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Publisher: KAMENEVA, L PUBLISHING POSTER.
Title: Salon de Mayo, Pabello Cuba, la habana, 30 de julio 1967.
Published in: La Havana, 1967
   
Size: 21.5 x 15.2 inches.
54.5 x 38.5 cm.
Colouring:

Colour printed.
Condition: 8 pages, folded. First page with chromo lithography. In very good condition.
Condition Rating

This program was published in the form of a newspaper and distributed in the famous exhibition of the Cuba Pavilion, on the Rampa.
The Salón de Mayo (May Fair) was an art exhibition in Havana, Cuba, in July 1967. It took its name from the Salon de Mai, an artists collective founded during the Nazi occupation of France. It was organized by Carlos Franqui with the assistance of artists as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, René Portocarrero, Adami, Alechinsky, Karel Appel, René Magritte, Man Ray, Vasarely, Bram Van Velde, etc.

In 1967 the writer and director of the Cuban newspaper Revolución, Carlos Franqui, and the painter Wifredo Lam — both with solid professional networks in Paris — wanted to bring the Parisian Salon de Mai (May Salon) to Havana, and invited a group of French-based artists and intellectuals to the Caribbean country in the name of the Cuban government.

Among them were writers and art critics such as Michel Leiris, Peter Weiss, Juan Goytisolo, Jorge Semprúm, Alain Jouffroy, Gérald Gassiot Talabot, Margarita Duras, Maurice Nadeau, Jean-Jacques Lévêque, Michel Ragon and Harald Szeemann, as well as artists such as Eduardo Arroyo, Gudmundur Erró, Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, Valerio Adami, Antonio Recalcati, Bernard Rancillac, César Baldaccini and Pierre Alechinsky (Llanes, 2012: 58, 61).
Their visit did not just have the aim of planning and organizing that year’s edition of the Parisian Salon de Mai under the name Salón de Mayo in Havana, but was incited by the grander ambition of establishing a link of exchange with the European continent.

Inaugurated on the 29th of July 1967, the Salón coincided with the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Raúl Roa stressing during the vernissage the “increasing of the guerrilla’s warfare in Latin America” (Roa, 1967: 1),[9] a demonstration of sympathy against oppression that was actually in the spirit of the Salon, which had been founded in 1943 during the Second World War within the French resistance movement against Fascism.
More than 100 artists and intellectuals of the “French” delegation (of international members), who had been invited to stay for several days, were supposed to paint and meet with the population.
The Cuban Minister of Education, José Llanusa, stated that they were provided with the opportunity “to work wherever they wished”, expressing the hope “that they would experience new vistas as their project developed in conjunction with workers and students who were transforming Cuban society” (quoted in Stokes Sims, 2002: 155).
Hence, the guests traveled the island to meet the cultural and working class of Cuba. Even if monitored by the government, the joining of French-based artists and intellectuals and their meetings with their counterparts, revolutionaries, “guerrilleros” and ordinary people during their stay were regarded as fundamental experiences by all sides.

The participation of the intellectual “European elites” in the Cuban revolutionary-cultural programme was one of the main interests of the government in order to reclaim its independent path, at a time when the consolidation of the revolution was fully achieved (and backed by the Soviet Union) and the country’s blockade enforced by the US. However, the different political and ideological models that Cuba and the Soviet Union stood for were clearly manifested visually by the Salón’s openness to experimentation and heterogeneity that subverted the orthodoxy of Socialist Realism.
The exhibition in Havana gathered more than 196 artworks, the majority of them from classic modern artists of Lam’s generation (such as Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, René Magritte or Jean Arp) and from younger artists living in Paris from different countries (for example, France, Spain, Turkey, Algeria, Canada, China or different Latin American countries, including Argentina and Cuba).
Among the latter were exponents belonging to Figuration Narrative (such as Erró, Arroyo, Rancillac or Aillaud) and Nouvelle Figuration (Jorn and Saura) along with participants of the Nouvelle Tendance and Kinetic Art (such as Le Parc, Yaacov Agam and Vasarely) (VVAA, 1967).
The variety of styles presented in Havana represented for the art critic George Boudaille “a precarious but appropriate balance among art movements that at times seem to be in opposition” (quoted in Stokes Sims, 2002: 154). Furthermore, it suited well the ambivalence —and potential of avant-garde experimentation— of the Cuban revolutionary aesthetics (Craven, 2002: 94–114) which had resumed in 1961 with Castro’s statement: “with the revolution all, against the revolution, nothing” (Castro, 1961). Culture & History Digital Journal, Vol 4, No 1 (2015)





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KAMENEVA, L PUBLISHING POSTER. -  Salon de Mayo, Pabello Cuba, la habana, 30 de julio 1967.
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KAMENEVA, L PUBLISHING POSTER. - Salon de Mayo, Pabello Cuba, la habana, 30 de julio 1967.
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