Dalles Hall, Bucharest, Romania

The exhibition was organized by the State Committee for Culture and Arts. It was the second exhibition of Cuban painting in the 1960s, following the exhibition with a similar title (Exhibition of Contemporary Art from Cuba) presented at Dalles Hall in 1962.

Both exhibitions were the result of diplomatic exchanges between socialist countries, and mark the beginning of cultural cooperation and bilateral exchanges with socialist countries outside the Soviet Union and the Eastern European bloc after the thaw.

In the 1966 exhibition, the relaxation and fluidity of the socialist realist aesthetic canon, started in the late 1950s is clearly marked. Local art critic N. Argintescu-Amza noticed pre-Columbian hints in Rene Portocarrero’s paintings, neoromantic pathos with expressionist hints inspired by mexican muralists at Antonia Eiriz Vazquez, a mixture of decorative and symbolic elements, as well as a collage made up of readymade elements reminiscent of French and Italian new realism in the works of Antonio Vidal, as well as a propensity towards abstraction (Luis Martinez Pedro).

It is also remarkable that socialist values (depiction of the working class) are combined in this exhibition with elements of decolonial and anti-imperialist aesthesis and politics, suggested, for instance, by references to indigenous visual patterns, as well as by the subject-matter of some compositions exhibited, such as Luis Martinez Pedro’s “Territorial waters”.