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Things that Cannot Be Seen Any Other Way: The Art of Manuel Mendive

"Things that Cannot Be Seen Any Other Way: The Art of Manuel Mendive" is a multi-faceted effort that explores Mendive's visual and performance work. This exhibition is a newly-produced, career-spanning overview, while emphasizing the artist's mature work. Whereas cubism and surrealism had been common among his predecessors, Mendive instead incorporates visual elements rooted in Lukumi/Yoruba visual traditions into his painting. The exhibition and publication trace Mendive's drawing, painting, sculpture, and performances from the early 1960s to the present, giving special focus to discrete themes common across his work, including religion, nationalism, and memory. Mendive's most significant work, which forms the central conceptual and physical focus of the project, are his 1960s and 1970s series "Yoruba Mythology" and "Middle Passage," and his performances in the late 1980s, such as "La Vida." Each series bears witness to both the time and place of its making, showing the artist's growth and development, but also testifying to his deep commitment to Afro-Cuban culture and the art of painting in addition to his concerns around the nature of religion and its visual language.

Mendive logo

This Exhibition is a project originally conceived by The Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs in association with The California African American Museum , The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University , and Fundación Amistad.

Background: Manuel Mendive is a recognized international contemporary master whose career has flourished during Cuba's revolutionary period. He has exhibited throughout Europe, Russia, Africa, and Latin America. However, because of the decades old U.S.-Cuba embargo, his work has rarely been seen in this country.

logo - department of cultural affairs - los angeles logo - fundacion amistad logo - florida international university - frost art museum

Photo Gallery
Exhibition Programs

Sunday, May 19, 2013 -2PM - Presentation
The Art of Manuel Mendive

Dr. Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz discusses the work of Manuel Mendive in the context of the exhibition. RSVP preferred - 213.744.2024.

Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 2PM - Art Workshop and Presentation
Painting the Orishas

Lili Bernard, visual artist and actor, facilitates a workshop on Afro-Cuban religion and folklore - RSVP preferred 213.744.2024.

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 2PM - Workshop and Presentation
Afro-Cuban Beats

Come and participate with your own drums or just listen to the lecture and watch the performance! RSVP preferred 213.744.2024.

Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 2PM - Presentation
Cuba Today: A Visitor's Reflection

Ruby Quallsgray, from CAAM's History Council, will take us on a journey to Cuba detailing her recent nine-day immersion into the culture, lifestyle, and political landscape of the island.

Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 2PM - Documentary Film Screening
"Black and Cuba"

Director/writer Robin J. Hayes' documentary is the diary of minority students who traveled from the Ivy League halls of Harvard University to Cuba.