A week after the XIII Biennial of Havana closes its doors, Arte por Excelencias talks with the Portuguese Nuno Sacramento, one of the international gallerist and curators who have traveled ex professo to the Cuban capital to learn about Cuban contemporary art.
As a gallerist, what motivated you to travel to Cuba at this time?
The strong reason for choosing these dates was the inauguration of the XIII Biennial of Havana, a biennial that I am very interested in seeing and collaborating, because I work with several Cuban artists.
In general, what did you think of the Biennial?
First, congratulate the organization for such a large and diverse art show, and also for the quality of the proposals presented. It seems to me that this Biennial is becoming an art fair. There are too many collateral proposals, even at the same time and on the same day and time, which makes it impossible to be present at all the sites.
Do you notice any difference between the Havana Biennial and other fairs and biennials in which you participate?
A Biennial is very different from an art fair. A fair seeks the sale of art and the promotion of artists and a Biennial should not worry about sales. A Biennial has as main objective to present new proposals that make us think and reflect. They should be innovative proposals, with careful curation.
What do you think of international participation? Any project to highlight?
International participation is always very important in all aspects, from the exchange of artistic knowledge to collective thinking and interpretation. For me, the most appreciated international proposals were the Spanish Suso33 and Okuda San Miguel or the Puerto Rican Bernardo Medina.
Apart from visiting the studios of artists with whom you work regularly, what other Cuban artists called your attention? Will a new project for your galleries in Portugal come out of this trip?
In these biennials there are always many interesting proposals. It was a great pleasure to meet the work of Nana del Riego, which we invite to exhibit in our gallery in Portugal (November 2019), along with Lianet Martínez Pino. And there is an open study proposal with the twins Greta and Gabriela Reyna, here in our Artistic Residence.
We are also organizing, for October 2020, a personal sample of Andy Llanes Bultó (one of the young Cubans who regularly attends Art Madrid, with the Collage Havana gallery).
This May, will you be at one of the contemporary art fairs in Portugal?
Yes, we will be at the JUSTLX fair in Lisbon, with a Portuguese artist named Xana Abreu.
Can you tell us what other artists and projects we will see this year at Nuno Sacramento Contemporary Art and NH Design Gallery?
In addition to the proposals of the Cuban artists that I already mentioned, this year we will have in Nuno Sacramento an individual exhibition of the Portuguese Gil Maia. And in the city of Porto, at Nh Design, there will be a group exhibition with some of the artists participating in the exhibition "15 years with art", from the Bairrada Wine Museum.
Photos: courtesy of Nuno Sacramento