ON EXHIBIT NOW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2014
SUMMER RECEPTION – AUGUST 2, 2014, 6 – 8PM
Hudson, New York – FRG OBJECTS & DESIGN / ART is pleased to exhibit a collection of visionary works rarely seen in the United States, by the Cuban artist, Belkis Ayón (Havana, 1967-1999). A selection of her early work will be on view through September 30, 2014, with a summer reception on August 2 from 6-8pm.
The ten prints in this exhibit, created between 1991 to 1996, are the formative works of Belkis Ayón. In these early works, made during her final student years and her professional life, Ayón drew on a myriad of sources, from early Christian icons to present day Cuban culture. Inspired by the creation myth of the all-male secret society Abakuá and working in a powerful, sustained surge of creative energy from 1988 to 1999, Ayón invented a new visual vocabulary. She used this language to give voice to Sikán, the central female figure of the Abakuá myth, but by the end of her life Ayón was speaking with haunting fluency about herself. In the process, she emerged as one of the leading artist of her generation, producing, before early death in 1999, a body of work that uses the language of secrets, codes and mystery to depict her once private and public, strange and familiar world.
Ayón found the visual void of the religion to be a tremendous challenge and opportunity to her artistic imagination. In giving Sikán shape and surroundings, she broke the silence and accomplished two things: she created an archive of images that serves as the first visual documentation of Abakuá, and in doing so created a sourcebook for her own emotional expression. This vision, along with her stunning use of collography on a heroic scale, brought her international acclaim. Her passing at the age of 32 represents a tear in the rich tapestry of contemporary Cuban art that has yet to be fully repaired or measured.
The Abakuá world Ayón depicted is of sharply contrasting black and white tones, which are reflected in the use of xylography, and lithography, known as “colography”. In the colography process, prints are made from a plate, which itself is in essence a collage.
In regard to her technique Ayón was quoted as saying, “I use collography because it seems to me that technique is more appropriate for saying what I want. This is the main reason. Furthermore, it is the technique with which I can work on a large scale, which I want, and I like what the process of making them brings to the pieces. Therefore I enjoy the whole process tremendously.”
So revered in the Cuban art world that the Cuban government declared her work a patrimony, and for a time after Belkis Ayón’s death, the work was not allowed to leave the country. Ayón’s work is sought by collectors and galleries in U.S. and Europe and included in New York’s Museum of Modern Art print collection.
FRG OBJECTS & DESIGN / ART is poised to be a key destination for design professionals in search of the unexpected and an oasis of urban sophistication for the weekend shopper.
Special thanks to Carole and Alex Rosenberg for facilitating the exhibition.
Image: Belkis Ayón, Sikán con chivo, 1995, 35″ x 27″
FRG OBJECTS & DESIGN / ART
217 Warren Street, 2nd Floor
Hudson, New York 12534
Thursday – Monday Noon – 6:00 pm
and by appointment.
FRG Objects & Design / Art Gallery on Facebook
FRG Objects & Design on Facebook