Abel González Fernández

Highlighting the cardinal presence of women artists in Cuban and Caribbean modernism, Abel González Fernández’s CCI Fellowship project Architecture of “enclosed spaces” takes its name from a 1931 lecture by Cuban designer Clara Porset, in which she introduced “tropical context” to the new tendencies in interior design developing within the international language of modernism. In Cuba, modernism has traditionally been predominantly associated with male figures, despite the existence of contemporary female designers such as Porset and modernist painters such as Loló Soldevilla, Carmen Herrera, Zilia Sánchez, and Amelia Peláez. Architecture of “enclosed spaces” attempts to expand the art historical narrative of Caribbean modernism not only by reconstructing the modernist ideology that framed the creation of modern objects, but also by exploring how women artists situated within the movement developed their voice and perspective. 

Abel González Fernández is a writer and curator based in New York. A 2023 Master of Arts candidate at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Literature in 2015 from the University of Havana, where he engaged in the contemporary art scene through research-based and conceptual art practices that question art history as a language of power and a source for the creation of social imaginaries. In 2019, he was awarded a grant from the Prince Claus Fund’s Next Generation program to make the series Sin 349 about the Cuban artistic community’s resistance to Decree 349, which legalized censorship. He has curated exhibitions in Havana, Berlin, Tokyo, and New York. Currently, he is co-curating an exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum with Laura Mott, Chief Curator, and Andrew Blauvelt, Director, that will premiere a collection of Caribbean mid-century furniture and modern design. As a writer, he has collaborated on projects for ArtNexus, Vice, EIKON, Mezosfera, and El Estornudo and for Cranbrook Art Museum, Columbia University, and the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art, among other institutions. 

Click  HERE to read Abel González Fernández’s essay “Arquitectura de espacios cerrados (The Architecture of Closed Spaces)”.