Cross Currents/Intercambio Cultural

July 11–August 18, 2019
SMART Museum of Art
University of Chicago
Presented in the Richard and Mary L. Gray Gallery and the Elisabeth and William M. Landes Gallery

This exhibition explores how issues of Latin American and Latino identity and place are manifest in the practices of artists working in Chicago and Havana at a moment of social change and strained political relations between the United States and Cuba.

Cross Currents is the result of an artist exchange organized by the National Museum of Mexican Art. Six Chicago-based artists visited Habana in spring 2017 and six Cuban artists visited Chicago in fall 2017 and summer 2018. The work on view reflects the artists’ experiences and observations as they interacted with each other, curators, cultural spaces, and neighborhoods during their trips. The project aims to open pathways of communication and understanding between the two cities and peer artists while also reflecting on their own artistic practices at this moment in time. 


Based in Chicago:

  • Alberto Aguilar (b. 1974, Chicago)
  • Carlos Barberena (b. 1972, Nicaragua)
  • Dianna Frid (b. 1967, Mexico City)
  • Rodrigo Lara Zendejas (b. 1981, Toluca, Mexico)
  • Harold Mendez (b. 1977, Chicago)
  • Edra Soto (b. 1971, San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Based in Havana:

  • Humberto Díaz (b. 1975, Cuba)
  • Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo (b. 1984, Cuba)
  • Douglas Pérez Castro (b. 1972, Cuba)
  • Alejandro González (b. 1974, Cuba)
  • Celia-Yunior (Celia Gonzalez (b. 1985, Cuba) & Yunior Aguiar (b. 1984, Cuba))
  • Requer (Renier Quer Figueredo, b. 1983, Cuba)

A version of the exhibition will travel to El Centro Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Habana, Cuba in Fall 2019.

Cross Currents is organized by the National Museum of Mexican Art. The exhibition is co-curated by Alison Fraunhar, independent curator and Associate Professor of Art and Design at St Xavier University, Cesáreo Moreno, Director of Visual Arts & Chief Curator at the National Museum of Mexican Art, and Raquel Carrera, an art historian and curator based in Habana, Cuba.

Support for the artist exchange and exhibition has been provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Maria Bechily and Scott Hodes.

Image: Visiting Celia Gonzalez’s home/studio in the Playa neighborhood, May 2017. Left to right are: Rodrigo Lara, Carlos Barberena, Harold Mendez, Dianna Frid, Alberto Aguilar and Celia Gonzalez.

Thursday, July 11, 2019 to Sunday, August 18, 2019