Current Institutional Affiliation
Doctoral Candidate, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2015
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Art History/Architecture, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Bowling for Moscow: Cuban Art and Soviet Visual Culture, 1959-1991

This research studies the complex relationship between Cuban art and Soviet visual culture from 1959 to 1991. It focuses on the way in which shifts in centralized cultural policies impacted the work of Cuban artists who studied in art academies in the former Soviet Union between 1977 and 1984. And it also deals with artists who studied art with Soviet instructors teaching in Cuba's ISA (Instituto Superior de Arte / Higher Institute of Art), and those who appropriated Soviet imagery that circulated in Cuba through propaganda and mass culture. These three groups of artists amount to a significant portion of a generation whose aesthetic lineage has been discussed in relation to Western contemporary art. Through case studies of artists, and comparative visual and iconographic analysis of their work against the backdrop of a complex socio-political period, I will demonstrate that Soviet visual culture also had a significant impact on Cuban art. To this date, this topic has been overlooked probably due to the lack of access to archival resources in Cuba, and in the former USSR, as well as the language barrier of Spanish and Russian. Bowling for Moscow: Cuban art and Soviet visual culture, 1959-1991 will study the rich dialogic relationship that Cuban artists established with Soviet visual culture, filling a significant gap in the scholarship on Cuban art.