Combining art and epistemology, the work of Cuban artist Gustavo Pérez Monzón (b. 1956, Sancti Spiritus, Cuba) is characterized by an inherent interest in logic and meaning. Working intermittently for over four decades, and drawing influence from conceptualism and minimalism, Pérez Monzón has honed a unique sensibility towards organic materials and geometrical forms. He is recognized predominantly for his vast paintings of dots and lines made from mixed media; large-scale line drawings carved from aluminium powder and pigment; and immersive installations of wire, stone and thread. Influences on his work range from avant-garde Latin American artists; the spirituality of Abstract Expressionist painters; the processes of the Arte Povera movement; and the sculptors of Land and Earth art in the late 1960s and early 1970s; as well as the writings of Carlos Castaneda.
One of the most enigmatic Cuban artists of the late 20th-Century, Pérez Monzón first emerged in the early 1980s as part of a generation of artists loosely known as Volumen Uno, whose exhibition at Centro de Arte Internacional (1981) is considered a watershed in the history of Cuban art. In the mid 1980s, despite considerable critical acclaim, Pérez Monzón decided to take a hiatus from making art and began to focus his attention on teaching, moving to Mexico permanently in the 1990s.
Pérez Monzón represented Cuba at the Paris Biennial in 1982 and his work featured in the first Havana Biennial in 1984 and again in 2015 with the major retrospective Tramas at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana. The exhibition was organized by the Ella Fontanals Cisneros Collection following a rediscovery of his work by the great Cuban collector, subsequently traveling to the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) in Miami, Florida, USA (2015–2016). His work was recently the subject of the solo exhibition WEFTS at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico (2018), where the artist currently lives and works.
[Richard Saltoun Gallery]