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Wilfredo Prieto

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Wilfredo Prieto is an artist who has intrigued the public and critics alike, arousing growing interest ever since he appeared on the art scene at a very young age. Thanks to conceptual art projects with immense visual immediacy, tackling themes such as politics, economy, environment and, more generally, contemporary society, Prieto soon received major international recognition, such as the Cartier Foundation Award in 2008.
He studied painting at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts (ISA) in Havana, Cuba, graduating in 2002, but immediately abandoned the genre, turning instead to research free of any convention, definition, disciplinary structure, genre or artistic medium. His work now ranges from installations to performance, sculpture to environmental works, actions to drawings. Prieto is profoundly tied to his native country, with which he has maintained a critical but intense relationship. In turn, the country has recognized him as one of its most important national artists, and he has been invited to participate in the past five Havana Biennials. Cuban society provided Prieto with numerous visual and thematic cues for his work, which he then reinterpreted and projected on a vaster horizon: that of the globalized society and its production of goods, symbols and values.
The starting point for his works is represented by common goods from everyday life, without making a hierarchical distinction between “poor” materials (chewed gum or a banana peel), industrial products (drums for transporting oil and cement), fruit (watermelon, mango), precious objects (gold and diamonds), and consumer goods (soft drinks and mobile phones). Prieto chooses materials and objects based on their expressive qualities and the economic, social and cultural meanings they engender, and subsequently, through an artistic gesture – often minimal – that alters their characteristics and uses, taking them out of context and generating short-circuits of meaning that surprise the spectator and beckon one to reflect.

Works 1195 – 2012, Wilfredo Prieto

Mousse Publishing, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, La Habana, 2014

ISBN 978-8867490943

Before Everything

CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Comunidad de Madrid, Móstoles, Madrid, 2010

Los Impolíticos

PANI Palazzo delle Arti Napoli Mondadori Electa, Nápoles, 2010

Cosas que solo un artista puede hacer

MARCO (Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo) y MEIAC (Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo), 2010

Ordinary Revolutions

Contemporary Latinamerican Art, Museum Morsbroich Leverkusen, Leverkusen, Germany, 2009

Arte, Prezzo e Valore. Arte contemporanea e mercato

Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, SilvanaEditorial, Firenze, 2008

ISBN 978-8836612406

Greenwashing Environment: perils, promises and perplexities

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, 2008

ISBN 978-8895702018

States of Exghange Artists from Cuba

Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), London, 2008

ISBN 978-1899846504

Held Toguether with water

Kunst aus der Sammlung Verbund, Vienna, 2007

ISBN 978-3775719537

100 Artistas Latinoamericanos

Exit Publicaciones, Madrid, 2007

ISBN 978-8493463939

The Hours

Visual Arts of Contemporary Latin America, Irish Museum of Art, Daros-Latinamerica, Zürich, 2005

Islas Naciones: Arte Nuevo de Cuba. La República Dominicana, Puerto Rico y la diáspora

Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, Rhode Island, 2004

Cordially Invited

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, 2004

Who if not we should at least try to imagine the future of all this?, Thinking Forward

Amsterdam, 2004

Wilfredo Prieto

Centro Cultural Español, Havana, 2002

Wilfredo Prieto en la mira

Art OnCuba No. 03, julio-septiembre, 2014, pp. 70–75, text by Direlia Lazo

Wilfredo Prieto (Entrevista)

Elephant. The Art and Visual Culture Magazine, número 19, verano 2014, pp. 154–155

Wilfredo Prieto

Hangar Bicocca, ArtNexus, No. 89, 2013, pp. 94–95, text by Direlia Lazo

A one liner philosopher

Art in America, septiembre 2012, text by Gerardo Mosquera

Wilfredo Prieto Balancing the curve

Art-Domus, Milán, agosto 2012, text by Chiara Alessi

Wilfredo Prieto and the Work of Art as a Direct Gesture

Literature and Arts of the Americas, Issue 82, Vol. 44, No.1, 2011, pp. 143–148, text by Laura Bardier

A question of choosing

Metropolis, Oct-Nov, 2011, pp. 47–53, text by Inti Guerrero

Ser y nada

Atlántica Revista de Arte y Pensamiento, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, #48/49, pp. 228–235, text by Hernandez Erena