Roberto Fabelo (b. 1950)
Roberto Fabelo (b. 1950)
Roberto Fabelo (b. 1950)
1 More
Roberto Fabelo (b. 1950)
4 More
Roberto Fabelo (b. 1950)

Pequeño teatro

Roberto Fabelo (b. 1950)
Pequeño teatro
signed, dated and titled 'Fabelo, Pequeño teatro, 2015' (inside and again on the underside)
oil on aluminum
Height: 31 1/2 in. (80 cm.)
Width: 27 1/2 in. (70 cm.)
Depth: 9 7/8 in. (25 cm.)
Executed in 2015.
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.
Havana, Galería Artis 718, Persistencia, 2015.
Rome, Palazzo della Cancelleria, Fabelo, Persistencia, 6 - 28 May 2017, pp. 102-107 (illustrated in color).
Further details
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist, dated 18 August 2022.

Brought to you by

Kristen France
Kristen France Vice President, Specialist

Lot Essay

If we can identify any feature found consistently in the work of Roberto Fabelo it is its sense of theatricality. His pieces are notes on the unfinished script of a mise en scène where fiction and reality move about freely through found pathways; it is very difficult to separate one from the other because they become an indivisible whole. This investigation has made him subvert the order of traditional artistic media in order to generate a new open look at drawing, painting or sculpture. The interesting thing about this exercise is that the artist breathes new life into historic methods of composing and he has them dialogue in a different type of application, taking advantage of innovation insofar as the languages conforming the work.

With his attitude Roberto Fabelo regains the spirit of the surrealists yearning to find new ways of producing art. That is where the frottage technique that Max Ernst developed came from and this has points of contact with the way in which Fabelo intervenes the series of cauldrons with the recording of each stroke. Pequeño teatro forms part of a group of works that have appeared as an agglomeration, whether in the form of a tower or individual. This visuality owes a debt to Infinite Column of Constantin Brancusi or the accumulations of Arman, an artist linked to New Realism. Nevertheless, the difference between Roberto Fabelo and these two creators of twentieth century avant-garde lies in the associative context and symbolic charge that his pieces acquire.

Pequeño teatro is a tableau of endless personalities that could be part of the confusion and decay of the Cuba of that time. Without a common origin, they are a rendition that allows the artist to communicate with the outside world. It is a means of refracting, of understanding or of not knowing exactly what is occurring in his surroundings. Fabelo creates his own bestiary and he proposes a life where the human and the animal become one single entity. He reconciles instinct with thought, with pain and suggests a utopia that becomes displaced by that heterotopia, which only exists in his creations.

Each of those cauldrons carries its own history, and discovering it becomes an odyssey unto itself. The object carries with it the idea of collectivity with large-scale kitchens and dining areas created throughout the island: agricultural camps, field schools, farmhand dining areas. A system was constructed creating standardized values that grew incompatible with the nature of individuality. The internal and external factors, which caused the economic crisis on the island, ended this type of experience.

When you observe Pequeño teatro within Fabelo’s career, you can see that this artist is not given to literal commentary about his work; departing from the local he questions the universal. The human is scrutinized in his most pristine essence; based on this he produces an ecosystem known only to himself. The sacred becomes commonplace in order to narrate our own history. These images induce us to go through the same exercise that we undertake when we visit a cathedral and we try to decipher biblical passages. It is very difficult to unveil the mystery of great works; they are there to reveal their narratives, but also to produce any affects and emotions we may be open to receiving. Art speaks at the same time that it suggests and in that Roberto Fabelo has demonstrated his mastery.

Jorge Antonio Fernández Torres, Director, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana

More from Latin American Art

View All
View All