. It is not often that an art historian is able to meet an artist whose career spanned so many years.” said art historian, researcher and curator of the exhibition Ruth Grim.
Cundo Bermúdez is part of a generation of artists that reshaped and gave new directions to art in Latin America like the depictions of daily life of their own rounded existences and the use of new concepts in the linear treatment of the figure. These approaches are common in artists like Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, José Clemente Orozco in México; Fernando de Szyszlo and Ricardo Grau in Perú; Joaquín Torres-García and Gonzalo Fonseca in Uruguay; Tarsila do Amaral in Brazil; Emilio Pettoruti, Juan del Prete and Gyula Kusice in Argentina and Armando Reverón in Venezuela.
“This unique exhibition is a point of departure to explore the many other elements of painting that were not only important to Cundo but also to the evolution of Cuban and Latin American art through modernism”. Said Jorge Luis Gutierrez, Director of MDC Art Gallery System. “This exhibition provides a complete narrative to the many facets of his remarkable accomplishments.”
Miami Dade College – Freedom Tower Gallery
600 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33132