For some reason, fitting tributes never fail to arrive and having found an ideal time and place to interact with others, often from an earlier time, they also pay homage to artistic mastery.

In such a fashion, two exhibitions, one collective and another individual, of great Cuban masters stand out amongst those recently organized and associated with the visual arts.

“Base/Superestructura“ is the title of the exhibition by 2014 National Arts Prize winner, Lázaro Saa vedra, at the WifredoLamContemporary ArtsCenter in Havana.

For some reason, fitting tributes never fail to arrive and having found an ideal time and place to interact with others, often from an earlier time, they also pay homage to artistic mastery.In part suspended since it’s opening from structural beams, this is a show that has challenged the traditional concept that it is on only the walls or floors of the Museum of Fine Arts that work can be exhibited.

Saavedra delights again in renewing his affair with the institutions, that has been marked by an extensive career of concessions to galleries, which in turn facilitated broad debates about society and the art that encircles it.

The building itself is amenable to the counterplacing of conceptual works that allude to a Marxist philosophy prominent since Marx borrowed license from architectural categories to explain his theory, and in this regard the artist jokes that “when a thief steals from a thief, all are forgiven”.

In one way, this exhibition addresses diverse levels – an upper and a lower – in a clear reflection of it’s title, intentions that later become fragments on canvas and walls and swing to counter arguments that the artist describes as a reference to what binds the creator to his work.

Beyond the levels into which it is sectioned – installations, interventions, paintings and video – there is the added possibilty of experiencing these as a journey through the various stages of this artist’s creative trajectory.

Also during February, on the far side of the city, the “La Acacia” gallery is hosting “Line Up”, a collective exhibition of drawings in which creations by almost 40 Cuban artists of the genre converge.

Works by Víctor Manuel, Fidelio Ponce, Wifredo Lam, Eduardo Ponjuán, Tonel, Roberto Fabelo, Glenda León, Kcho, René Francisco and Glauber Ballestero which, combined with the other contributors, seem to comply with the curatorial intention to a provoke generational dialogue.

Line Up, through an endeavor to unite works in this form that traverse more than century, celebrates the 15th annivesray of Genesis, a company dealing in the sale of Cuban art and responsible for the administration of a number of galleries, including The Acacia.

Whatever one decides, these are two excellent shows: the new scenario and the fidelity of Saavedra to projects from the 80’s, with Line Up offering a visual chronology resolved in works that travel from the vanguard to the most contemporaneous of Cuban sketches.

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