Latin American Masters presents our second solo exhibition for Gustavo Acosta (born Cuba, 1958). Acosta makes paintings that are philosophical and enigmatic objects of painterly allure. His landscapes depict architecture both historic and banal: Ferris wheels; airports; freeways; modernist swimming pools. “Momento,” a painting from the current exhibition, shows a Zeppelin, an object of child-like wonder, floating like an enormous balloon over a cloud-laden landscape. Buried within the skin of the Zeppelin’s iconography is the disaster of the Hindenburg, a disaster that undercut the promises of the Modern Age.


Imagine a tourist walking the cobblestone streets of a grand historical city, only to find that the city has been transformed into a ruin, perfectly intact but uninhabitable.


There is in Acosta’s worldview, the recognition that one may revisit the past, but never fully enter into it. This is no doubt connected with the artist’s feeling of exile. We have all had the experience of returning to a significant place from our past, only to discover that even if the place appears outwardly the same, it remains illusory, little more than a backdrop to our memories of another time. This quality of temporal displacement, of past and present coexisting in a transit zone, is central to Acosta's art, and is perhaps his greatest achievement.


Gustavo Acosta has exhibited in important public institutions worldwide, including: Museo Nacional, Havana, Cuba; São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil; Museum of Fine Arts, Caracas, Venezuela; Palazzo Mediceo, Seravezza, Italy; and the Lowe Art Museum, Miami.


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