Humberto Hernandez Martinez, Cuban (1958 - )

To enjoy the rural landscapes of Humberto Hernández, better known as ‘El Negro,’ is an indescribable gift. To be witness to the passion, energy, and full-throttle vigor from which they emanate, is to become an admirer of his work. In his vision, influenced by his first gazes at art as a youngster, one will find virtuosity, originality, rebelliousness, and abandon. With authentic expressionism, Humberto immerses himself in the landscape to, in an irreverent way, make us participants in his seascapes, storms, his colourful paint, and the huts that give it life. His poetry is not based on showing us the surroundings per se, but on a new interpretation and assimilation of this magic and contemplative world of the Cuban countryside.

Curriculum

Humberto Hernández Martínez (‘El Negro’)
Painter, Engraver, Drawer
Member of the National Union Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC)
Studies
Superior Institute of Teaching, Pinar de Rio (1986-1991)
National Fine Arts School of Havana (1975-1980)
Provincial Arts School of Pinar del Rio (1973-1975)

Solo Shows
2003 “Cosas” Los Palacios Gallery, Pinar del Rio, Cuba
2003 “Footprints in the Sea” Domingo Padron Art Gallery. Miami, Florida, USA
2002 “Narrations in Time” La Acacia Gallery, La Habana, Cuba
“The Cuban Landscape” Hotel Sandals Royal, Varadero, Cuba
“Art Gallery” Viñales, Pinar del Río
Fort Napoleon, La Seyne/Mer Francia
2001 “Landscape Renovation” Domingo Padrón Gallery, Miami, USA
2000 “Things that Move” Art Gallery, Hotel Riviera, Havana, Cuba
Cine Mar, Puerto Esperanza, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1999 Landscape Exposition, O & Y Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA
1996 “Spaces of Identity” Sala Vedado, Havana, Cuba
Landscape Exposition, Hotel Nacional, La Habana, Cuba
Landscape Exposition, Hotel Bella Costa LTI, Varadero, Cuba
Landscape Exposition, Minnessota Art Museum, USA
1993 Landscape Exposition, Fort de France, Martinica
Landscape Exposition, University Cultural Center, Alameda, Santiago de Chile
1990 Landscape Exposition, La Casona, Cuban Fund for Culture, Habana, Cuba
1989 Landscape Exposition, UNEAC, Santiago de Cuba
Landscape Exposition, Viñales Gallery, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1988 Art Gallery, UNEAC, Santiago de Cuba
Arte Gallery, Angolan Casa de la Cultura, Havana, Cuba
1987 ‘Rafael María de Mendive’ Landscape Exposition ISP, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1986 Art Gallery, Casa de la Cultura, Viñales, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1984 Art Gallery, Provincial Center for Fine Arts, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1982 Vocational Arts School, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Group Exhibitions
2007 “From the Total, a Part” TelePinar Art Gallery, Pinar del Río, Cuba
2006 First Adquisition Salon, UNEAC, TelePinar Gallery, Pinar del Río, Cuba
“Five Palms” National Fine Arrts Museum, Havana, Cuba
“The Soul of Cuba” Contemporary Cuban Landscape, San Lucas Gallery, Center for Culture and International Cooperation, Madrid, Spain.
2005 “2 + 2 is not always landscape” Villa Manuela Gallery Havana, Cuba
“Habitat, Pinar del Rio Painters” Las Terrazas Complex, La Oficina Gallery, Pinar del Rio
“Artexplo” Atlanta, USA
Contemporary Pinar del Rio Painters, UNEAC Gallery, Pinar del Río
Iberoamerican Landscape Hall, Las Tunas, Cuba
Iberoamerican Landscape Hall, San Francisco de Assis Convent, Havana, Cuba
“The Color of the Caribbean” Seoul, Korea
2004 International Art Fair, Nassau, Bahamas
Contemporary Cuban Art Exposition “Cuba’s New Parth in Art” Malaysia
“Between Rough and Tender” CIDIARTE Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal
Fidelio Ponce de León Provincial Salon, Sandino, Cuba
“Generational Footprints” UNEAC, Pinar del Río, Cuba
2003 Online Auction, 8th Art Bienal of Havana, Cuba
“Counting to the Left” Mariano Rodríguez, Gallery, 8th Art Bienal, Havana, Cuba
“20 de Octubre” Landscape Hall, Viñales, Cuba
All Hands Project, Conservation Center, Restored and Applied Arts, Havana, Cuba
Cuban Painting Today works donated in support of the ‘Capilla del Hombre’ Quito, Ecuador
Collective showing of Pinar del Rio Landscapes, Provincial Center for Fine Arts, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Collective showing of Pinar del Rio Landscapes, Convention Center, Havana, Cuba
2002 “Pinar del Rio Landscapes” José Martí Memorial, Havana, Cuba
Cuban Painters at the Inauguration of the ‘Capilla del Hombre,’ Quito, Ecuador
Collective Exposition of Small Format Art, La Bohem Art Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA
2001 “Provincial Fine Arts Salon” Pinar del Río, Cuba
“Of Landscapes and Landscape Artists” Galería La Havana, Cuba
1999 “Landscape, Ecology and Sprirtuality” Josefina Museum Gallery, Embassy of Japon, Managua, Nicaragua
“End of the Century” Miami, Florida, USA
Alzey Mural Project, Germany
1998 Cuban Painters, Toronto, Canada
Szent Giorgy, Massachussetts, USA
The Cuban Art Space, Nueva York, USA
African-American Folk, Museo de Arte. Duluth Minessota, USA
1994 “Vision” Pinar del Río, Cuba
Landscape, La Acacia, La Habana, Cuba
Landscape, Víctor Manuel Gallery, Havana, Cuba (during the 5th Havana Bienal)
1993 Landscapes, Jamaica
Landscapes, La Pampa, Argentina
Provincial Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1992 National Salon for Fine Arts Winners, National Fine Arts Museum Havana, Cuba
Cuban Painters, Vendersheim, Germany
1991 Serigraphy meeting, René Portocarrero Workshop (in conjunction with the 4th Havana Bienal, Cuba
1990 Provincial Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Regional Fine Arts Salon Matanzas, Cuba
Landscapes, La Casona, Cuban Fund for Culture, Havana, Cuba
Casa de la Cultura, Sandino, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Collective Exposition, Provincial Culture Sectoral, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1989 Provincial Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Municipal Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Cuban Painters Exposition, Tarun, Poland
1988 “Hommage to the Saíz Montes de Oca Brothers” Pinar del Río University, Cuba
1st Salon, Provincial Art School. Museum of History, Pinar del Río, Cuba
UNEAC Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1987 ‘Atilano Armentero Ramos’ Municipal Hall of Fine Arts, San Luis, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Regional Fine Arts Salon, UNEAC, Cuba Pavillion, Havana, Cuba
1986 1st Provincial Art School Professors Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Provincial Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1985 Art Gallery, Casa de la Cultura, San Luis, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Provincial Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1st Provincial Fine Arts Salon “Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca,” University of Pinar del Río, Cuba
‘13 of March’ National Fine Arts Salon, Thalía Hall, Havana, Cuba
‘14 of December’ Fine Arts Municipal Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1984 Municipal Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
‘13 of March’ National Fine Arts Salon, Thalía Hall, Havana, Cuba
1982 ‘14 of December’ Fine Arts Municipal Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
National Landscape Salon, Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba
1980 Arts Schools National Salon, Intermediate level. National Fine Arts School, Havana, Cuba
Prizes
2004 Laureate Seal in recognition of life’s work and contribution to national culture.
2004 Recognition of contribution to science in Pinar del Rio.
2003 Recognition of distinguished and active contribution as a member of the Juan Marinello Cultural Contingent, to Cuban culture, Pinar del Río, Cuba
‘Hazaña Labor’ Medal for the contribution of art in support of social works, Havana, Cuba
2002 National Culture Distinction, Havana, Cuba
1997 Annual Art Prize in recognition of the development of artistic works, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1991 Painting Prize, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1990 Painting Prize, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1989 Finalist, 6th Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Prize, ‘14 of December’ Salon, Art Gallery, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Prize, UNEAC Reginal Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1988 1st Prize, drawing, “Hermanos Saíz” 2nd Provincial Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Finalist, UNEAC National Salon, Cuba Pavillion, La Habana
Drawing Prize, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Drawing Prize IV Municipal Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1987 1st Prize, drawing, II Winter Salon ‘Atilano Armenteros’, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Painting Prize, San Luis, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1986 Painting Prize, Pinar del Río, Cuba
Drawing Prize, 3rd Provincial Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1985 2nd Prize, 3rd Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1984 3rd Prize, painting, 2nd Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1983 Mention, 1st Provincial Fine Arts Salon, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1982 Painting Prize, Pinar del Río, Cuba
1980 Drawing Prize, National Fine Arts School Salon, Havana, Cuba
Works can be found in various private collections, museums and galleries in the USA, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Argentina, Bahamas, etc.
To enjoy the rural landscapes of Humberto Hernández, better known as ‘El Negro,’ is an indescribable gift. To be witness to the passion, energy, and full-throttle vigor from which they emanate, is to become an admirer of his work. In his vision, influenced by his first gazes at art as a youngster, one will find virtuosity, originality, rebelliousness, and abandon...

With authentic expressionism, Humberto immerses himself in the landscape to, in an irreverent way, make us participants in his seascapes, storms, his colourful paint, and the huts that give it life. His poetry is not based on showing us the surroundings per se, but on a new interpretation and assimilation of this magic and contemplative world of the Cuban countryside.

Landscape from the perspective of the brush of Humberto, ‘El Negro’

By: Belkys Pérez Cruz

Sharing a few minutes with Humberto H Hernández (El Negro), turns into hours dedicated to one of the most recognized attributes of the western province of Pinar del Rio: its landscape.

For a painter born in these lands close to the sea of Puerta Esperanza (Viñales), being surrounded by such impressively beautiful landscape is a true temptation. El Negro does not avoid his responsibility and thus takes on the risk.

Born in 1958, this son of fisherfolk recognizes that he is the first Afro-Cuban in his family inclined towards painting. He studied in the Pinar del Rio provincial art school, later at the national school, and finally in the Superior Institute of Teaching, graduating with a bachelor’s of fine arts in 1991.

His landscapes convey an interest in reviving the work done for years by a brilliant group of painters from [the town of] Vueltabajo. For his paintings he chooses oil on canvas, switching at some points in the creation to acrylic.

Humberto, El Negro, say some specialists, is the only Pinar del Rio landscape painter who has evolved an aesthetic that stays away from literal figures, although he sometimes looks to them when some details are needed in the protagonists in his work.

His style is unmistakable. His works are one of a kind. He creates a world where childhood memories from Puerto Esperanza meet with the artist’s fantasies that are product of the artist’s subjectivity.

He confesses that the city does not impress him enough to paint there or paint it. He prefers the country where green and the sea predominate along with their special sounds. In his work includes stormy winds and huts - details found only in the landscape of this region of the country.

Humberto, El Negro, has works in some of the most important private collections in a number of countries. On a regular basis he has shows in U.S. galleries, and he is an outstanding promoter of Cuban culture.

He notes that although he travels frequently abroad, the word “return” accompanies him from the time he leaves Cuba. He misses the unique rock formations in Viñales, the aroma of tobacco, and the saltpetre.

Frequently, he can be found in the streets of the city of Pinar del Río, playing a joke on an acquaintance, taking a drive with friends, or sharing a game of baseball with fans of the provincial of which he considers himself a faithful follower.

Currently, Humberto Hernández, El Negro, is putting together a collection that will mark a new path in his promising career in contemporary fine arts.

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