1956, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Eduardo Ponjuán (Pinar del Rio, Cuba, 1956) is one of the essential artists within the historiography of Cuban art. His work, which emerged during the eighties, has the ability to go further, every time, in the precipice of certain truths, to overcome itself as discursive generator, to impact, to make us silent and force us to observe it compulsively. The key point of this, in some way capricious and tremendous, seems to lie in his unlimited talent for invoking that which may be -or in fact it is- vital to man. From there are born their most fertile and polysemous silences. His work moves in different directions, supported on the alibi of a conceptualism that has reinvented itself again and again. Sometimes he speaks with a slight and monosyllabic accent, sometimes he becomes scathing and shouts without any inhibition. There isn’t a precise and fair way of cataloging him, because in his case any taxonomy becomes reductionist. Ponjuán is a painter, an installationist, a draftsman, a conceptual artist, an inexhaustible thinker. The whole art is a starting point for him, the trough where he takes what he needs to interrogate the world. After more than three decades of sustained work, he has developed several personal and collective exhibitions, both inside and outside the island. Among the projects of greatest significance are: Scratch (2016), which took place at the Museo de las Culturas del Mundo (MUDEC), Milano, Italy; Bésame mucho (2014) and Lo tengo en la punta de la lengua (2004), both made at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) in Cuba; Wild Noise (2017), at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, USA and Adiós Utopía: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art since 1950 (2017), at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, USA. He has participated in events of the relevance of the Venice Biennial (2011), the Havana Biennial (2015, 2012, 2009, 2006, 1997, and 1994), the South Biennial of Panama (2013), the Cuenca Painting Biennial (2009, 1999) and the Malta International Biennial (1999).
His work has been worthy of numerous local and international awards. Among them we can refer the National Prize for Visual Arts (2013) and the National Prize of Curatorship (2007), both granted by the Consejo Nacional de Artes Plásticas de Cuba (CNAP). Also the First Prize of Collage at the International Biennial of Malta (1999) and the grant awarded by the Browstone Foundation of France (2005). His work has been included in prestigious collections, such as the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) in Havana collection, the Daros-Latin America Collection in Switzerland, the Collection of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Italy, the Farber Collection, the Blanton Museum of Art and the ASU Art Museum collections, both of them in the United States.