In collaboration with Francisco Arevalo, a comprehensive exhibit of works on paper from the sixties and seventies by Cuban artist Ernesto Briel are presented @ S2 Gallery in London along with the works of Tess Jaray (Gallery One)from November 24th 2017 through January 26th, 2018. Born in 1943, Ernesto Briel found inspiration in Optical Art amidst the constraints and limitations of his native country following the Cuban revolution. Facing both the isolation imposed by the US cultural embargo of the sixties, and the relentless persecution by the Castro regime against homosexuality during the early seventies, Briel found motivation in these challenges that would nurture his prolific artistic life. He was instrumental in the circulation of geometric abstraction in Cuba at this time. Many of his artworks that are included in this exhibition were printed in Signos; a national magazine published in a conscious effort to prevent cultural isolation. Briel left Cuba through the Mariel boatlift in 1980 and continued his practice in New York, receiving the Cintas Foundation fellowship award in 1988-1989 and exhibiting in a number of solo and group shows. These exhibitions included the now historically relevant Duo Geo show in 1992, which featured Briel’s work alongside his friend and fellow Cuban artist, Carmen Herrera. Briel died of AIDS-related complications in 1992. His legacy lives through the myriad of challenges he overcame and his commitment to his artistic practice, especially the international language of Op Art, as a means to transcend cultural boundaries.
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