Opening Day Ernesto Briel

The Juan Carlos Maldonado Art Collection, JCMAC, initiates a new cycle in its exhibition program at its Miami Design District center. With the title Iridescent Geometries, giving continuity to the exhibition project that began six years ago. Since then, its objective has been to promote the study of modern and contemporary art at an international level, emphasizing abstract-geometric practices. On this occasion, and after having exhibited part of his collection, he focuses his attention on the work of Ernesto Briel, a Cuban optical artist whose production is practically unknown, even among specialists in Latin American art.

Ernesto Briel is an artist whose work begins in the sixties of the last century; that is to say, when concrete, optical and kinetic abstraction had already borne its best results in the countries of the region, from Argentina to Mexico. With this, the public is faced with an abstract-geometric practice –and typically optical– when the expansion of these aesthetics reached maximum popularity and with it, even a hybridization process that makes this works a curious Pop expression of abstraction. Hence this unexpected hybridization of optical strategies in the manner of Vasarely with Pop motifs, such as traffic signs, letters, stars, and signs of wide circulation in the cities of the present.

about Ernesto Briel

Born in Habana in 1943, the Cuban artist Ernesto Briel sought and found in the lyricism of optical art a refuge to the constrains and limitations present in the two decades following the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. 

As an ecstatic lover of his craft amidst the rationed cultural ideologies of a blocked country and the officialized persecution of homosexuality, Ernesto Briel focused instead on the endless possibilities of geometric abstraction and found in it, the only way to rather reflect on his multidimensional reality than in the restrictive and limiting circumstances of his life. 

In time he would evolve from the intricacies of elaborate Indian ink drawings, to a painterly post modernist approach in the last two decades of his life. Yet, no matter what existential and creative challenges he was confronted with, he sought to reconcile them through the endless possibilities of geometry.

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