The exhibition ¨Estampas del aire. Aguafuertes españoles del siglo XX¨ was the perfect excuse for Cuba’s National Museum of Fine Arts to reopen its Universal Art Building, which was closed due to various technical issues.

Open to the public in early February, the collection El Aire consists of 16 engravings by Spanish artists from the 20th century, curator Manuel Crespo informed.

This is the first time that this collection has been presented separately, because its pieces had already been on display as part of other collections.

The exhibition ¨Estampas del aire. Aguafuertes españoles del siglo XX¨ was the perfect excuse for Cuba’s National Museum of Fine Arts to reopen its Universal Art Building, which was closed due to various technical issues.Among the Spanish artists represented at the exhibition are Rafael Canogar, Lucio Muñoz, Juan Genovés, Amalia Avia, Eduardo Úruculo, Carlos León and José Luis Fajardo –the only one from the group that has set up a personal exhibit in Cuba.

Though from different generations, their works earned them great recognition during the second half of the 20th century.

Crespo highlighted the different styles represented by the works, which range from abstractionism- a prevailing trend- to expressionism and even representational art.

This is the reason why it is so fascinating to have them all on display at the same time. It turns out to be a small and heterogeneous exhibit that features the art of engraving, which is rated within many circles as minor art, the curator noted.

Collagraphy, the technique used by the artists, makes these pieces exceptional, as it is one of the oldest printmaking techniques, thus giving great pleasure both to visitors and experts, Crespo stressed.

The pieces were made in 1993 upon a request by Iberia Airlines to mark the anniversary of its founding. The company took advantage of the recognition won by the artists and the fact that the technique used allows the pieces to be reproduced.

In May of that same year, being one of Iberia’s destination sites, Havana welcomed the pieces reproduced on paper as part of an exhibition entitled ¨La colección de arte más viajera¨ (The Number One Traveling Art Exhibition), which was later on donated to the National Museum of Fine Arts.

Committed to its responsibility as an institution in charge of exhibiting its assets, the Cuban museum has now chosen to have the Spanish engravings on display.

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