Art historian Abigail McEwen focuses on the so-called concretos, a generation of abstract Cuban painters that emerged during the 1950s and included Luis Martínez Pedro, Mario Carreño, José M. Mijares, and the Romanian-born Sandú Darié. According to McEwen, the concretos saw themselves as the last generation of the island’s artistic avant-garde, which contradicted their predecessors’ quest for a vernacular expression of national identity in the visual arts while striving for modernization and cosmopolitanism. She shows that the abstract turn in Cuba was both an aesthetic revolt against figurative art and a political protest against the Batista regime. The abstract art movement gradually waned after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, with its preference for narrative and representational art.
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