Skip to content
Juan Francisco Elso, Por América (José Martí), 1986.

Juan Francisco Elso, Por América (José Martí), 1986. Wood, plaster, earth, pigment, synthetic hair, and glass eyes. Courtesy of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, 1998. Photo: Ron Amstutz. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Curated by Olga Viso and El Museo curator Susanna Temkin, the exhibition surveys the brief yet significant career of the late Juan Francisco Elso (1956-1988), who was part of the first generation of artists born and educated in post-revolutionary Cuba. Created mostly using natural, found materials, his sculptures reflect the complexities of Cuban, Caribbean, and Latin American identities in addition to his own spiritual exploration. Despite the brevity of his career, Elso was incontrovertibly a major influence on artists from the Caribbean, and throughout North, South, and Central America. To this end, work from a multigenerational group of artists who have continued in his footsteps is included alongside his own. Additionally, two exhibitions examining the complexity of modern and contemporary Cuban art will be on view concurrently.

The exhibition will be on view through September 17, 2023.