Cernuda Arte Exhibit Fuego En El Batey by Mario Carreno 7/3/09

CERNUDA ARTE WILL EXHIBIT ON FRIDAY, JULY 3, AT 7:00 P.M. THE ICONIC PAINTING FUEGO EN EL BATEY
BY CUBAN MASTER MARIO CARREÑO, ACQUIRED FOR 2.18 MILLION DOLLARS AT CHRISTIE’S MAY AUCTION IN NEW YORK
MARIO CARREÑO, Fuego en el Batey, 1943,Duco and oil on wood panel,
48 x 65 inches

Cernuda Arte proudly announces the acquisition – in equal partnership with the Rudman Family from the Dominican Republic – of the painting, Fuego en el Batey (Fire in the Sugar-Mill Village) a rediscovered gem of Cuban modernism. The painting, the highest valued work at Christie’s Latin American May sale, sold above its high estimate for 2.18 million dollars. Fuego en el Batey will be exhibited at Cernuda Arte on Friday, July 3rd at 7:00 p.m.
Fuego en el Batey was painted in Cuba, in 1943 and is considered one of three seminal masterworks of a series of paintings on wood panel in Duco and oil rendered by the Cuban master. The painting – known to biographers, art historians and collectors – was regarded as a lost treasure until recently found in the private collection of the late Milton and Nora Ward of New York, where it had been hanging on a wall of their home for more than 50 years. Fuego en el Batey, and two other major Duco works that conform the artist’s celebrated triad – Danza Afrocubana and El Corte de Caña – were exhibited together in Havana, in 1943. One of the exhibitions took place in Galería del Prado (a gallery owned by María Luisa Gómez Mena, the prominent Cuban Maecenas who later married Carreño.) The second one was a one-person-exhibition at Galería Lyceum. It is also believed that in 1944, when Mario Carreño resided for some time in New York, Fuego en el Batey and other works of this period were shown at Perls Galleries.

Fuego en el Batey portrays a scene of a family escaping a fire in the batey (a small village of precariously built houses and stables, in the surroundings of a sugar mill, where the sugar cane cutters and their families lived). The mother rapidly hands the child to a guajiro peasant riding a gallant-spirited horse. In the eyes of the viewer, the guajiro and horse become the heroic figures of this scenario. The moving image of this magnificent painting attests to Carreño’s desire of conveying, in some of his major works of this period, a Cuban national ethos. Regarding the high quality of this masterpiece, art historian Alejandro Anreus says, “The overall meatiness of the figures recalls Picasso’s neo-classic phase, the evocation of movement… brings to mind the Italian Futurists, yet the end product is pure Carreño, a skilled and powerful picture that is both classical and baroque in its pictorial language.”

In celebration of this memorable event, Cernuda Arte will be exhibiting – for the first time in Miami – this resurfaced treasure of Cuban art. We are very fortunate and honored to be able to share the enjoyment of this painting with the South Florida community. The exhibition, Fuego en el Batey, will also feature a group of museum quality works by Mario Carreño’s contemporaries such as, Wifredo Lam, Víctor Manuel, Eduardo Abela, Amelia Peláez, Carlos Enríquez, Fidelio Ponce, Luis Martínez Pedro, René Portocarrero, Cundo Bermúdez and Mariano Rodríguez, among others.

A series of lectures, given by Alejandro Anreus, PhD Professor of Art History and Latin American Studies at William Paterson University, New Jersey; Juan Martínez, PhD Professor of Art History at Florida International University and Architect-Urbanist Nicolás Quintana, Professor Emeritus of Florida International University, will be organized during the time-period of this exhibit.
Our gallery is located at 3155 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, Florida. For further information, please contact us at 305-461-1050 or at cernudaarte@msn.com

cernudaarte.com

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