In Conversation: José Manuel Fors


José Manuel Fors is one of the pioneers of the Cuban contemporary art renaissance, a participant in the groundbreaking 1981 exhibition Volume I. Now, the Havana artist is showing his work for the first time in Miami, in the solo exhibition Fragments. The show’s curators, Alejandro Machado and Irina Leyva Pérez of Pan-American Art Projects, interviewed the artist for Cuban Art News.

This is your first solo exhibition in Miami. Three years have passed since your last show. Is this due to your work, or is it purely circumstantial?

Not exactly either. For example, in 2006 I had two solo exhibitions. I did nothing else until 2008, and now am doing one in 2011. I don’t rush to do one-person shows; I wait until I have a good idea to develop and a good staff to work with. For example, this year I’m preparing this show and will do another in Havana next year for the opening of the Biennale. The timing is rather situational, and sometimes it also depends on circumstances beyond my control, such as the availability of the space. This is the case with Pan-American Art Projects.

In this show, you are exhibiting several pieces you’ve been working on for a while—for example, the bundles, the umbrellas, and even an installation, which brings to mind your earlier installations with leaves.

I decided to bring works that had somehow emerged from previous works. It was my first show in Miami, and I wanted to make them better known. There are also works based on ideas I have not completely developed yet, such as the umbrellas, on which I’ve done only one piece. I thought it was a good opportunity to do more, and try new solutions.

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