Apr 30, 2023

Fredric Snitzer Gallery

Fredric Snitzer Gallery

1540 NE Miami Ct
Miami, FL 33132
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José Bedia: 
Simetria Natural

April 18 - May 20, 2023

Fredric Snitzer Gallery is pleased to present Simetria Natural, a solo exhibition of works on paper by Cuban-born artist José Bedia. Within this exhibition, the artist continues his profound exploration of the artistic traditions of Indigenous cultures. As the exhibition’s title suggests, symmetry is naturally produced in all aspects of nature, and this overarching theme is present in this body of work.

Earthy tones pair with vibrant yellow, ochre, rust, turquoise, and blue hues amongst the artist’s signature contrasting black and white silhouettes. Figuration and spiritual iconography remain at the forefront of these newest works, coupled with emerging animal motifs and themes related to the symbiosis between animals, plants, and humans. Specific regional influences throughout the expanse of the exhibition include Northern Mexico, Southeast Asia, Cuba, and Haiti.

The use of symmetry within most of the examples references a dual world in which forces and energies that complement one another are present. The artist’s physical gesture also plays an important role, often using both hands simultaneously to mirror the produced symmetrical image. Symmetry is also a recurring motif in representations of indigenous cultures.

Handmade paper is also a focal point within the exhibition; many examples are pinned directly on the wall to showcase their inherent tactility, imbued with meaning. Indigenous artisans in Central Mexico make the Amate Bark papers that fill the primary gallery. These papers date back to pre-Columbian times and have been used in religious and legal texts. The handmade pulp paper in earthy and purple hues used in the secondary gallery is sourced in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the last remaining of its kind in these six works.

José Bedia (b. 1959, Havana, Cuba) has studied the ritual art of the world’s tribal cultures, believing that there is a universal language of cosmos and existence. He is a priest of Palo Monte, an African religion practiced in Cuba, and has immersed himself in the religion’s history and rituals. The eternal cycle of life and death, the sacred nature of plants and animals, and shamanistic transformation rituals are common themes in his work.

José Bedia was an integral part of the 1981 exhibition Volumen Uno at the Havana International Arts Center, which radically transformed Cuban Art and serves as a milestone in the history of visual arts in Cuba. He participated in the first Havana Biennial in 1984 and was later selected to represent Cuba at the Venice Biennale in 1990. Two years later, he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in New York.

Current and forthcoming museum exhibitions include a solo exhibition, Viaje Circular (Circular Journey), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (MARCO), MX, and a group exhibition, Chosen Memories: Contemporary Latin American Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift and Beyond, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.

Important solo exhibitions include Persistencia del Uso (Persistence of Use) at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, where he obtained the Grand Prize of the Landscape Salon (1984); Magiciens de la Terre, Centre Pompidou (1989); Brevísima Relación de la Destrucción de las Indias (A Brief Account of the Indies’ Destruction) at the Carrillo Gil Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico DF (1992); De donde vengo (Where I Come From) at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (1994); Cosas Redondas (Round Things) Fort Lauderdale Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1995); Entre dos Mundos (Between Two Worlds) at the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM) in Valencia, Spain (2010); and Transcultural Pilgim at the Fowler Museum in UCLA, California (2012).

Bedia’s works are part of several collections, including the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba; the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; the Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany; and the Perez Art Museum, Miami, Florida; among others. Bedia works and resides in Miami, FL.

About Fredric Snitzer Gallery

Founded in 1977, Fredric Snitzer Gallery is running strong as a leader in the contemporary art market in Miami. Committed to presenting work across all media including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, and performance from a diverse range of contemporary artists, the gallery has maintained a rigorous exhibition schedule that features at least eight rotating exhibitions by its artists each year.

Fredric Snitzer was one of the early champions of contemporary Latin American art in the United States. The gallery is known in leading the way with Cuban artists exhibitions early on, noteworthy was the Cuban rafters exhibition “They would rather die” in the 80’s. Avant-garde Cuban artists in particular continue to have a strong presence in the gallery’s roster. The gallery has also launched international careers for emerging Miami artists, such as Hernan Bas. Important Miami based artists are significant to the gallery’s roster, as well as New York artists- Alice Aycock, Alan Sonfist, Los Angeles artists-Jon Pylypchuk, Alexander Kroll, Iva Gueorguieva, Kenny Scharf and Cuban based artists, Alexander Arrechea (former member of Los Carpinteros), and Cuba’s National Fine Arts Award winner Lazaro Saavedra.

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