Nicolás Guillén’s poetry was born from music, and owes it the whole splendor that characterizes it. Some scholars went as far as to assert that all his poems were a triumph of Cuban music. Who could hide that truth? Few know that the author of Sóngoro cosongo (1931) was a sensible, passionate temperament who expressed his feelings in almost all the arts.
Plastic arts had in him an insatiable sampler. It is an unquestionable fact that his verse nourishes from the sounds rooted in the daily life of popular neighborhoods, in the breath of those rural landscapes, in their luminous mystery, but also from that plastic nature that his best friends lent him to contribute to the best definition of our essence as Cubans. More than beautiful are his poems dedicated to Víctor Manuel, Fidelio Ponce, Eduardo Abela, Amelia Peláez. In their composition, Guillén penetrates both the plenitude of the forms and the style of each one of those painters, bringing back to the reader the very essence of their genius.
That is why those who visit this extraordinary sample of contemporary Cuban art conceived by painter Lesbia Vent Dumois will undoubtedly enjoy the convergence of themes and forms derived from the poetic event that Nicolás Guillén created throughout half a century.
Here you will not find one single piece meant to serve as simple illustration to Guillén’s verses. On the contrary.
These works, in keeping with the tradition of the Salón Independiente (Independent Hall), express by themselves the finest art of each one of these creators among them true masters of this ancient craft who, in an indefinable way, enter and leave, and enter again the cosmos beating in each one of the texts they have wanted to accompany, in good will, with their abilities, their instinct, their unselfish contribution.
As attribute of this will to participate, you will notice in addition an authentic gracefulness, a making of great excellence that refers the person contemplating them to the work of Guillén in its ritual signs, in its political satire, in its eroticist tenderness, in its solidarity with the Spain of Federico García Lorca, in its perennial denounce of the social evils that once harassed the island of Cuba. Oils, sculptures, calcographs, among other modalities characterized by the mixed technique, are the ways that these great names of Cuban painting found, turning round a star, turning round their own paintbrushes in search of all of us. Painting turning round in its marine world, in its mountain cavern, in its hurricane winds, in its many-colored signs, in its Cuban color.
In short, Cuban painting turning round in the thresholds, turning round by itself, in the eternal verses by Nicolás Guillén.
Havana, July 21, 2006