The catalog José Villa Soberón: son of the space was presented in the theater room of the National Museum of Fine Arts as part of the theoretical program of the XIII Biennial of Havana and with the presence of Eusebio Leal Spengler, historian of the city of Havana; Norma Rodríguez Derivet, president of the National Council of Plastic Arts; Nereyda López Labrada, general secretary of the Trade Union of Workers of Culture; and art critics Lillian Llanes Godoy and Rafael Acosta de Arriba.
Silvana Garriga, the editor of the volume, explained that the book includes an essay by Dr. Lillian Llanes with an unusual title: «For Villa, with admiration and affection», that does not quarrel with the depth of the analysis. «It is striking—he noted—Lillian's intelligent imbrication between significant moments in the artist's biography and his own work. It also makes a very synthetic journey through the avatars of monumental sculpture in Cuba and in the world». She added that in the book there is a tour of paradigmatic works in the career of Villa Soberón as the star of Che of the Palace of the Pioneers, the flags of the Mausoleum to the Martyrs of March 13 in the Cemetery of Columbus, the monument to Mariana Grajales , the Andean cross in Bolivia, the Lennon of 17 and 6 in El Vedado and the Caballero de París of the Calle Oficios in Old Havana, with analyzes extracted from already published essays by María de los Ángeles Pereira, Abel Prieto, Adelaida de Juan , Facundo Tomás and Rufo Caballero, among other intellectuals.
Rafael Acosta highlighted in the presentation of José Villa Soberón: son of space that the sculptor brings together in his person several attributes that have made him excel in the artistic and cultural landscape of the country. «He has been a teacher and educator of several generations of artists, he is one of the most important in the history of sculpture in Cuba and as a cultural personality he has been involved in the debates and major battles that have taken place in this field in the last thirty years. When I say that it is one of the most important figures of our sculpture, I am not only contributing a personal criterion, but I agree with the main scholars of this artistic manifestation in the country ».
José Villa Soberón, who holds the National Prize for Fine Arts in 2008 and the Alejo Carpentier Medal of the State Council of the Republic of Cuba, emphasized the fact that the book, like all his work, is the effort of many people who have always accompanied him.
The historian of the city, Eusebio Leal, pointed out that everything contained in the book will always be insufficient, because it is a work that has not ended. «The artist manages to play several instruments with success, he is like an orchestra director who, at the same time as he can direct the compass and the harmony of each of the instruments, is capable at a certain moment of taking on any of them. It is impossible to establish in his work a duel between the abstract and the figurative, because few can do it. Villa has been a cultor of that Cuban and universal sculptural tradition. His work has lived up to the best that can be found in Havana, Latin America and the world. Today we congratulate you from the heart. First of all, and above all, José Villa Soberón is a Cuban artist ».
On the cover: Eusebio Leal with the artist in the presentation of his catalog