On the corner of Monserrate and Tejadillo, in Old Havana, there is a space dedicated to the promotion and sale of contemporary Cuban art. It is the gallery Maxima Gallery-Studio, directed and represented by Yaiset Ramírez, who has more than 10 years of experience working with artists who advocate for contemporary art.
The gallery is registered in the Cuban Fund for Cultural Assets and regardless of the format - whether it is sculpture, painting, or installation - the goal is to prepare the optimal conditions to showcase the work of established artists, as well as that of young artists on the rise.
This Studio-Workshop was born in the context of the 13th Havana Biennial "The Construction of the Possible", in April 2019. Its doors opened to show the collective exhibition Lights, evaluated by its specialist Gabriel Cedeño as "works with very good results, which "people liked", with the "presence of a variety of techniques, styles and discourses".
The artists Douglas Pérez Castro, Rafael Villares, Irving Vera, Jorge López Pardo and Juan Suárez Blanco were in charge of this first exhibition, under the curatorship of Caridad Blanco, an important art critic in our country.
Each quarter a new exhibition is opened to the public for a month. Lights was followed by the exhibition Finale's Worlds, a personal exhibition of the artist Moisés Finale.
This time the exhibition was curated by Nelson Herrera Ysla, and considered by the creator himself as a "strange exhibition", referring to the conjunction of old works with others of recent turnover. The pieces date from the '80 and '90 of the last century, others were signed in 2019. It could be defined as an encounter between the new and the old.
Finale's exhibition gave way to Counterpoint, a show by artist Juan Suárez who lives in Pinar del Río. In his pieces it is remarkable a new freshness, attractive, evocative for the spectator, either because of his purified invoice or because of his poetic titles. The presentation was curated by Yaiset Ramírez and the artist himself, while the words of the catalogue were in charge of David Mateo, a significant art critic, who expresses about the show: "The pictorial works that he now exhibits in Contrapunto have taken that dramatism, that narrative tension of the parable, to a peak of exponentiality, always putting before it the technical skill and the aesthetic sense of its representation".
For the next quarter, a sample of the Douglas Perez cigar is planned to be presented, one year after the opening.
Msxima Gallery-Studio, although it is dedicated to promoting the work of young and established artists, includes the realization of programs to the community where it is geographically inserted. The highest intention is to socialize and bring the work closer to the public and vice versa. This community profile is aimed at workshops with children.
Maxima's catalogue includes 11 artists who actively collaborate in the work of the new institution. And not only does it work with plastic artists, but also with designers. This is evident in the good invoice of catalogues and promotions, in the fresh and current image that the gallery maintains.
In these times of social networks, of global village and super connection, Maxima bets on becoming visible also from that scenario. It serves its Facebook community, where other artists share their work and academic texts. It also takes advantage of the virtual platform to reveal its work and its community dimension.
In less than a year, he has gained more than eight hundred followers in different networks. The website is updated with news and interviews. The "Thought Wednesdays", and "Humorous Fridays", are two spaces that provide greater visualization and reach.
The thoughts that they propose and share come from the artists in the catalogue like this one of Juan Suarez, speaking about his work last Wednesday, January 22, 2020: "We must cut to the chase. We use the knife in domestic life, I never thought it was an element of aggression, but to mean that I have one part that is rusty, but there is still another part that cuts".
Maxima Gallery-Studio is a new space where you can share, promote and learn the best of contemporary Cuban art.
Wendy Ramos Cáreces, student of Conservation and Restoration of Movable Goods, specialty of the University of the Arts of Cuba